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1st Artillery Regiment (Light)
Battery M
Civil War Newspaper Clippings

From the Buffalo Courier
The Case of Capt. Cothran.-- We notice by the Rochester papers that Capt. Cothran of Lockport, has been held to bail by the U. S. Commissioner, to await the action of the Grand jury. We present below a statement of the nature of the charge upon which he has been arrested:
Capt. Cothran recruited his battery at Lockport in September and October l861. While so recruiting his men a portion of them were subsisted at the Washington House in Lockport, kept by Mrs. Frazer. On the 11th of October '61, he left Lockport with his men and went to the military Depot at Rochester. About the 20th or 21st October he made out the bill of Mrs. Frazer; she executed the voucher for the same at $125.80, which was presented to Capt. Marshall, the mustering and disbursing officer at Rochester, and paid by him at that amount to Capt Cothran, who was authorized to receive the same by Mrs. Frazer. About the first of May, 1862, Capt. Cothran was notified while with his command in Virginia, that there was an error in his account, and that he had taken a voucher from Mrs. Frazer for a larger amount than he should have done. He at once addressed a letter to the Adjutant General (Thomas,) saying, that if such was the case he would cheerfully correct any error; that he had not yet had an opportunity to settle with Mrs. F. but would do so, and if any error existed would cheerfully correct it.
He then procured a leave of absence from his command; came home, and on or about the 22d of May settled the account in full with Mrs. Frazer then addressed a letter to Adjutant General Thomas, stating the settlement of the account, and that by a mistake $35 had been overcharged or paid. At Washington the question had been referred by Major Lee, Ass't Acting Adjutant General to Capt. Geo. D. Ruggles to examine the report. After an examination, the Captain reported that $35 had been overdrawn by Capt. Cothran, and that on payment of that sum to Capt. John Elmwood, mustering officer at Washington all further proceedings be discontinued, and on the 2nd of June 1862, the money was paid by Capt. Cothran to Capt. Elmwood and receipt taken. Capt. Cothran left the "service about the 1st of March last in consequence of ill health, and was honorably discharged by resignation, on the 24th of April.
These are briefly the facts in this case, and they warrant, at least, the suspension of public opinion, until a trial shall determine whether he is guilty of any intention to defraud the Government, or whether other motives than those of public justice have prompted his arrest.

Arrest of Capt. Cothran of Lockport. Charged with defrauding the Government. Last evening Deputy U.S. Marshall Tucker of Lockport, arrived in the city, having in Geo. W. Cothran custody Capt. Geo. W. Cothran, formerly of Cothran's Battery. He is charged with defrauding the Government while connected with the Battery. The battery company was encamped at Camp Hillhouse, while the 8th Cavalry were here. Capt. Cothran's examination will take place this morning before U.S. Commissioner Storrs.
Roch. Democrat

GEO. W. COTHRAN.—Last June George W. Cothran, of Lockport, who had been in command of a volunteer battery, was arrested, brought here and held to answer a charge of defrauding the government by false vouchers. At the late term of the U. S. Court at Buffalo the case came up on demurrer which the Court sustained and Cothran was discharged. It appears by a statement in the Commercial that the sum involved was $35 assigned to a Mrs. Frazer at . Lockport for boarding men. Mrs. F. wrote a letter to the Department at Washington stating the facts—the $35 was paid back and a receipt given to Cothran. So much for that.
We have a letter from this individual requesting a publication of the statement of the Commercial, which is all well enough. But he makes statements which are entirely false in said letter, and gives newspaper conductors instructions and advice which would come with more propriety from some other quarter. Cothran states that this "paper was the most virulent and abusive of all newspapers that alluded to my arrest last June on charge of presenting false vouchers, &c."
Now by reference to our files we find no virulence or abuse. We could have scarcely said less and referred to the fact. Cothran was mixed in certain matters which caused much talk, and on which there has been considerable published in this and other papers. We allude to the Collins case. Villainy of the deepest dye marks an attempt to defraud a widow of her property, but it may appear that Cothran is not the guilty party in the Collins case.
We find by referring to the files of June last that the Rochester Democrat reproached this paper with partiality to Cothran because he was a Democrat. This we denied then and deny it now. We have neither attempted to prejudge this man nor have we shown him a n y special favor upon the ground that he was a Democrat. When dealing with men charged with crime, we do not want to know their politics.

WEIDRICH'S BATTERY — Capt. Weidrich, of Weidrich's Battery, writes home that out of 135 of his men 113 re-enlisted. Only sixty-two however, were accepted, the balance not having served twenty-one months. The newly enlisted men will soon be home on furlough in charge of Lieut. Sahm and Lieut. Smith, the Captain himself being in charge of several batteries, with which he is compelled to remain. The veterans are as follows:
John Deicht, John Gerber, Frank Pashka, Jacob Seibold, Walter Wilson.
Wermann Francis, Louis Weideman, Chas. Swartz.
Joseph Baut, Phil. Bachert , Andy Bergman, Helman Deibrich, Henry B. Eifred, H. Fuerschbach, Christ. Fornhotz, Geo Fisher, Frank Hartman, Jacob Kramerler, Geo. Kuhn, John May, John Meyer, Wm. Miller, Anthony Miller, Henry Sheffer, Martin Prisse, Geo. J. Scheffer, Louis Serg, John Swerin, A. Van de Brooke, Peter Zinen
Chas. Andell, John Deze, Jacob Hirt, Jacob Hubacker, John Hoff, Christ. Schoen, Adam M. Smith, Geo. Schruer, Henry Weska
Christian Boller, C. Grundberger, Geo. Smith
Chas. Kohl, Henry Klee.
Jacob Bear, Louis Vetter
George Burchard, Chas. Lorz, Wm. Maeller
Jas. Austin, Wm. Snearly, Anson Taylor
Phil. Germain, Henry Kramer, Phil Strang. Elma, John Garby; Gatesville, Julius Jardain; Lancaster, Alex. McGibney; Williamsville, Joseph Debel; West Seneca, Ernst Haut.

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New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: March 14, 2006

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