1st Artillery Regiment (Light)
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
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
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.
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'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,
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
March 14, 2006