Account of the Haymarket Riot.
Policeman Joe Deegan [Mathias Jdot; Degan] and three unknown Bohemians dead, Policemen Sheehan, Barrett, Redden, Keller, and Miller mangled and dying, thirty-five other policemen wounded more or less severely, and nobody knows how many citizens and rioters wounded is the result of an encounter between the police and an Anarchistic meeting in the old market square at the corner of Randolph and Desplaines streets. . . .
Mayor Harrison was early on the scene, but it was not until after 10 o'clock that the police determined to disperse the crowd by reading the riot act. A bomb or hand grenade thrown into their ranks wrought terrible havoc with life and limb, and then ensued a scene of wild carnage with revolvers, bludgeons, and other missiles. . . . Three thousand men and boys stood around three barrels and boxes erected as a platform on the square at 8 o'clock last evening. August Spies, the editor of the Arbeiter Zeitung the Anarchist organ in this city, stood upon one of the barrels. He made a brief speech to the crowd, and then introduced A. R. Parsons, one of the prominent leaders of the Socialists of Chicago. The latter told his hearers that instead of getting ten hours' pay for eight hours' work statistics proved that workingmen to-day were only getting two hours' pay for ten hours' work, and if they worked eight hours at the same wages they would only be getting three hours' pay for eight hours' work. He warned his audience that the time would come when the brutal oppression of the capitalists would drive every one save themselves into the ranks of socialism. . . .
Samuel Fielden, a grim-visaged Anarchist, wearing a black slouch hat, then leaped upon a barrel. He said that the newspapers of the city charged the Socialists with cowardice, saying that they would sneak away from real danger. They were there to-night to repel the lie and prove that they were willing to risk their lives in the cause. It were a glorious death to die like a hero rather than be starved to death on 60 cents a day. . . .
While the Anarchist was talking a dark cloud rolled out of the northern horizon. It swept to the zenith and had the appearance of a cyclone. A fierce, cold blast of wind roared down the street. Signs creaked violently, and bits of paper flew in the air. The great crowd of Socialists, fearing that a tornado was approaching, began to seek shelter. The Anarchist leaders urged the men to adjourn to Zepf's Hall, which is only about half a block away. The ominous cloud had now passed over the stand, and north of Lake street the stars shone out again. The vast audience was now encouraged to remain by Fielden, who said he would detain them but a few moments, as it was getting late and threatening rain. . . .
. . . South of Randolph on Desplaines street a body of men was dimly seen approaching in measured tread. It appeared like a phalanx of Masons returning from a private assembly or drill. The stillness of their approach was ominous and appalling. The 3,000 Anarchists crept closer to the barrels, and Fielden swept the street under a roof formed by the fingers of his right hand. The silent marchers came nearer, until the gas lamps on Randolph street threw their flickering light upon them. Then a hundred stars and a thousand brass buttons flashed in horizontal and perpendicular lines at the street intersections. The silent marchers were 400 police officers arranged in platoons, and choking the street from gutter to gutter. As they crossed the car tracks on Randolph street the officers clutched their clubs with a firmer grasp and then hurried forward, thus compelling the 3,000 Anarchists still massed in the street to fall back before the measured advance. Just as the officers reached the barrels upon which Spies, Parsons, and Fielden were standing a serpentine stream of fire burst from a window or the roof of Crane Brothers' manufacturing establishment on the opposite side of the street. It burned like the fuse of a rocket and hissed as it sped through the air. The mysterious stranger sputtered over the heads of the Anarchists and fell amid the officers. There was an explosion that rattled the windows in a thousand buildings, a burst of flame lit up the street, and then a scene of frightful and indescribable consternation ensued. The mysterious meteor was the fuse of a bomb hurled from the Crane Building by an Anarchist.
The work it done when it fired the explosives stored in the shell was murderous — ghastly. Over a score of officers were stretched upon the ground. Blood gushed from a hundred wounds, and the air was filled with the agonizing cries of the dying and injured. Those who escaped the deadly missiles which flew from the boom wavered for a moment. They dashed over the mangled bodies of their comrades with drawn revolvers, the glittering barrels of which were belching fire every instant. Bullets sped into the howling Anarchists in murderous storms, strewing the street with dead and dying. No quarter was given or asked. The Anarchists dodged behind boxes and barrels, from which they poured a withering, merciless fire from revolvers and guns. Officers and Socialists fall in hand-to-hand combat, and others were brought to earth by the assassin. Bystanders who had been attracted by the roar of the battle shared no better. They were shot down where they stood, or overtaken by the leaden storm while fleeing. The street was littered with the victims. Exploding cartridges flashed like a swarm of firebugs in a thicket. They came from windows, from dark alleys, and from behind every conceivable barricade.
The officers were crazed with fury. They pressed forward into the teeth of a hurricane of bullets and stones, driving their antagonists toward Lake street. The latter fled into the stores on either side of the thoroughfare. . . .
While the battle was at its height patrol wagons filled with officers with drawn revolvers rattled down the streets from all the outlying precincts. They leaped out of the vehicles and hurried to the assistance of their comrades, who had by this time succeeded in dispersing the mob as far north as Fulton street. The officers, nearly a thousand strong, now formed in platoons and cleared all the streets within an area of three blocks. Then they returned to their comrades, who were strewn about the sidewalks and in the roadway. As fast as they were picked up they were borne to the Desplaines Street Station in patrol wagons. Many were at the point of death; all were horribly mangled. Seven bullets had pierced one officer, the legs of another had been nearly torn off by the exploding shell, and another was bleeding from a shocking gash in the neck. All were covered with blood and dirt. . . .
So hot was the battle and so sudden the crowd's flight that no arrests were made. On their retreat to the station the police stopped to pick up the wounded members of the mob. All the patrol wagons in the city were hurried to the spot and the wounded citizens and officers were taken to the station. The citizens were taken down stairs to the cell-room and cared for by physicians as soon as they could be procured. Thence many of them were sent to the County Hospital. . . .
Inspector Bonfield described the scene of the explosion as follows: "There were about one hundred and thirty men in the platoon, in three companies, commanded by Lieutenants Ward, Stanton, Hubbard, and Steele. We marched from the station north to Randolph street and found the crowd gathered north of Halsted street, on the east side of Desplaines. Captain Ward's company went ahead, he and I in front of the line. When we got about one hundred feet north of Randolph street and within fifteen feet of the wagon on which Fielden was holding forth Captain Ward read the statutory command in the name of the state to disperse peaceably. Some ran away at this, but Fielden was just in the midst of a sentence exhorting the crowd that ‘This was the time to arm themselves,’ and the words were scarcely out of Captain Ward's mouth when someone in the crowd threw the bomb. It sizzled over the heads of Captain Ward and myself, who were somewhat in advance of the line, and struck right in the middle of the line. It exploded the minute it struck, and then immediately, as if the explosion were a preconcerted signal, the crowd began to fire. Our men pulled their weapons at once and charged northward into the crowd, firing as they went. The mob scattered in every direction, but some of them fired back as they ran.". . ..
The result of this terrible encounter will not be known for hours. Two policemen are already dead. John Degan, shot in the region of the heart; Olaf Hanson, and twenty-one others are more or less wounded, five of them seriously. Fifty or more of the strikers must be dead and wounded. The street was strewn with them, and many escaped, dragging broken limbs behind them. One, a boy, died in a drug store at the corner of Halsted and Madison streets, and an unknown Bohemian lies dead in the Desplaines Street Station.