P.O. John C. Churchwood

Name: John C. Churchwood
Rank: Police Officer
Star #: Unavailable
Unit: 1st District
EOW: March 25, 1864

Incident Details:
On March 21, 1864, Police Officer John C. Churchwood effected the arrest of a drunk Union soldier, one Duncan McGillis, after the soldier had drawn a knife on a citizen because the citizen would not give the soldier twenty-five cents. On being taken to the station, McGillis subsequently drew a knife on one of the officers and attempted to strike. The soldier was subdued by clubs and eventually taken to the Armory. It was during this arrest incident that Officer Churchwood suffered a broken thumb. Inflammation quickly set in and Officer Churchwood became very ill. His attending physician was of the opinion that the only way to save Officer Churchwood’s life would be to amputate his arm above the elbow. Officer Churchwood died on March 24, 1864. After a coroner’s inquest, the coroner ruled the cause of Officer Churchwood’s death as erysipelas arising from his injured hand. The inquest also ruled that Duncan McGillis, due to his drunken state “at the time of the assault was not actuated by malicious motives.”