War of the Rebellion: Serial 057 Page 0641 Chapter XLIV. RIOT AT CHARLESTON, COLES COUNTY, ILL.

Search Civil War Official Records

John Reynolds.-It is testified by three witnesses that they saw this party run out of the square at the south gate, at the commencement of the firing, as if trying to get out of the way. One of these, however, mentions that he was armed with a pistol. A fourth witness testifies that at the time of the firing he met he accused outside of the town, mounted, with some 15 or 20 others, and heard him advise that they should not go into the town on account of the shooting, which he thought was not yet over. Three other witnesses, however, David Johnson, F. Brown, and J. b. Hutchason, tesfity that Reynolds was present at or about the time of the firing, and Johnson states that he was armed with a pistol. Brown describes him as seen in consultation with O'Hair before the assault, and as afterward falling into line with others under O'Hair as their leader. He adds that he has often heard Reynolds threaded to resist and "fight against" the draft, and to express his determination, if drafted, to "shoot our own boys." Henry Dittimore testifies that in riding home in company with R. on the evening of the 28th, he heard him state that he had "let one load off."

John T. Taylor.-The testimony offered on behalf of this party is quite immaterial upon the question of his participation in the riot. One witness says that he saw him about 4 p. m. run from the court-house square, go to this horse, which was fastened at a little distance, and mount him and ride away. Another states that he loaned him pistol to Taylor in the morning; and a third, that the pistol was picked up in the square after the firing, covered with mud, with all the barrels loaded and whit the appearance of not having been discharged. On the other hand, the prisoner is fully identified by N. L. Wyeth as having been present at the attack. This witness says that he "saw a man by the name of Taylor, whom we took as prisoner. He had a pistol in his hand, and seemed to be in the act of shooting; was pointing toward the soldiers." B. F. Wells states in his affidavit that Taylor, on being arrested by him, at first denied, but afterward admitted, that he was in the fight, and that he had lost his pistol there. He also made a similar admission to Colonel Mitchell.

John W. Herndon.-No testimony is offered in his defense. N. L. Wyeth identities him as having seen him "in the crowd with a pistol in his hand." V. K. Curd states that he saw him in Charleston on the morning of the 28th, in company with Collins and a number of others, who were indulging in hostile language in regard to the soldiers. At the time of the firing he "saw Herndon raise a pistol and fire at some person in the court-house yard." When arrested by Wells, Herndon first denied and then admitted that he was present at the fight, and was himself wounded there. A similar statement was made by him to Colonel Mitchell.

John W. Murphy and Michael Murphy.-(With these prisoners was captured also their father, Miles Murphy, who died while in confinement at Camp Yates.) In behalf of the former, it is endeavored to be shown by members of his family, &c., that he was either at home or at a neighbor's house during all the afternoon of the 28th. But the witnesses do not agree in their statements; one representing that he was at a certain house from 1 till about 5 p. m. of that day, and another that he was there only till 3 o'clock, when he returned home and presently went to another house, and did not again return till dusk. His mother testifies that he had no arms of