State of Illinois
Executive Department Springfield Dec 30, 1864
The Municipal Authorities of the city of Centralia having complained to me that in the 15th of Nov/Ex the 62nd Regt, Ill Infantry Vols on passing thro said city have committed depredations upon the property of the citizins, and in several instances trespassed upon the rights of peaceable citizins. I deem it my duty in Justice to the citizins who have been wronged to cause a investigation to be made of the facts - and to ascertain if possible the names of the persons who have committed the acts referred to, so that remunerative may be made, for the property taken and destroyed.
I therefore hereby request you to investigate the cause of complaint and to ascertain as far as possible the
amount of property destroyed and names of the owners thereof and the names of the persons who destroyed the same and the participants in the lawless proceedings referred to, and to report to me with such recommendations as you may think proper
Your obedt Servant,
Col A. H. Seely
5th Reg. Ill. Cav.
Testimony [addresed?] and given before the Military Commission constituted in accordance with the above request of the Gov of Ill [invir.?] at Centrailia Ill on the 8th of December AD 1864 on the oath of the Witnesses then & there subpaened.
Mr. E. W. Welden being sworn stated that he saw the Boys cutting up a good deal - was standing upon the Station House platform in Centralia - Saw some of the Boys of the 62 break into the Store of Frankel & Co & they took a [cornfort?]. There was a Captain Marshall of the day standing near him whose attention he called to the fact that they were breaking into the Store. He the officer made no attempt to stop them - Saw the boys throw one of their number through his window into the butchers shop of H. Graffe. Saw them make the Ladies give the Street and act in a very unbecoming manner.
Mr. S. Dr. [Newison?] bring sworn
States that a portion of the 62 came up to his Bakery and took just what they wanted. His son commenced hiding things; but soon a dozen or souch a manner would order things and take all that they could reach = Took some $8. to $10. worth of goods. No officer appeared to stop them. They appeared to be new recruits.
Mr. S. Stoner being sworn stated was in his office in Centralia heard noise & went down on to platform and saw one Soldier Breck in A light of glass in front of U.L. . [Ewkins?] Store. Was an officer on Platform who made no attempt to stop them. Were some 15 or 20 Soldiers engaged - others in train below
Mr. G. B. Sanders sworn - Was in Hardware Store of Stoner & Sanders - a few came with Mr. Stone & broke in light, but took no goods. Saw no officer until they placed a guard - 1/2 hour or an hour after this was done - officers were around train is full. Damage about 75c or one dollar
[illegible] of depredations.
Mr. Stephan Warner - We closed up our Store. They thru missiles at our Store and broke one light after We closed. I went out and saw them run after Mr. Paff and threaten him and when he called Guards they went the other way Damage was about one dollar The man who broke the glass was Jack Baldwin of Grand Point, Washington Co., Ill. Damage $6.00
Mr. A. M. Friend being sworn stated, Was at the store of Frankel & Co- some half dozen Soldiers came in, looked as if drunk - picked up 4 [illegible] and went out - one was recovered - They the Clerks attempted to recover the [illegible.] They chased Mr. Frankel to [Minilots?] Hotel threatening to kill him. One returned and kicked out a pane of glass - Damage 3 [illegible] & pane of glass $5.00= Officers were there on the Platform opposite accros the R. R. Track
Mr. W. S. [Ewkins?] being sworn
stated was at work at church - came down to Lumber yard - saw the crowd coming up the Street - some 50 to 75 seemed to be two officers leading - they stole some goods at Frankels & Co broke in the front of the Butchers Gruff came to Blums & broke in his front. Then to H. Strik broke in his windows & went to clean him out. Went into the back door into [illegible] Jewelry Store - Front was closed by clerk they broke in window while was attempting to put Shutters inside. Damage in [illegible] & movement of [illegible] taken from hand & glass broken $26.00 they were led or accompanied by the captains.
Wm H [Strck?] tobaccoist- Sworn stated that some 30 or 40 came smashing into shop with between 300 & 400 cigars two pipes 4 jars chewing tobacco Sent one of workman over to the platform across the street for a guard - Officer said He would send guard presently - Damage $23.00
Mr. E. Markle - sworn stated that the soldiers came in & asked for cakes & pies in his Bakery- some got up on the counter & helped themselves to cigars - two went back of counter & helped themselves to candies &c - threatened to shoot him if he did not let them have what they wanted - the officer came until sometime after - Damage in all $18.00
Mr J Heold - sworn Was Keeper bar room - all at once a crowd of Soldiers came in & filled the [room?] demanding Liquor & one pulled his revolver & told [him?] to put out the [illegible] or he would shoot him - Damage $5.50
Mr. H. Graffe Butcher Sworn -stated the soldiers came & bought sausage & began to take about a peck of turnips - then closed up the shop - they came back &
broke in two windows & took more sausage = Damage $ 8.00 - Officer of day came part of the way in but not till it was all over.
Mr. E. Blum - Jeweller = The Soldiers were cutting up generally & two passing by me this his first through go my front glass - Officer afterwards hurried along and inquired if whiskey had been sold - Saw Soldiers trying to break into Monroe House after the guard was [illegible] - The guards attention was called to the fact - saw it and went the other way behind buildings out of sight - Damage 50 cents- Officers were in sight all of the time -
John Shraeder, Keeper of Monroe House, sworn - stated that some came in & asked for drinks - I gave them some & they went out without paying - I then shut the house - they came back & kicked in the pannell - they took a sett of balls for pool table cost - of balls & damage to door $35.00 A Lieutenant broke in the door--
Saw a guard, but as soon as the Lieutenant commenced to wreak the door the guard ran away
C.S. Adell - Keeper of Eating House sworn - stated that Soldiers came & demanded eatables & other things, some 30 came in & no of officers were among them -Got them out as soon as possible & closed up. Damage in [illegible] Weights of scales & other things $ 5.00 = They came back a second time but House was closed up
S P Tufts - Assistant Assem sworn stated - was coming from home down Chestnut St - heard a noise and saw a squad of Soldiers chasing a man - the went into Streks Tobacco Store - When Strek told them they could have what they wanted - Her Tufts commended that they keep quiet and they told him to dry up - so officers with them - saw them break in the window of Ewkins Store - saw them go down the street with Graffes - saw them take meat & turnips and threw a quarter beef into the street - officer of the
day and other officers here in full sight & said nothing - [illegible]
Mr. Weldon endeaverd to get officers to interfere, but without success
Richard Noble sworn stated - I am Keeper of the Munich Hotel - 5 or 6 of us were sitting in the bar room when H. Frankel came running into the Munich House & a squad of soldiers after him, one threw a missil & broke the glass of the door which cost - $1.00 = they sneked into the house to find Frankel - They had their pistols out warning them & threatening to Kill Frankel if they could find him. Some seemed to be drunk & some were sober. Col. True & others were standing on the platform in full sight of the transaction & made no attempt to stop the same - Saw them strike a woman over the head as she was passing down the walk - Caps E. M. Jordan was one of the officers belonging to the 62
Findings of the Commission are that on the 15th day of November AD 1864, a detachment all of the 62nd Regt Ill Inftry Vols stopped at the city of Centralia Ill. and a portion of said troops whose names were unknown to the injured citizens or witnesses (with the Exception of Jack Baldwin of Grand Point, Washington Co, Ill) did conduct themselves in a manner entirely unbecoming a Soldier of the U. S. Army and Gentlemen and good citizens - that they did Steal property = destroy the same- insult the citizins threatening to shoot and kill them- and all this in the presence of some, if not all, of the officers of said Regt -The Col True and the officer of the day being within sight and witnessing much if not all of the disturbance without making any effort to check the same although re-
quested so to do, until all the damage was done. when a guard was posted which in one instance at least ran the other way when his assistance was called by the suffering citiizins.
The Commission would respectfully recommend that Col True be compelled to make a suitable Apology to the city of Centralia Ill, for this disgraceful conduct of his the 62nd Reg Ill Vols, while stopping in that City - on the 15th of November 1864 while enroute South - He being present (Col True) and witnessing the same without making any effort to check or control his men until the damage was all done and also to pay to the lossers, the amount of property [illegible]. has been taken or destroyed, belonging to the following named parties
S. Dickinson - Baker $8.00 Stiner & Sanders. Hardware 1.00 S. M. Warner Merchant 1.00 Frankel Co " 5.00 W. L. [Ewkins?] - Jeweller 20.00 H. Strck Tobacoist 23.00 E. Markle Baker 18.00 J. Held Saloon 5.50 C. Graffe Butcher 8.00 E. Blum - Jeweller .50 John Shraeder - Hotel Keeper 35.00 G. L. Odell - Eating House 5.00 Richard Noble - Hotel Keeper 1.00
Respectfully your Obedient Servant
A H Seley
Lt Col 5th Ill Vol Cav
Seely Col A. H.
Centralia Dec 8/1864
Submits Report of a military commn summoned by him to investigate the case of damages done to the citizens of Centralia by 62d Regt. as per your request in letter of recent date.
Attend to promptly.