with paper entitled "To the people and Veteran Volunteers and furloughed soldiers of Ill. (no date) With D. J. Van Doren letter 2/1/64 With John Monroe letter 2/6/64
Charleston Ill. Feby 4th 1864.
Dear Sir: You have no doubt Received from divers citizens of our State letters calling your attention to Matters that [were?] Regarded by the writers as of Sufficient importance to justify them in so doing. And I as an humble citizen beg leave to inform you, that at Mattoon in Our Co, it has Recently happened that Soldiers have, on their own authority taken it upon themselves to take into custody peacable citizens of the co, and march them to the offices of some person authorized to Administer Oaths and have there by threats and intimidation compelled them to take Oaths of allegiance I am aware of course, that this in fact can not [injure?] the persons so Sworn yet it occurs to me, that such conduct is not harmonious with the genius of our institutions nor compatable with the Rights of Citizens
who have violated no Law. For instance as I am informed Judge [Constable?] on his Return a few days Since from your City, where he had been in attendance on the Supreme court, was subjected to this sort of indignity, and that divers others Respectabel citizens of our Co, have been treated in like Manner. No Reason can be assigned for these outrages nor is pretended to be except, that Some one May have said, "He is a copperhead"/ These things are done no doubt out of the good will of the Soldiers, without any Military authority of a legitimate Character, but ought it so to be? The writer hereof, has no affinity with, nor sympathy for that Class known as copperheads, yet he is of the opinion that such conduct is [lawless?] & a suitable matter to call your Honors attention to as Governor of the great & Loyal State of Illinois. all of which is Respectfully Submitted
Respectfully Your Obedt Servant Eli Wiley
His Excellency Rich Yates Governor of the State of Ill
Charleston Feby 4 1864.
Says some of the soldiers at Mattoon have taken upon themselves to arrest peaceable citizens and compelled them to take the oath. Thinks it is not harmonious with the genius of our institutions and should not be permitted.
Among the things in special proclamation say that I disapprove of forcing citizens to take the oath.
Executive Office Feby 11 64