On May 2, 1862, Union troops of the 19th and 24th Illinois and the 37th Indian Regiments commanded by Col. John Basil Turchin went on a rampage thought the town. They looted and plundered stores and homes, stealing clothing, jewelry and anything of value, destroying what they didn't want. For months afterward, the soldiers stabled their horses in some of the town's churches, burned the pews for firewood and destroyed the interiors. Col Turchin, born Ivan Vasillevich Turchinoff in Russia, was court martialed in Huntsville for encouraging these actions, but his wife appealed to Abraham Lincoln for clemency on his behalf. Turchin was promoted to Brig Gen. one day before the court martial.