This Week in the Civil War - 795

Mar 26, 2014

Pro-Southern, Copperhead activity occurred in all states of the North to some degree during the American Civil War.  However, on Monday, March 28, 1864, anti-war activity even came to Illinois, the home state of President Abraham Lincoln. 

At Charlestown, Peace Democrats were conducting an anti-administration, political rally when approximately 100 Copperheads, personally fortified with generous amounts of alcohol,  suddenly fired on Federal troops who both happened to be present and unfortunately were disarmed.  In a matter of minutes, approximately 25 soldiers had been killed or wounded. 

Rumors of continuing violence brought 2000 additional Union troops from Illinois and Indiana to Charlestown.  Many Copperhead leaders and followers were detained but eventually pardoned by Abraham Lincoln for their involvement in what is known to history as the Charlestown [Illinois] Riot.