Remembering the Charleston Riot


Charleston- Decades after the Charleston Riot, a wreath is laid on the grounds of the Coles County Courthouse.

Ann Hinrichs, the chairperson of the ceremony said, "it was really important to capture that moment in time 150 years ago."

On March 28, 1864  a confrontation erupted between union troops and civil war opponents, who were known as copperheads. Nine soldiers were killed in the gunfight and 12 were injured. Although they have passed away, stories of that day live on.

"I grew up listening to my grandfather telling me stories of his grandfather about the Charleston Riot," Hinrichs added. "This whole thing was about honoring my ancestor. Even though he was a copperhead. . . he believed in what he believed in and I admire him for that."

Living descendants came to the opening ceremony. Brenda Taber said, her relative Miles Murphy was captured and sent to a prison in Springfield. That is a fact she stumbled upon at the Charleston library.

"After reading the depositions that my great-grandfather was on the square that day and he witnessed it and he wasn't involved but he got to see," Taber told WAND.

Taber's brother Steven Bayes said, you can't remember the riot without talking about a past president.

"It always goes back to Abraham Lincoln and his family and how he had so many relatives related to the participants in the Charleston Riot," Bayes said.

A civil war brought to Coles County that will never be forgotten.

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