Champaign, IL Tornado, Jul 1861
Fearful tornado in Illinois
On the 10th inst. a terrible tornado swept over Champaign county, Illinois. A correspondent of the Chicago Tribune says: "After the wind had tested the moving capacity of everything portable, then came a shower of hail, which converted our immense shower of hail, which converted our immense crops of ripening wheat and waving corn into a barren waste. There are many farms in the vicinity of Champaign City upon which there is not a green leaf or a blade of grass left.--Wheat, oats, barley and rye are entirely ruined. I visited many fields to-day, and found the small grain mown to the ground as with a scythe; and the stalks were beaten and shivered, looking as though they had passed through a threshing machine. Corn which was one and a half feet high, was cut off even with the ground, and the stalk beaten to a jelly an inch below the surface. Up to this date we have heard of five persons who were killed, and quite a number who were more or less seriously wounded."
The Daily Dispatch, Richmond, VA 11 July 1861