Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 28, 1864

This a date that has been thought about every year for 148 years.

This is the date of the "Charleston Riot' that occurred in the town where I was born, and the previous 3 generations in my family...my family has lived there since 1833. 
The Riot was between Union soldiers and southern sympathizers known as "Copperheads".
2 of my family members were wounded and one disappeared never to be heard of again.
My 3rd Great Uncle Benjamin Franklin Toland who disappeared.
Check out the gun!

The unusual thing is the link to President Abraham Lincoln and my 2nd Great Grandfather
Young Ewing Winkler.
They were born 11 months apart in adjoining Kentucky counties.
Both of their families moved to Indiana the same year, to the same county. A book about Lincoln's early years mentions the neighbors, the Winkler's.
They all moved to Illinois the same year. The Lincoln's moving to southern Coles County and the Winkler's in the north part of the county.
In 1841  Lincoln was a lawyer for Young Ewing Winkler.
Young was married 3 times and saw all his wives die before him.
He had 3 children from each wife.
My Great Grandfather was the youngest of them all.

Here is a letter that Dennis Hanks wrote to his cousin President Abraham Lincoln about the Riot. This letter leaves know doubt that Young Ewing and Lincoln were well acquainted. It still gives me chills to think he is sitting in the White House and reading about my GGGrandfather.
As you can read, Dennis Hanks blamed the "drunken soldiers".

Dennis Hanks efforts paid off and Lincoln pardoned all the men. But not before many of them served time in Fort Delaware, one died of his infirmaries (another one of my Uncles).
Some families never mentioned it, in my family it was discussed every generation.
Young Ewing lived to be 92 and his son who was shot lived until 1905. 
I just recently read the obituary of  Colonel Greenville Mitchell who was involved,
in the obituary it states " and the man who almost killed Colonel Mitchell still walks the streets"
That is Young Ewing Winkler's son Robert.
By the time they died they were all well respected men of the community.
Robert Winkler at his home north of Charleston IL

In 2014 it will be the 150th anniversary.

We will be having a 3 day event.
I have alot of work to do. I am on the Steering Committee.
When people ask you, "if there is anyone that you could talk to from the past, who would it be?"
My answer is Young Ewing Winkler.

What a man he was.....


ann said...

What an amazing family history and a really cool reason to celebrate and have a family reunion. There really is such pride in our ancestors who were the early Americans who had a hand in shaping this great nation. I am glad that you proudly shared your story.

NanaDiana said...

My gosh, Ann! What an interesting history. I love that you have all this knowledge about your family. What an amazing family you have! It is too bad that there was never any closure for the family when he disappeared. How sad~ xo Diana

Olive said...

I declare Ann your blog is aptly named as you know so much exciting family history. I would like to meet C.S. Lewis.

nannykim said...

fascinating stuff!! My mom was a Hanks and she is supposed to be related some how to Lincoln.

Tete said...

Awesome! I know about he Riot but had no idea you had family in it! How cool. I have to tell Craig about this, him being a history major and all that. Plus he went to EIU and our family donated half of the land for the court house ground. Parkers.