Inspector John Bonfield report to Frederick Ebersold, General Superintendent of Police, 1886 May 30.
Chicago (Ill.). Police Department.
Bonfield, John, 1836-1898.
1 item (17 p.); 14 1/2 x 9 3/4 in.
(CHS ICHi 31355)

Inspector John Bonfield's report to Superintendent Frederick Ebersold regarding the police's actions at the Haymarket meeting on May 4, 1886. Report signed by Bonfield. Includes accompanying reports from Captain William Ward, Lieutenant Martin Quinn, Lieutenant Edward Steele, Lieutenant James Bowler, Lieutenant James P. Stanton, Lieutenant George A. Hubbard, Sergeant John E. Fitzpatrick, Lieutenant Frances Penzen and Lieutenant J. P. Beard.


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DEPARTMENT OF POLICE
INSPECTOR AND SECRETARY'S OFFICE
CHICAGO, ILLS,....1886

Frdrk. Ebersold, Esqr,
General Superintindent of Police

Sir:

On Tuesday, May 4th, the attention of our department was called to a circular headed, "Revenge," and also to the fact that an Anarchist meeting was to be held that evening on Randolph Street near DesPlaines Street, on the square known in years gone by, as the haymarket, but owing to reasons known only to the prime movers of the meeting it was changed to about 90 feet north of Randolph on DesPlaines street and near the intersection of an alley, to better serve their purposes.

On the afternoon of the day above mentioned, his Honor, the Mayor, ordered that the Department of Police keep watch of the meeting, and if any of the speakers should advise their hearers to acts of violence, it would be our duty as conservators of the peace, to go to the place of meeting in sufficient force and order them to peaceably disperse, the order to be as directed by law {See Revised Statutes of Illinois, Chapter 38, Section 253}. To carry out the instructions of the Mayor, Captain Ward of the 3rd precinct was ordered to call all his available men to DesPlaines Street Station. Capt. Ward's command consisted of one hundred men under the command of Lieutenants Bowler, Stanton, Penzen and Beard. In addition to the above there was present 26 men from the Central Detail commanded by Lieut. G. W. Hubbard and Sergeant John E. Fitzpatrick and 50 men from the 4th Precinct with Lieuts. Steele and Quinn. The entire force present consisting of one Captain, seven Lieutenants and one hundred and seventy-six men.

At the suggestion of the Mayor, and with your permission I went to DesPlaines Street Station and took command of the entire force assembled at that point. By your orders detectives were sent out to mingle with the crowd and were ordered to pay strict attention to the speakers, and if any thing of an incendiary nature was advised, the officers were to report to me at the DesPlaines Street Station.

About 9 o'clock, P.M., I was informed that the meeting was not being held on the market place, but they had moved to a point on DesPlaines Street, between Randolph and Lake Streets and about 350 feet from DesPlaines Street Station. At different times, between 8:00 and 9:30 o'clock, P.M., officers in plain clothes reported the progress of the meeting and stated that nothing of a very inflammatory nature was said until a man named Fielden or Fielding took the stand. He advised his hearers, "To throttle the law," "It would be as well for them to die fighting as to starve to death." He further advised them "To exterminate the capitalists and to do it that night." Wanting to be clearly within the law, and wishing to leave no room for doubt as to the propriety of our actions, I did not act on the first reports, but sent the officers back to make further observations. A few minutes after 10 o'clock, P.M., the officers returned and reported that the crowd were getting excited and the speaker growing more incendiary in


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his language. I then felt to hesitate any longer would be criminal on my part, and then gave the order to fall in and our force formed on Waldo Place.

The annexed diagram will show the position of the different companies as we were in position on DesPlaines Street. The companies of Lieutenants Steele and Quinn formed the first division, Lieut. Steele on the right. The companies of Lieutenants Stanton and Bowler formed the second division, Lieut. Bowler on the right. The third division consisted of 26 men from the Central Detail under command of Lieut. Hubbard and Sergt. Fitzpatrick. Two companies commanded by Lieutenants Beard and Penzen brought up the rear. Their orders were to form right and left on Randolph Street and guard our rear from any attack from the Haymarket on Randolph St.

In this order we marched north on DesPlaines Street, {Captain Ward and myself in front of the first division,} until within a few feet of the truck upon which the speakers were standing and around which a large crowd had congregated. The command, halt, was given, and Captain Ward stepping forward to within about three feet of the truck, said, "I command you, in the name of the People of the State to immediately and peaceably disperse," and turning to the crowd of persons on the right and left, said, "I command you and you to assist." Fielden or Fielding turned and got off the truck and as he reached the sidewalk, said in rather a loud voice, "We are peaceable." Almost instantly, I heard a hissing sound behind me followed by a tremendous explosion. The explosion was immediately followed by a volley of pistol shots from the sidewalks and street in front of us.

The explosion was caused by a dynamite bomb which was thrown into our ranks from the east sidewalk, and fell in the second division and near the dividing line between the companies of Lieuts. Stanton and Bowler. For an instant the entire command of the above named officers, with many of the first and third divisions was thrown to the ground. Alas many never to rise again. The men recovered, instantly, and returned the fire of the mob. Lieuts. Steele and Quinn charged the mob on the street, while the company of Lieut. Hubbard with the few uninjured members of the second division swept both sidewalks with a hot and telling fire, and in a few minutes the Anarchists were flying in every direction. I then gave the order to cease firing, fearing that some of our men, in the darkness might fire into each other.

I then ordered the patrol wagons to called, made details to take care of the dead and wounded, placed guards around the station and called for physicians to attend to our wounded men.

The reports of Captain Ward and the Lieutenants engaged which are attached and form a part of this report will give all details as to the killed and wounded. It is surprising to many that our men stood and did not get demoralized under such trying circumstances.


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It has been asserted that regular troops have become panic stricken from less cause. I see no way to account for it except this: The soldier acts as part of a machine, rarely, if ever, when on duty is he allowed to act as an individual or to use his personal judgement. A police officers training teaches him to be self-reliant. Day after day and night after night he goes on duty alone, and when in conflict with the thief and the burglar, he has to depend upon his own individual exertions. The soldier being part of a machine it follows that when a part of it gives out, the rest is useless until the injury is repaired. The policeman being a machine in himself, rarely, if ever gives up until he is laid on the ground and unable to rise again.

In conclusion, I beg leave to report, that the conduct of the men and officers, with few exceptions, was admirable. As a military man said to me the next day, "Worthy the heroes of a hundred battles." Of one officer, I beg leave to make special mention. Immediately after the explosion I looked behind me and saw the greater portion of the second division on the ground. I gave the order to the men to close up, and in an instant, Sergeant John E. Fitzpatrick was at my side and repeated the order. To show our appreciation of the Sergeants gallant conduct, I would respectfully recommend to his Honor, the Mayor, and yourself, the promotion of the Sergeant to a Lieutenancy as soon as a vacancy occurs. I am satisfied that the department does not contain a braver or a better officer.

Respectfully Submitted,

John Bonfield
Insp & Secty
Department of Police


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MAP SHOWING LOCATION OF RIOT ON TUESDAY NIGHT, MAY 4TH 1886.
DESCRIPTION

1. DESPLAINES STREET POLICE STATION.

2. WAGON UPON WHICH THE INCENDIARY ORATORS STOOD.

3. FISH BOXES WHICH WERE ON SIDEWALK NIGHT OF RIOT.

4. PLACE WHERE BOMB EXPLODED, 38 FEET FROM FISH BOXES.

5. CRANE BRO'S MANUFACTURING COMPANY'S BUILDING, 60 FEET 7 INCHES IN HEIGHT, 130 FEET 4 INCHES FRONT AND 152 FEET LONG.

6. N.E. CORNER, RANDOLPH AND DESPLAINES STS., 3 STORY AND BASEMENT BRICK, 43 FEET, 3 INCHES HIGH, 20 FEET FRONT AND 90 FEET LONG.

7. N. W. CORNER, RANDOLPH AND DESPLAINES STS., 4 STORY AND BASEMENT BRICK BUILDING, 51 FEET 4 INCHES HIGH, 19 FEET 6 INCHES FRONT AND 90 FEET LONG.

8. S. W. CORNER, RANDOLPH AND DESPLAINES STS., 2 STORY AND BASEMENT FRAME BUILDING, 24 FEET HIGH, 40 FEET 6 INCHES FRONT AND 40 FT. 6 IN. LONG.

9. S. E. CORNER, RANDOLPH AND DESPLAINES STS., TWO STORY FRAME BUILDING, 24 FEET 6 INCHES HIGH, 77 FEET LONG AND 20 FEET FRONT.

10. IRON STAIRS.

11. PRIVATE ALLEY.

12. WHERE BOMB EXPLODED.

13. DISTANCE FROM BUILDING TO WHERE BOMB EXPLODED.

14. DISTANCE FROM STATION TO WHERE BOMB EXPLODED.

15. INSPECTOR BONFIELD.

16. CAPT. WARD

17. LIEUT. QUINN AND COMPANY

18. " STEELE " " }50 MEN.

19. " STANTON " "

20. " BOWLER " " }43 "

21. " HUBBARD " "

22. SERG'T. FITZPATRICK AND COMPANY, }26 MEN.

23. LIEU'T. PENZEN " " 24 "

24. " BEARD " " 25 "

25. FORMING OF COMPANIES OF POLICE PRIOR TO RIOT, TOTAL NUMBER, INCLUDING OFFICERS, 178.

SCALE, 80 FT., TO ONE INCH


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PLAN SHOWING DESTRUCTIVE POWER OF GAS PIPE BOMBS, EXPERIMENTED WITH BY CAPT. BONFIELD AND ASSISTANTS ON TUESDAY, MAY 25th 1886.
EXPLANATION

A. BOX CONSTRUCTED OF FOUR, 2 X 4 INCH BY 6 FEET, CORNER PIECES, 1 BY 8 INCH, 6 FEET, LONG SIDE PIECES, FORMING A BOX 6 FEET SQUARE WITHOUT TOP OR BOTTOM.

B. LARGE KNOT WITH PIECE OF BENT AND JAGGED IRON BLOWN FROM BOMB INTO SAME.

C. PIECES OF BOX COMPLETELY BLOWN OUT.

D. NAILS LOOSENED IN NORTH AND SOUTH ENDS OF BOX, BY CONCUSSION.

E. BOARDS BLOWN IN TWO PIECES.

F. 2 X 4 INCH CORNER PIECE.

G. ALL DOTS ON THIS PLAN REPRESENTS HOLES THROUGH WHICH PORTIONS OF BOMB AND MISSILES WITH WHICH IT WAS LOADED PASSED.

H. SPLINTERS AROUND HOLES.

SCALE, 1 FOOT TO THE INCH


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DesPlaines Street Station
Chicago, Ills, May 24th 1886.

John Bonfield Esqr.
Sec'y and Inspector of Police,

Sir:

I respectfully report to you that on the 4th inst it was reported and advertised, that an anarchist meeting was to be held that evening on haymarket square. Lieut. Hubbard, Sergt. Fitzpatrick and twenty-six patrolmen from the Central Detail, Lieuts. Steele and Quinn and fifty men from the 4th Precinct and Lieuts. Bowler, Penzen, Stanton and Beard with one hundred men were held on reserve at this station. At about 10 o'clock P. M., policemens in citizens dress reported that a large crowd had assembled on DesPlaines just north of Randolph St. and speeches of an incendiary nature were being made. Inspector Bonfield ordered them back to the meeting to note further what was said, and a few minutes later the same officers reported that the speakers advised the people to, "Attack the capitalists," "Throttle the law," "stab the law," and other such language. Inspector Bonfield then gave the order to get the men into line, which was done by forming them on Waldo Place in the following order, viz: Lieut. E. J. Steele with twenty five men, Lieut. M. Quinn with twenty five men, Lieut. James Bowler and Sergt. R. J. Moore with twenty five men, Lieut. James P. Stanton with eighteen men, Lieut. Geo. W. Hubbard and Sergeant J. E. Fitzpatrick with twenty six men. We then moved east to DesPlaines St, then north on DesPlaines St by left flank, two companies front. Lieut's. Steele and Quinn in advance followed by Lieut's. Bowler and Stanton in same order, with Lieut. Hubbard next. Lieut's. Beard and Penzen were ordered to wheel to the right and to the left on Randolph Street and halt any attack on our rear from that street. We marched to about 90 feet north of Randolph Street to where the meeting was held. I saw a man, whom I afterwards identified as Fielding, standing on a truck wagon at the corner of what is known as Crane's Alley. I raised by baton and in a loud voice, ordered them to disperse as peaceable citizens. I also called upon three persons in the crowd to assist in dispersing the mob. Fielding got down from the wagon, saying at the time, "We are peaceable," as he uttered the last word, I heard a terrible explosion behind where I was standing, followed almost instantly by an irregular volley of pistol shots in our front and from the sidewalk on the east side of the street, which was immediately followed by regular and well directed volleys from the police and which was kept up for several minutes. I then ordered the injured men brought to the stations and sent for surgeons to attend to their injuries. After receiving the necessary attention most of the injured officers were removed to the County Hospital and I highly appreciate the manner in which they were received by Warden McGarrigle who did all in his power to make them comfortable as possible.

Respectfully,
William Ward, Capt. 3rd Prect.


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West Chicago Avenue Station
Chicago, Ills, May 12th 1886.

John Bonfield,
Inspector of Police

Sir:

Obedient to orders received at 7 30 o'clock, P.M. from Fredk. Ebersold, General Superintendent of Police, for 50 men to report at DesPlaines Street Police Station, I was detailed and placed in command of 25 men by order of Capt. A. W. Hathaway and in pursuance of said order reported the command and myself at DesPlaines Street Station at about 7 45 o'clock, P. M., to Inspector John Bonfield for duty.

The entire force present was informed that an unlawful meeting was about to be held on DesPlaines Street near Randolph Street, with orders to prohibit the same and if not complied with, to disperse said meeting. At about 10 15 o'clock, P.M., on the above mentioned evening, Inspector Bonfield gave the command to fall in, myself and command being placed second company on the right. Starting from Waldo Place we marched into DesPlaines Street, the right of the first company being commanded by Lieut. E. J. Steele. The order forward, brought us to within about six feet of an improvised stand, a flat truck wagon, where several speakers were present and a man then speaking to the assembly. The command, halt, was given and at this moment, the speaker pointing to our advancing force, remarked, "There are the bloodhounds coming, you do your duty and I will do mine." Capt. William Ward of the 3rd precinct then stepped forward to the speakers stand and addressing the speakers as also the entire assembly, said, "I, as an officer of the law, in the name of the People of the State of Illinois, do hereby command you to disperse," and at the same time calling upon law abiding citizens to assist him in so doing. As Capt. Ward had finished his last sentence, a shell was thrown into our ranks, immediately afterwards a volley of shots were fired into us from the crowd. The command at once returned the fire, being assisted by the entire force on the scene and were successful in dispersing the mob. After this all available men of my command, as also a part of Lieut. Steele's command remained on the ground until 2 A. M. next day by orders from Inspector Bonfield. I would further state that the conduct of the men in my command was excellent without exception.

The following is a list of the men injured in my command.

[four columns, left to right]

[first column]
Officer B. F. Schnell
" J. K. McMahon
" Freman Steele
" Jacob Johnson

[second column]
Officer J. L. Simonsen
" Timothy Flavihan
" Simon McMahon

[third column]
Officer Simon Klidzio
" Peter McCormick
" Nels Hanson

[fourth column]
Officer Carl Johnson
" Samuel Helgo
" Joseph Gilso

Officer Timothy Flavihan who was very seriously wounded, died at the County Hospital at 5 o'clock, P. M., May 8th

Respectfully Yours,

Martin Quinn
Lieutenant of Police


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West Chicago Avenue Station
Chicago, Ills, May 12th 1886.

John Bonfield, Esqr.,
Inspector of Police.

Sir:

Obedient to orders received at 7 30 o'clock P.M., May 4th from Frederick Ebersold, General Superintendent of Police for 50 police officers to report at DesPlaines Street Station, Captain A. W. Hathaway detailed myself and 25 men, and in pursuance of said order I reported the command and myself to Inspector John Bonfield at DesPlaines Street Station at about 7 45 o'clock, P.M.

The entire force present was informed that an unlawful meeting was about to be held on DesPlaines Street near Randolph Street, with orders to prohibit the same and if not complied with, to disperse said meeting. About 10 15 o'clock, P.M., on the evening mentioned above, Inspector Bonfield gave the command to fall in, myself and command being placed on the right of the column. Starting from Waldo Place we marched into DesPlaines Street, double company front was formed, the left of the first company being commanded by Lieut. Martin Quinn. The order, forward, brought us to within about six feet of an improvised stand, a flat truck wagon, where several speakers were present and a man named Fielding then speaking to the assembly. The command halt, was given and at this moment, the speaker, pointing to our advancing force, remarked, "There are the bloodhounds coming, do your duty and I will do mine." Capt. William Ward of the 3rd precinct, then stepped forward to the speakers stand and addressing the speaker as also the entire assembly, said, "I, as an officer of the law in the name of the People of the State of Illinois do hereby command you to disperse," at the same time calling upon law abiding citizens to assist him in so doing. As Capt. Ward had finished his last sentence a shell was thrown into the ranks in the rear of Lieut. Martin Quinn's company there exploding. At the same time a volley of shots were fired into our ranks from the crowd, the command at once returned the fire being assisted by the entire force on the scene were successful in dispersing the mob.

As to the conduct of the officers during the struggle I would state that they all acted prompt and with precision and courage, with one exception. Officer Charles Dombrowski, a new member of the force, deserted his command and fled to a friends house on Halsted Street. Said officer was subsequently discharged from the force by order of Fredk. Ebersold, Gen'l Superintendent of Police.

The following is a list of the officers in my command who were injured during the struggle.

[Three columns, reading left to right]

[first column]
Officer C. W. Gainor
" Henry Weineke
" Edward Ruel

[second column]
Officer Herman Krueger
" Edward Barrett

[third column]
Officer Charles Dombrowski
" Patrick McNulty

Respectfully Yours,

E. J. Steele,
Lieutenant of Police


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DesPlaines Street Station
May 5th 1886.

William Ward, Esqr.,
Captain Commanding 3rd Precinct.

Sir:

I respectfully report to you that on the 4th inst., there was an Anarchist meeting held on DesPlaines Street between Lake and Randolph Streets. About 10 15 o'clock P.M. on the above mentioned date, Inspector Bonfield and Capt. Ward called seven companies of men together.

At the command, fall in, from Inspector Bonfield, we formed on Waldo Place and marched into DesPlaines to about 90 feet north of Randolph St. to within a few feet of the speakers stand, a flat truck wagon. I could distinctly hear you give the order for the speakers and crowd to disperse, "in the name of the State, as peaceable citizens. The speaker then paused for a moment and the next instant a bombshell was thrown into our midst, wounding nineteen of my men out of a company of twenty-six. I was momentarily stunned, but soon recovered myself and ordered what men I had left to charge on the crowd. We fired several shots each, and then used our clubs to good advantage. Both sides of the street was covered with wounded men, but most of the crowd was north on DesPlaines Street. After the shooting was over, Sergeant R. Moore, Officers Wessler, Foley, Meany, Asping, R. Walsh and myself went to assist the wounded. During the struggle I saw Inspector Bonfield, Captain Ward, Lieut. Hubbard, Sergeants Moore and Fitzpatrick several times.

The following shows the names of the officers in my company also the names of the wounded.

[Two columns, left to right]

[first column]
Lieut. James Bowler
Srgt. Richard J. Moore
Patrolman George Miller. Died from injuries received.
" John J. Barrett. " " " "
" Michael Sheehan. " " " "
" John Reed, bullet wounds in both legs, below knees.
" Lawrence J. Murphy. Half of left foot blown off shell, two shell wounds in the right leg, one in the right hip, two bullet wounds in the right leg, also one on the left side of neck.
" John E. Doyle, two bullet wounds in right leg below the knee, three shell wounds in the left leg, below the knee.
" Arthur Conolly, two shell wounds in the right leg, bullet wound in the right arm.

[second column]
Patrolman Nicholas J. Shannon, bullet wound in the back, seventeen shell wounds in the lower part of both legs.
" Adam S. Barber, bullet wound in right heel, shell wounds in the lower and back part of both legs.
" James Conway, shell wound through the lower part of the right leg.
" Thomas McEnery, ten shell wounds in both legs.
" Patrick Hartford, two shell wounds in the left leg, bullet wound through the right heel, three toes of left food shot off.
" Louis Johneson, shell wound in the lower part of the left leg.
" Frank P. Tyrell, two shell wounds in the fleshy part of the left thigh.


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[two columns, left to right]

[first column]
Patrolman August C. Keller, shell wound above the left hip, bullet wound in left side.
" James Brady, four shell wounds in the lower part of both legs.
" Peter Foley, not injured.
" John Wessler, " "
" Thomas Meany, " "

[second column]
Patrolman John H. King, shell wound in the right jaw, and two bullet wounds in the right leg.
" Robert J. Walsh, not injured.
" Hugo Asping, " "
" Edward Griffin, " "
" William L. Sanderson, " "

Respectfully Yours,

James Bowler,
Lieutenant of Police


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West Lake Street Station
Chicago, Ills, May 17th 1886.

William Ward, Esqr.,
Captain Commanding 3rd Precint

Sir:

I beg leave to make the following report of the part taken by myself and company in the Haymarket Riot on the evening of the 4th inst.

I formed my company on Waldo place about 10 15 o'clock, P.M., and marched east into DesPlaines Street, then north on that street by company front to about 90 feet north of Randolph Street and came to a halt and in about six or eight seconds I saw the bomb just before it struck the ground. I noticed a fuse about an inch long attached to the shell, which exploded a few seconds later. It fell directly in front and near the center of my company and about four feet to my left. I think it was thrown from the east side of the street. Shooting began immediately after the shell exploded and continued from three to five minutes. I turned to look after my men and found they were scattered and the most of them injured. I ordered them to fire and proceeded to do so myself and continued to so until exhausted by the loss of blood from my wounds. I was then taken to the DesPlaines Street Station and soon afterwards to the County Hospital. My company consisted of eighteen men and myself. The balance of my men were detailed in other companies.

Respectfully Yours,

James P. Stanton
Lieutenant of Police.

West Lake Street Station
Chicago, Ills, May 17th 1886.

William Ward, Esqr.,
Captain Commanding 3rd Precinct.

Sir: