Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial transcript no. 1.
Testimony of Charles Spierling, 1886 July 19.

Volume I, 342-345, 4 p.
Spierling, Charles.
Police officer, Chicago Police Department.

Direct examination by Mr. Ingham. Cross-examination by Captain Black. Testified on behalf of the Prosecution, People of the State of Illinois.

Police officer at Haymarket. Claims in his testimony to have seen Samuel Fielden shoot at the police from behind the wagon. Testified on various topics (page numbers provide a partial guide): position of the defendants and others on the speakers' wagon (vol.I 344), actions of police during the Haymarket meeting (vol.I 345), time and place origination of the gunfire (vol.I 343), Fielden, Samuel (vol.I 342).

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a witness produced on behalf of the People, after having been duly sworn, testified as follows:

Direct Examination by
Mr. Ingham.

Q Were you present at the Haymarket?

A Yes.

Q What company were you in?

A In Lieutentant Quinn's company.

Q Which rank was that?

A The first rank.

Q Were you in the front rank as they marched down?

A Yes.

Q How far were you from the east--- how many men between you and the east line?

A I should think about twelve men.

Q How many men between you and the east all together?

A About twelve men.

Q So you were the thirteenth man from the east?

A Yes.

Q Where were you when the bomb exploded?

A I was facing north.

Q Did you see the bomb before it exploded?

A No sir.

Q How far were you from the wagon at that time?

A About ten or twelve feet.

Q Did you see any man making a speech from the wagon?

A Yes.

Q What happened after the bomb exploded; tell what you saw?

A I saw Mr. Fielden get off of the wagon and fire one shot.

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Q Where was he standing with reference to the wagon when you saw the shot fired?

A Behind the wagon on the sidewalk.

Q In which direction did he fire the shot?

A West.

Q Was that before or after the bomb exploded?

A They seemed to come pretty near together.

Q Was it before or after, if you can tell.

A I think it was a little before.

Q Are you positive that the pistol shot was first or the bomb?

A I think the pistol shot was a little the first.

Q How close did they come together, as you heard them?

A Well, hardly a second a part.

Q What happened after that?

A I pulled out my pistol and I fired two shots at the wagon, at the crowd.

Q Then what did you do?

A Then I turned to the west and fired three shots at the crowd that was going west.

Q Did you notice Fielden after he fired the first shot?

A Yes, I saw him over at the wagon, firing just like that (indicating.)

Q After the shot was fired did you pay any attention to him?

A No sir, I did not.

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Cross Examination by

Q How many shots did you see Fielden fire?

A One shot.

Q You say you think that shot was a little ahead of the explosion of the bomb?

A Yes.

Q Did you see Fielden on the wagon when you came up?

A Yes.

Q How many people were on the wagon at that time?

A I should think three or four; I could not say exactly.

Q Did you see Fielden get off of the wagon?

A Yes.

Q Whereabouts did he alight from the wagon?

A I could not say hardly; I think about the center of the wagon he got off; between the two wheels.

Q The center of the rear of the wagon?

A The side of the wagon.

Q Are you sure about that?

A To the east side of the sidewalk.

Q The man that you saw fire, then, was the man who stepped off of the wagon to the sidewalk directly from about the middle of the side of the wagon.

A Towards the hind wheel.

Q But between the wheels?

A Yes.

Q And he stepped from the wagon directly to the sidewalk and then turned around and fired?

A Yes.

Q That is the man that you say fired?

A Yes.

Q You think all that happened before the bomb exploded---

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a little before the bomb exploded---is that right?

A Yes.

Q You did not see the bomb itself?

A No.

Q As to your location---you were in the front rank of Quinn's Company, were you?

A Yes.

Q Quinn's company occupied the left of the first division?

A Yes.

Q Extending from about the center of Desplaines Street over to the west curbstone?

A Yes.

Q What number did you occupy in Quinn's company?

A Number three in the first set of fours.

Q You mean in the first four?

A In the first set of fours of Quinn's company.

Q Did that bring you to the second man from the right? or did it bring you to the third man from the right of his company?

A To the third man.

Q And between Quinn's company and the sidewalk to the east stood Steele's company?

A Yes.

Q Do you remember how many men Steele had in his company that night?

A I cannot exactly, I think about twenty-four or five.

Q You stood number three in the front rank of Quinn's company?

A Yes.

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