The Outbreak at Charleston the Result of Conspiracy.

The Copperhead papers are making a labored attempt to prove that the outbreak at Charleston was an "unpremeditated emeute," the result of an accidental collision between soldiers and citizens. Yet their own statements show exactly the reverse to be true. The correspondent of the Missouri Republican, writing from Charleston, says:

It would seem from various accounts that Sheriff O'Hair had been anticipating trouble of some kind, for otherwise his conduct would be as inexplicable as the sequel will show it to have been foolhardy. O'Hair had been absent from town two or three days previous to Monday, on which day he came in to attend to his duties at court, his residence being on Big creek, in the "O'Hair settlement," several times mentioned in the foregoing. It appears his friends generally from that neighborhood were in town with revolvers on their persons, and guns (covered with straw) in one of their wagons. Of this fact there is not the slightest room for question or doubt. I have conversed with several truthful persons, who saw as many as four or five guns taken out of a wagon.

The special correspondent of the Chicago Times testifies to the same effect, as follows:

The people at "O'Hair's Settlement" deemed that the soldiers would make some effort to interrupt Mr. Eden while speaking, and conceived the idea of embroiling all the Democrats in attendance in the affray with the soldiers by resisting, by force, any attempt made to interfere with them. To this end some thirty or forty of them came armed, some with revolvers, and the remainder with shot guns and rifles, concealed in the straw in their wagons. They appear to have had a concerted plan thus far, that when any shot was fired it should be the signal for a general assault upon the soldiers. Supposing the disturbance would occur at a public meeting, and that the Democrats would join them, the people from "O'Hair Settlement" hoped to overpower the soldiers without much difficulty.

There is no evidence whatever that the soldiers would have interrupted Mr. Eden, and this is evidently suggested by the Times correspondent as a justification for the conspiracy which he here acknowledges to have existed. But why did the "Big Creek" Copperheads rely upon the other Copperheads to join them unless they were pledged to do so. They evidently had some reason to believe that their party friends from other parts of the county were equally as hostile to the soldiers as themselves.

The same correspondent again asserts:

Democrats here and at Charleston are much incensed at the conduct of the men from "O'Hair's Settlement," who commenced and who alone participated in the affray. They evidently came in anticipation of a disturbance and with a preconcerted plan as to how it should be commenced and conducted.

In reference to the beginning of the attack upon the soldiers, the Republican correspondent says:

Between 3 and 4 o'clock one of the soldiers, Oliver Saller, * * * * * stepped up to Nelson Wells, a "Big Creeker," asked him if there were any "Copperheads" in town, and advanced towards him, as though to put his hand upon him. Wells told him to stand off, or he would shoot him. Saller continued to approach, when Wells presented his pistol and fired. Saller fell, mortally wounded, but recovering himself upon an elbow, drew his own revolver and fired at Wells, the ball striking him in a vital part, from which wound he survived but a few minutes.

This testimony from the Copperhead papers would seem to be conclusive as to the existence of the conspiracy, and the unjustifiable character of the assault. Yet the papers which furnish this testimony, with singular fatuity, still attempt to excuse the conduct of the conspirators.

The Chicago Post — a paper which has shown some disposition to obtain the real facts — in a special dispatch from Mattoon, furnishes the following still more direct testimony on the subject. It says:

There was not the slightest provocation. Three days now spent in taking testimony show a plan to murder all the soldiers in Charleston. The leaders were John H. O'Hair, Nelson Wells, John Frazer, and others. * * * * The soldiers were unarmed. All the rioters came armed, with extra guns in wagons.

So much for the proofs of conspiracy.