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Draft Riots


Background
In 1840s Ireland, three-quarters of the rural Irish were dependent on the potato for sustenance. The potato was the only food crop that was nutritious enough to sustain those without any other means of food. When the famine hit in 1845, Ireland became the sight of tragedy in epic proportions. Three million farmers and laborers would be left destitute by famine's end. Most were living in squalor and were ravaged by hunger and disease.

Too poor to pay their rents, over a half-million Irish were evicted from their homes. For many, to stay in Ireland meant starvation, disease and death. Emigration seemed their only chance at survival. Landlords found it cheaper to pay overseas passage for these Irish rather than have them go to the workhouse. Approximately 50,000 Irish received passage from their landlords. Others received money from those who had emigrated before. Between 1840-1850, 30% of the Emerald Isle's children would be forced to emigrate.

Most of the Irish who left at this time, were crowded onto the decks of cattleboats, bound for English ports, such as Liverpool. Once landing in England, many would board larger ships, mostly bound for the US. These ships used to transport the Irish to their new homes were small, old and unseaworthy. Manned by poorly trained crews, the ships went to sea without adequate water and food supplies, medical care or sanitary facilities.

The trip to America took 5-6 weeks on average, but some voyages could last as long as 12 weeks. The Irish were crowded together in the darkness of the ship's hold. The area was so cramped, that only children were able to stand up. People slept as many as 4 to a berth. There was no fresh air. The hold was rarely cleaned, and full of lice, disease and human waste. Many of the Irish boarded the ship already malnourished from the famine. Others suffered from typhus, dysentery and cholera. The mortality rates on board these Irish emigrant ships was as high as 40%. These ships would forever be engrained on the Irish psyche as the coffin ships.

While America was the land of promise for many immigrants, the Famine Irish were at a disadvantage. Many were illiterate and arrived with few skills and no money. Some spoke only Gaelic. Many Irish were forced to remain in New York City, lacking the funds to travel elsewhere. Their first homes were usually in shantytowns -- decaying slums usually situated near the waterfront. Areas that had been long evacuated by other ethnic groups as they were able to climb the economic ladder. Disease was epidemic in these towns. Tuberculosis the most common visitor to many households. In areas such as Five Points, families would squeeze into tiny rooms and damp cellars for as little as three dollars per month. There was no running water, and chamber pots were emptied into the streets. Garbage was thrown into the streets, where rats regularly fed off it. Irish infant mortality in these areas was the highest in the US.

Illiteracy and lack of skills forced many of the newly arrived Irish into America's lowest economic levels. The men were able to find work as unskilled laborers, miners, ditch diggers, cartmen or dockworkers. Work was never steady and working conditions were often dangerous. Hours were long, pay was little. The women had a slight advantage -- they could work as servants or cooks, earning slightly better wages than the men. Castle Garden had a labor exchange where affluent families could choose servants from among the newly arrived immigrants. By 1855, the Irish comprised 87% of New York City's unskilled labor force.

From 1820 to the 1860s, the Irish were the leading immigrant group to the United States. By 1860, one-quarter of New York City's 800,000 residents was Irish-born. They left Ireland hoping to procure a better life for themselves. What many found was continuing poverty, disease and lack of opportunity. The Irish became America's first urban underclass. However, there was something ominous looming on the horizon for the Famine Irish in America - the rise of the Know-Nothing Party.

Americans were appalled by the influx of Irish to their shores following the Famine. These newly arrived immigrants were not the same as the Irish who came before. They were poor, dirty and uneducated. To the 19th century mind, poverty was a moral failing -- a sign of laziness. However, the most horrifying aspect was that the majority of these immigrants were Catholic. While Catholics had emigrated to US shores before, they quietly blended into American society. However the new Irish Catholics would not endure anything quietly.

To be Irish Catholic was a stigma in American society. The new immigrants were viewed as dirty, violent, unskilled, uneducated drunks. Evangelical revivals usually emphasized the no popery movement. A popular children's game of the time was Break the Pope's Neck. Hate literature was on the rise. New York City's famous patrician, George Templeton Strong, described the Famine Irish as brutal, base, cruel, cowards and as insolent as base. Anti-Irish cartoons appeared regularly in newspapers and magazines. Illustrator Thomas Nast, an avowed anti-Catholic, continually drew the Famine Irish as apes for the pages of Harper's Weekly. It was this wave of anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant feeling that the Know-Nothings rode to popularity.

The American Republic Party was formed in New York State in 1843. It's central theme was to keep America American. Following the arrival of the Famine Irish, the party quickly spread into neighboring states under the new name, the Native American Party. They came to be called the Know-Nothing Party due to the reply of their members when quizzed about the party: I know nothing.

The Know-Nothings allied themselves with the mainstream Whig Party who favored limiting immigration and publicly blamed the Irish for society's ills. This staunchly anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic group ran on the platform of eliminating immigration and keeping Catholics of any ethnic group off US soil. Their base support came from native-born white working men of all social groups. By 1854, the Know-Nothing Party had over 1 million members and had elected 8 governors, over 100 congressmen and the mayors of Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.

As the fires of the anti-immigrant/anti-Catholic sentiment burned freely, churches in some US cities were burned to the ground. Convents were looted and burned. As the Know-Nothings came to hold a rally in New York City, fear abounded. Archbishop Hughes appealed to the mayor of New York for protection of the city's churches. Instead, members of the Irish-Catholic fraternal organization, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, stood guard at various churches throughout the city. The Irish reacted to the prejudice in America the same way they reacted to it back in Ireland. They would fight for justice on their own terms.

In the 1854 elections, the Know-Nothing Party gained control of Massachusetts. Anti-Catholic legislature was put in place within the state. The Know-Nothings came close to a similar electoral victory in New York State, but were defeated, much to the relief of the state's large Irish and German immigrant population.

The 1854 platform of the Know-Nothing Party consisted of 15 tenets, including:
1. Repeal of all naturalization laws.
2. None but native Americans for office.
4. War to the hilt on political Romanism.
5. Opposition to the formation of military companies composed of foreigners.
7. Hostility to all Papal influences, when brought to bear against the Republic.
9. More stringent and effective Emigration Laws.
14. Eternal enmity to all who attempt to carry out the principles of a foreign church or state.

You can read the entire 15 points of the 1854 Know-Nothing platform courtesy of Duke University.

Abraham Lincoln commented on the strong Know-Nothing show in the 1854 elections: Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that all men are created equal. We now practically read it all men are created equal except Negroes. When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read all men are created equal except Negroes, and foreigners and Catholics.

The Know-Nothings started to break apart following the 1854 elections. They had concentrated all their efforts upon the newly arrived immigrants, but it was the issue of slavery that tore the group apart. The group was split over whether slavery should be allowed to continue. The antislavery element of the Know-Nothings fled to the Republican party. What was left of the Know-Nothings disintegrated by 1856. However, the seeds of mistrust and hatred had already been sewn. The newly arrived Famine Irish now deeply mistrusted the system and those who ran it.

African-Americans had resided in New York State as both freemen and slaves since its founding. The black population in New York City grew rapidly after 1800. They could easily find work as opportunities were abundant.

Former slaves and freemen worked mostly as dock workers, hod carriers and domestic servants. They lived near or among whites in the lower class neighborhoods. While racism was everywhere, they were still able to find employment and put food on the table. They were vital to New York City's economy. However, all of this changed drastically in the 1840s with the arrival of the Famine Irish.

For the most part, former slaves and freemen were poorly educated, if educated at all. Former slaves had little job skills useful to the Northern economy. As we discussed earlier, the Famine Irish were no better off. The lack of skills and education put both groups into direct competition for the same jobs, creating resentment among both groups.

The Irish competed for those low-paying jobs as dock workers, hod carriers and domestic servants. By 1846, they had wrestled control of these occupations from the blacks. African-Americans, who had formerly dominated these occupations, now could only find work in these areas as strike breakers. While it provided them the chance to put food on their tables, it created further resentment among the Irish, heightening racial tensions.

In the antebellum south, slaves were considered valued property and thus prohibited from doing life-threatening work. These dangerous jobs were given to the Irish. A southern dock official said that slaves were worth too much to be risked here; if the Paddies are knocked overboard, or get their backs broke, nobody loses anything. Those sentiments were echoed throughout the nation.

By 1860, New York City had the second highest population of African-Americans of all the Northern cities. Things were about to get much worse for the two groups on the bottom rung of America's social and economic ladder. War was coming.

On April 12, 1861, the American Civil War began when Fort Sumter was fired upon by southern forces. President Lincoln called for 75,000 new soldiers. New Yorkers were among the first to go. However, by 1863, New Yorkers weren't as staunchly supportive of the war as they had been.

The fall of 1861 brought a brief recession to the North. It would the first of many ups-and-downs for the economy. Gold prices fluctuated and prices began to inch upwards.

In 1863, the war was costing the US government an average of .5 million per day -- equivalent to .6 million in today's economy. The federal government needed money to finance the war effort. To help offset the cost, the Internal Revenue Act was passed in 1862, enacting the first US income tax. While this 3% tax was only levied on those whose income surpassed per year, there were also provisions for excise taxes.

Excise taxes were levied on liquor, tobacco, playing cards, jewelry, patented medicines and newspaper ads. This tax was especially hard on lower-income families as the tax was regressive. Other taxes put into effect under this sweeping Act include license taxes on professionals, except clergy, a stamp tax, value-added taxes and an inheritance tax.

Inflation became commonplace throughout the Union, though it was not as severe as the inflationary prices in the Confederacy. In the North, prices of goods rose as much as 75%. A carton of eggs cost by 1863 - equivalent to today! Wages, however, wouldn't keep pace with the rising costs. People found that their wages in 1863 were worth 20% less than when the war first started. This was especially hard on those with the lowest economic status -- the Irish and African-Americans.

Many groups in New York City were beginning to sympathize with the Confederacy. The Union army had suffered a string of horrendous losses. Northerners perceived the war to be too long and unwinnable. The war had become unpopular, and President Lincoln was about to do something even more unpopular.

In September 1862, Lincoln first read the Emancipation Proclamation, altering the North's mission in the war. Under the Proclamation, all slaves in Confederate states were free as of January 1, 1863. For those who had never tasted freedom, this was a day they had only dreamed about. For Lincoln's detractors, the Emancipation Proclamation became a very powerful weapon of propaganda.

Many historians have appointed Abraham Lincoln as the most respected, and one of the best, American presidents. However, Lincoln had more than his share of enemies. Democratic New York Governor Horatio Seymour openly despised the Republican president.

African-Americans were openly wooed by the Republican party, while the Democrats went after the new immigrants -- the Irish and the Germans. When Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation in the fall of 1862, the two political parties immediately retreated to their opposing corners and came out fighting.

Democratic politicians were appalled by the Emancipation Proclamation. Governor Seymour called it unconstitutional. Democrats began fanning the racial flame. They told their constituents that emancipation would cause the soon-to-be-freed slaves to come North and take their jobs. Charges were made that African-Americans would be brought in to overthrow the white majority of Tammany Hall. Democrats said that Northern soldiers were no longer fighting to preserve the Union, but dying for the blacks. The charges became more outrageous, saying that the Republicans themselves would bring the freed slaves into the city to replace white workers.

Former New York City Mayor Fernando Wood was very vocal in his sympathies for the Confederacy and the unfairness of the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1861, he had suggested that New York City secede from New York State over the power struggle with Albany concerning the city's police forces. A popular mayor, Wood's former views were being echoed around the city.

The Irish were already in intense labor competition with African-Americans of New York City, and were terrified by the thought of it getting worse. Black-Americans in New York City couldn't begin to imagine how their situation could get any worse. But worse it would become. By the end of 1862, the Union was in desperate need of more soldiers. There was only one way to go -- the draft.

The Conscription Act of 1863
By the end of 1862, the Union was in desperate need of more soldiers. There was almost universal agreement in the political world that a draft was the answer. However, from the moment the act was put into place, controversy reigned.

During the summer of 1862, following Union victories at Fort Donelson and Shiloh, Secretary of War Stanton ordered recruiting stations closed throughout the North. Stanton firmly believed recruitment was no longer necessary as Union victory was on the horizon. It would only take Stanton about 2 weeks to realize his mistake, and recruitment offices were reopened.

Most officers and politicians in the North believed the war would not last very long. General William Tecumseh Sherman was one of the few exceptions. Upon the outbreak of hostilities, Sherman had remarked to a friend that the war would be long and bloody. People thought Sherman was crazy. Now as the war grinded into it's third year, they realized with horror that he was right.

At the beginning of the war, citizens in both the North and South flocked to sign up. There was no shortage of soldiers on either side. However the Union had suffered unspeakable losses on the battlefield, and the end was nowhere in sight. Recruitment in the North was down. Lincoln had no option, but to go to a draft.

The Conscription Act of March 1863 would be the breaking point for many disillusioned Northerners, especially in New York City. Under the provisions of the Act, states that had not met their enlistment quotas, were subject to a draft lottery. Opponents criticized the Act as soon as it was made public. New York Governor Seymour declared the Act unconstitutional, claiming it was a violation of states' rights. Seymour, however, backed voluntary enlistment.

Republican New York City Mayor George Opdyke backed the Conscription Act fully, putting him in direct conflict with Albany and Tammany Hall.

From 1861-1863, approximately 800,000 immigrants arrived on US shores. Many of them were met on the docks by recruiting agents, hired by companies to supply men for the war.

There was widespread resentment over the way the Act was written. There were several loopholes for the elite, including being able to purchase a substitute. If your name was chosen in the lottery, you could simply hire someone to go in your place. In most instances, immigrants were the substitute of choice. The most reviled part of the Act was the Commutation Fee. The Commutation Fee was a fee that was paid every time your name or number came up in the lottery. Payment of the fee would allow you to passed over for the draft. A board of officers was set up in each city to assure that those who were drafted, would show up for induction. Failure to report for induction, resulted in sentencing as a deserter.

The Commutation Fee of (equivalent to approximately today) amounted to about half of the annual salary of the average working-class American. It was completely out of reach for New York City's lower classes. The bigwigs at Tammany Hall then offered to pay the Commutation Fee for anyone in their districts who were drafted. Poor New Yorkers believed the Democratic Party could effectively shield them from the draft.

As more details of the Conscription Act became public, resentment began to build. Under the new Act, African-Americans were not eligible for the draft, though they were free to volunteer under the Emancipation Proclamation. The poor were angry that they would be forced to fight to free the slaves, while African-Americans were given the option of whether or not to join up. Society's attitudes made matters worse, as there was no social stigma attached to someone who chose to purchase a substitute or pay the Commutation Fee. However society was blatantly contemptuous of anyone refusing to fight or deserting the ranks. Privileged whites were able to bribe doctors for medical exemptions from the draft. Meanwhile, most of the poor had never seen a doctor in their lives.

The politicos jumped on the bandwagon, issuing charges that Democratic districts in New York City would be required to furnish more men for conscription than those in Republican districts. There were also charges that the Republican party was stuffing the ballot boxes of the city with votes of imported Republican soldiers. The federal government was not helping to diffuse matters. Protest demonstrations and meetings regarding the Conscription Act were popular. Troops were used freely and without restraint to break them up. Provost Marshals were able to search house-to-house, without a warrant, for Union deserters.

Irish dock workers had recently gone on strike to protest their low wages and hazardous working conditions. Businesses had brought in African-Americans as strike breakers. Outraged strikers attacked and beat the blacks. Federal troops had to be called in to protect the black workers. New York City's economic and racial tensions were at the breaking point as the summer of 1863 began.

Draft Lottery
In July 1863, Union General George Meade met Confederate General Robert E. Lee on the battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. There was fear in New York City that if the Confederacy won the battle, they may set their eye on Manhattan for their next invasion. Paranoia was spreading.

A General Provost Marshal was in charge of all draft offices in the city. The city was then subdivided into districts -- each district was manned by an Assistant Provost Marshal. It was the duty of each Provost Marshal to make sure the draft proceedings ran smoothly.

Saturday, July 11, was an important, though rather quiet day in New York City. The draft lottery was beginning that day. The city was almost completely devoid of any military presence, as they were off in Gettysburg. The Provost Marshal didn't believe there would be too much unrest due to the lottery drawings. It was believed that the Invalid Corps, composed of men who were physically unable to take to the battlefield, would be enough to handle any problems.

The draft lottery was held that day in the Eleventh and Ninth districts of the city. Approximately 1200 names were drawn. While there were some scattered groups of citizens hurling obscenities at the officers, the drawing took place without incident.

The same day, news of the battle at Gettysburg had reached New York. While General Meade had managed to rout General Lee, people were sickened by the accounts of the carnage and horrified by the sheer numbers of the casualty lists.

On Sunday, July 12, the names of the 1200 draftees were published in the city's newspapers. In the same articles, the particulars of the Commutation Fee were released. People were outraged that the Democratic party had failed to protect them from the draft. Where would they get to avoid the draft? Within hours, angry citizens took to the streets in protest. The Provost Marshal and his men nervously eyed the crowds. They were sure the people would settle down. Another day passed without incident. However, the next day, the city would explode.

Monday, July 13, 1863: Day One
New York City Police Superintendent, John A. Kennedy, sympathized with the plight of the poor Irish in the city. He had been one of them. Sprung from the mean streets of Five Points, and one-time member of the Dead Rabbits gang, not only did he understand their anger concerning the draft, but on Monday morning, he could feel something in the air. He sent small squads of police officers to protect the draft offices. A rumor reached him that a group of men were planning to seize the arsenal. He sent 50 policemen to guard it.

In 1863, New York City was comprised of 32 police precincts, all connected by telegraph. If something happened in one area of the city, word would reach police headquarters within minutes.

Shortly after 8 am Monday morning, word reached Kennedy that the street-workers and laborers of the Nineteenth Ward hadn't reported for work. Kennedy, knowing it was an ominous sign, believed the men would attack Provost Marshal Maniere's office on Broadway and Marshal Jenkins' office over at the corner of 42nd Street and Third Avenue. He immediately sent out the following telegrams:

July 13. 8:35 A.M. From Central Office to Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Twenty-first Precincts: Send ten men and a sergeant forthwith to No. 677 Third Avenue, and report to Captain Porter of Nineteenth Precinct for duty.

--- 8:50 A.M. To Twenty-ninth Precinct: Place a squad of ten of your men, with a competent sergeant, at No. 1190 Broadway, during the draft - if you want more, inform me.

--- 8:55 A.M. To Sixteenth and Twentieth Precincts: Send your reserve to Seventh Avenue Arsenal forthwith.

By 9 AM, Kennedy was receiving telegrams from around the city that trouble was beginning. It was what he feared. He sent out the following dispatch:

--- 9:00 A.M. To all platoons, New York and Brooklyn: Call in your reserve platoons and hold them at the stations subject to further orders.

Kennedy was confident that he had sent enough men out to handle any disturbances. With that thought in mind, he decided to drive to Marshal Jenkins' office in the Twenty-ninth Precinct.

Meanwhile, crowds of people were beginning to gather in the western part of the city. As the mob grew in number, they began to move north. With each factory they passed, workmen would throw down their tools and join them. As the mob passed a side street, groups would splinter off to make sure the side streets were taken. Business owners were threatened with destruction of their property if they stood in opposition to the mob. With each passing minute, the mob swelled in number and was armed to the hilt with clubs, sticks, knives and anything they could get their hands on.

The mob continued to flow north, stopping in a vacant lot not far from Central Park. Here they quickly debated where they should go. The crowd split into two groups and marched down Fifth and Sixth Avenues - turning east at Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh Streets.

The exact size of the mob is not known. An eyewitness stated that the mob covered the entire width of the street, and although moving rapidly, it took them approximately 25 minutes to pass a single point.

The mob turned up Third Avenue and tore down the telegraph poles as they went. They then angrily marched to their target -- the draft office.

The small squad of policemen sent to guard the draft office were powerless against the huge mob. Stones were thrown through the windows and the mob rushed the doors. As they rushed in, they began destroying furniture. The military officers who had manned the building, fled out the back door.

The mob seized the wheel containing the names of draftees and destroyed it, along with books and papers. They tried to break open a safe by beating it with clubs. When the safe refused to open, the mob became enraged and set fire to the building. Cheers came from the streets. Families lived in the rooms over the office. The rioters, believing officers to be hiding up there, threw stones at their windows. The families cowered in fear.

Deputy Provost Marshal Vanderpoel was out on the street, among the mob. Fearing for the lives of the families upstairs, he pleaded with the mob to let him and others save the families. A man hit Vanderpoel in the face, as others hurled obscenities at him. Fearing for his own life, Vanderpoel broke from the crowd and ran over to where the policemen were standing helplessly.

The building containing the draft office was consumed by flames, as was the building next door. Heavy columns of black smoke rose into the sky. The mob quietly watched the fire, almost awed by it. They slowly began to move away.

Eventually the fire department arrived, but the mob prevented them from fighting the fire. The flames threatened the entire block. A fireman pleaded with the mob to let them douse the flames, explaining that the draft office was completely gone, but now private property was in danger. The mob allowed the fire department to put out the fire, but only after 4 buildings on the block had been destroyed.

Superintendent Kennedy was trying to make his way across town to Provost Marshal Jenkins' office. As his wagon approached the corner of Forty-sixth Street and Lexington Avenue, he spotted the fire and stopped. Attempting to make it to Third Avenue on foot, he found the street blocked by a group of people who were quietly milling about. As he neared the fire, a voice within the crowd yelled out, There's Kennedy! The crowd turned to look at him.

Suddenly Kennedy felt a heavy push against his back, and turned to face a man in an old soldier's uniform. Kennedy demanded an explanation for the rough treatment, and instead received a blow to the face. The crowd closed in on him, knocking him to the ground and hitting him with repeated blows and kicks. He managed to crawl away, but the crowd followed in pursuit. Kennedy got to his feet and ran towards Forty-seventh Street. Here he met another mob, who had witnessed his beating. They rushed at him, knocking him backwards. Bleeding and stunned, Kennedy staggered to his feet. The mob had him surrounded.

A large man with a club swung at Kennedy's head, but missed. Protecting his head, Kennedy tried to push his way through the mob while they beat his body with clubs, sticks and their fists. As the melee approached Lexington Avenue, they came upon a huge pond. The mob yelled for Kennedy to be drowned. A heavy blow struck Kennedy in the side of the head and sent him headfirst into the water. The mob continued to beat him and throw stones. He struggled to his feet and staggered to the middle of the pond. The mob rushed to the other side of the pond to catch him as he tried to get out. But Kennedy beat them to the other side and staggered up the bank and onto Lexington Avenue.

Once on Lexington, Kennedy saw a man he knew and yelled for help. John Eagan ran to his defense and saved Kennedy from his pursuers. Kennedy was so beaten and bloody that Eagan didn't recognize his friend. The mob continued to close in on Eagan and Kennedy as they made their way down Lexington. Eagan flagged down a passing feed wagon, put Kennedy in the back, and took him to police headquarters.

At headquarters, a surgeon was summoned and police officers gathered around the bleeding, semiconscious Kennedy. While the doctor determined that there were no broken bones and that Kennedy was expected to make a full recovery, the shocked and angry police officers spoke of vengeance.

The mob on that stood on Third Avenue watching the fire began to increase in size as people poured in from the tenements and workshops of the area. They were still quietly watching the flames when shouts of The soldiers are coming! rang out.

The Invalid Corps, a small body of men sent from the Central Park area, approached, firing blank shots over the heads of the crowd. As soon as the mob realized they were blanks, they became enraged and descended on the soldiers, seizing their muskets and hitting them over the head. One soldier was beaten to death and left on the pavement. Another soldier broke from the crowd and ran towards Forty-second Street, when his pursuers grabbed him, tore off his uniform and beat him to death.

Police Sergeant McCredie and Captain C.W. Caffrey arrived on the scene with a small back-up force of fourteen. As they approached Third Avenue from Forty-third Street, they were shocked to see the road blocked by the immense mob and the soldiers of the Invalid Corps running for their lives. A few other squads from around the city arrived, giving the police a force of forty-four men on the scene -- to face an angry mob of a few thousand. McCredie took command on the scene and was determined to stand his ground. He believed there was another force of police officers on the other side of the mob to the North (which there wasn't) and the two combined forces could fight off the mob.

The mob descended on McCredie and his men, yelling obscenities and brandishing weapons. McCredie ordered his men to form a line, blocking the street. As the mob came within reach, McCredie ordered his men to charge. The rioters were stunned by the sudden show of force by this small band of policemen and retreated. McCredie and his men chased them as far as Forty-sixth Street. It was on Forty-sixth Street that it was McCredie's turn to be stunned as there was no other police force there. Instead, he found an even heavier body of rioters, completely blocking the street.

Now that they had a back-up force, the main body of rioters turned and charged McCredie and his men, completely surrounding them. To make matters worse, another mob showed up from Forty-fifth Street to join the melee. The police were attacked with clubs, iron bars, guns and knives while stones and other objects rained down from the rooftops.

The wounded policemen scattered in different directions: some up side streets, others down Third Avenue. Only Sergeant McCredie and five policemen were left unharmed. McCredie had taken refuge in the house of a German family. A young woman in the household advised him to hide between two mattresses. Just as he did, a crowd broke through the front door. The young woman informed the mob that McCredie had escaped through the back door, so they followed in pursuit.

Officer Bennett was beaten severely on the street and knocked down three times before he laid motionless. The mob, believing him to be dead, stripped him of his uniform and left him in his underclothes. Eventually he was removed from the scene and taken to the morgue at St. Luke's Hospital, where he laid for several hours. His wife was escorted to the morgue, where she threw herself onto his body, weeping. When she placed her hand on his heart, she was overjoyed to feel it still beating. Bennett was removed to another part of the hospital, where he remained unconscious for three days.

Officer Travis, one of the policemen who fled down Third Avenue, was chased down by a man carrying a gun. Travis turned on his pursuer, knocking him to the ground and seizing the gun. Before he could use it, he was attacked by a group wielding clubs. After the repeated blows knocked Travis to the ground, the mob jumped on him, knocked out his teeth, broke his jawbone and right hand and proceeded to mutilate his body. Believing he was dead, they stripped Travis naked and left him on the pavement.

Officer Phillips managed to run most of the way unharmed. However, he was relentlessly pursued by a crowd that chased him all the way down to Thirty-ninth Street. He tried to find refuge in a house, but found the door closed to him. As he turned to go back down the steps, a man in soldier's uniform leveled his gun at Phillips and fired. Missing him completely, Phillips grabbed the musket and hit the man with it. As the man fell backwards down the stairs, Phillips ran through some vacant lots over to Fortieth Street. Here he encountered another mob. A woman with a large shoemaker's knife in her hand lunged at Phillips, missing his throat, but slashing his ear. She stabbed at him again, hitting his arm. A stranger who had witnessed the attack, ran to Phillips and shielded his body from further blows, yelling that he would kill any man who would further injure the police officer. The mob began to withdraw.

The rest of the officers in McCredie's force fared just as badly. Officers Sutherland and Mingay were beaten badly. Officer Kiernan would have been killed by the mob if it hadn't been for a sheer coincidence. Kiernan had been struck on the head with a large stone and the back of his neck slashed with a baling hook. He laid bleeding and helpless on the street before the mob. It was then that Officer Eagan's wife passed by. (Officer Eagan had earlier saved Commissioner Kennedy.) She threw herself over Officer Kiernan's body and shrieked, For God's sake, don't kill him! The crowd backed off.

It was now noon and Third Avenue was in a state of utter chaos. It was unbearably hot and heavy clouds were appearing on the horizon. From the Cooper Institute to Forty-sixth Street, approximately thirty blocks, the roads were blocked by rioters. Spectators appeared on stoops, sidewalks, rooftops and were hanging out windows. The mobs of people in the streets were broken up by horse-carts, unable to move and abandoned by their drivers. There was one large column of smoke reaching skyward to the north.

The draft drawing down in the Eighth District had continued quietly until about noon. Provost Marshal Maniere decided to cease the drawings when the policemen, who were sent down to guard the office, were called over to the Ninth District to deal with the mobs.

The news of the uprising spread quickly through the poorer sections of the city, bringing more rioters into the streets. Telegraph poles on Third Avenue were knocked down, effectively cutting off communication between the precincts. The mob would break off into smaller groups to chase down citizens or loot a house or business. They would then rejoin the larger group and continue moving. The mob realized they needed arms and remembering the Armory at the corner of Second Avenue, they proceeded in that direction.

Police commissioners also thought of the Armory and sent a squad of thirty-five officers down there. The officers were ordered to hold the Armory at all costs. A small group had tried to force their way into the Armory, but were warned by a sergeant to leave. They left and returned fifteen minutes later heavily reinforced and armed. Stones and bricks were thrown through the windows. Although the police officers were all armed with carbines, none of them fired. The mob then attempted to set the building on fire, but failed. Frustrated, they pounded through the door with sledgehammers. A panel in the door gave way, and a rioter attempted to crawl through. He was shot in the head by the officers inside.

The sergeant had telegraphed headquarters at 3:45 PM, apprising them of the situation and begging for help. Fifteen minutes later came their answer:
It is impossible for us to protect the armory at Second Avenue and Twenty-first Street. Answer - draw your men off.

The enraged mob had thrown itself against the door, completely knocking it down. The police officers, attempting to escape through the side and back doors, found themselves completely cut off. They escaped through a hole in the back wall, a foot and a half in diameter and eighteen feet off the ground. They dropped into the yard in back and ran to Twenty-second Street. Here they took off the uniforms and made their way back to the precinct while mingling unnoticed in the mob.

Meanwhile the mob was busy looting the Armory. Every member of the mob had armed himself with a musket. The weapons that they left were broken beyond repair. Now fully armed, the mob proceeded over to Mayor Opdyke's house.

The mob stood outside the mayor's house, calling for him to appear. An urgent plea from a neighbor, Judge Barnard, deterred them. There were now rumors spreading about an attack on police headquarters, down on Mulberry Street.

As the mobs moved through the streets, they looted stores, carrying goods off to their homes. Stolen liquor was passed around freely. Now as late afternoon drew to a close, the mob was still angry and many of them were drunk.

Word reached police headquarters on Mulberry Street of an impending attack. The mob was believed to have numbered five thousand by this time, and the police could only muster up a force of about two hundred. As the police officials huddled in the commissioner's office to discuss strategy for the oncoming onslaught, they decided they would take no prisoners. Sergeant Daniel Carpenter, an older and well experienced officer, was put in charge of the small force.

Carpenter assembled his force and had them form a line across Bleecker Street. On his word, they slowly moved forwards towards Broadway. As they turned onto Broadway, they saw the mob approaching from a block and a half away. They filled the street as far as the eye could see and were armed with guns, knives, pitchforks, clubs and iron bars. Upon sight of the mob, businesses shut their doors and pedestrians fled up side streets. A few rioters were carrying signs that bore the words, No draft, while at the front of the pack waved the American flag.

Carpenter divided his two hundred man force, sending companies of fifty men each up each side street, all the way to Fourth Avenue. They were instructed to attack the mob from both sides, while Carpenter and his company attacked from the front. Once all the men were in position, Carpenter ordered a charge. Police flew at the mob from all directions, brandishing nightsticks. A brief fight ensued before the mob dissolved in terror. People fled in all directions, some trying to break down doors to seek refuge inside businesses. The police followed in hot pursuit. Spectators cheered. When the mob finally cleared off the street, Broadway resembled a battlefield, littered with the bodies of the dead and wounded.

Carpenter had seized the American flag from one of the rioters and proudly began to march it over to Mayor Opdyke's house as a symbol of victory. However, when he found everything quiet at the mayor's house, he quietly returned to police headquarters.

Telegrams were beginning to fly into police headquarters. From the Sixteenth Precinct:
A crowd of about three hundred men have gone to the foot of Twenty-fourth Street to stop men in the foundry from working.

From the Twentieth Precinct:
A very large crowd is now going down Fifth Avenue to attack the Tribune building.

From the Twenty-first Precinct:
The mob avowed their determination of burning this station. Our connection by telegram may be interrupted at any moment.

From the Twenty-fourth Precinct:
The mob have fired the buildings corner of Broadway and Twenty-fourth Street.

While the police were struggling to pull together a respectable size force to handle the different disturbances that were breaking out around the city, the upper part of New York City was falling apart. The Bull's Head Tavern on Forty-sixth Street was the scene of another fire. The Tavern had closed for the day, but the rioters pried open the doors with pickaxes. After looting the premises, they torched it.

There was looting all along Lexington Avenue. Rioters carried off expensive furniture and silver place settings while the ladies of the house, their children and servants fled in fear.

The Provost Marshal's headquarters on Broadway were also set on fire. The fire spread quickly, burning an entire block of Broadway between Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Streets. Shops of all kinds, liquor stores and jewelry stores alike, were looted throughout the city.

George W. Walling, from his autobiography Recollections of a New York Chief of Police:

For my part, I had for several days noticed with great uneasiness growing discontent among certain classes. Things, I thought, were coming to a head, and so I remained at the precinct station Sunday night. Early on Monday morning I went to my house, took breakfast and proceeded to headquarters to make my customary report. At Third Avenue and Nineteenth Street I learned, for the first time, that rioting was in progress. I was told that the mob had attacked an enrolling office in Third Avenue, driven off the police and set fire to the building. My station was in Thirty-fifth Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. I immediately started back again on the "dead run," believing the whole force would be called out. I was not mistaken. In a short time orders were sent from headquarters directing me to collect my "off-platoon." Messengers were despatched, and soon all the men reported for duty.

The mob had been successful in stopping the draft in two districts. Now the mob focused its attention on the group they believed was responsible for not just the draft, but the entire war -- blacks.

The Sixth Precinct had reported to headquarters that a mob of about seven hundred people had attacked some African-Americans over on Baxter Street. Afterwards, they went to Samuel Crook's saloon on Chatham and beat the black waiters. Another mob was heading for the Colored Orphan Asylum.

The Colored Orphan Asylum was located on Fifth Avenue, from Forty-third to Forty-fourth Streets. The asylum was home to over two hundred children, ranging in age from newborn infants to preteens. It was a four-story high, imposing building, fully staffed with matrons and officers.

The mob surrounded the building and hurled obscenities at the residents. Superintendent William E. Davis locked all doors. Knowing what was coming, Davis gathered all the children, and hurried them out a back door to safety, just as the mob broke through the front. The mob looted the building, carrying off furniture, and even the meager possessions of the children. Large furniture was broken into pieces and set on fire.

The fire department arrived and an official tried to plead with the crowd to let them save the building. The mob knocked him down and started to beat him. Other firemen rushed to his defense, carried him to safety and then tried to extinguish the flames. It was too late. The building was lost. Thankfully, the children had made it to safety.

George W. Walling:

Information was received that the rioters were on their way to the Colored Orphan Asylum, on Fifth Avenue, between Forty-third and Forty-fourth Streets, in which were about two hundred colored children, besides the matron and attendants. Then came the news that the institution had been attacked by a mob three thousand strong, pillaged and burned to the ground, the inmates making their escape as best they could. All were brought to my station, the small upon the backs of the larger, and were made as comfortable as possible, remaining with me a week. The poor creatures were almost crazed with terror, and were glad enough when, after the riots were over, arrangements were made to convey them to a temporary place of refuge on Blackwell's Island.

There had been a crowd gathering around City Hall all day long. They became more restless as night fell. The mob stopped all passing trains, searching for blacks who have been on board. Mostly, however, they glared at the Tribune Building. They wanted the head of Tribune editor, Horace Greeley.

The mob that the police had routed on Broadway earlier in the day, now headed for the Tribune Building. They stood outside and shouted for Greeley. When he didn't appear, they hurled stones and bricks through the windows. The mob from City Hall joined them, and they rushed into the building, destroying everything in sight.

A force of one-hundred-fifty police officers descended upon the mob. Clubs and fists were flying. The crowd in the street began to run. The police fought their way into the Tribune Building. The appearance of the police frightened the rioters and they tried to escape through doors and windows. The crowd began to run towards the park.

At the moment, Sergeant Carpenter (who had routed this mob on Broadway) was entering the park from the opposite side with a force of two-hundred. Carpenter and his men swept the rioters out of the park. He then made his station at City Hall that night.

More reports were rushing into police headquarters, detailing attacks on blacks. One had been severely beaten and hanged from a tree. The police went down and removed the body. African-Americans throughout the city were terrified. Many had sought refuge at police stations.

As Monday, July 13, drew to a close, New York City was in a state of chaos. The police department didn't have the numbers to compete with the huge mobs. Most of the city's military presence was gone -- off in Pennsylvania.

Mayor Opdyke demanded help from General Wool, who commanded the Eastern Department and had his headquarters at the corner of Bleecker and Greene. Opdyke also contacted Major General Sanford, who commanded what was left of the city's troops. Sanford ordered the Seventh Regiment to meet that night.

Earlier in the afternoon, Wool had ordered eighty men to be shipped over from Fort Hamilton. General Brown, who commanded the city's garrison, had heard of the riot and believed that eighty men would be insufficient. Brown took it upon himself to order an entire company into the city. Brown then directed all troops at Forts Hamilton, Lafayette and Richmond to be ready to move.

Mayor Opdyke realized that the only this riot could be quelled would be by military force. He requested a force of marines from Rear-Admiral Paulding at the Navy Yard and back-up forces from West Point. Opdyke also appealed to the mayor of Newark, New Jersey and the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island for any extra troops. His last measure of the day was to issue a proclamation to the rioters, calling on them to disperse. It didn't work.

George W. Walling, receiving orders to report to police headquarters:

No cars or stages were running, and in order to get to Mulberry Street as quickly as possible I hired stages, in which to place all my available force, leaving in the station a sergeant, two doormen and a few partially disabled patrolmen who were on the sick-list. We arrived safely at headquarters. Meantime a body of rioters had attacked and burned another enrolling office in Broadway, near Twenty-sixth Street. That evening we were stationed in the City Hall, as threats had been made to destroy the Tribune and other newspaper offices.

The night of July 13 brought anxiety to residents of New York City. Thunderstorms had driven many of the rioters indoors. The exhausted police department was grateful for the rest. Many officers slept on the floors of their station houses.

Telegraph poles that had been cut down by the mob, were quietly put back up by city workers who wore disguises. As quickly as they worked to put the poles up, other poles would come down.

Approximately fifteen to twenty police officers had fallen in the line of duty. The number of rioters killed was not known. Those that died were left in the street by the police, and later carried away by their friends.

Destruction of property consisted of four buildings burned on Third Avenue, a block of Broadway between Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Streets, two brownstones on Lexington Avenue, Allerton's Hotel near the Bull's Head Tavern, the Colored Orphan's Asylum, the Aged Colored Woman's Home and the Harlem Railroad Bridge. The looted Second Avenue Armory stood without protection.


Tuesday, July 14, 1863: Day Two
Tuesday, July 14, began rather peacefully. Carriages rambled down some streets while men hurried on their way to work. Most of the city remained as it as always been, except pedestrians kept an eye out for trouble.

At police headquarters, they were busy planning strategies for the day. A large force of special policemen had been sworn in. General Brown had delivered over seven hundred troops to the police. The soldiers were milling about inside and outside police headquarters, waiting for instructions. General Sandford had placed a force to guard the Second Avenue Armory.

George W. Walling:

Some time during the next morning one of my men came to me and said:

"Captain Walling, I've seen a big, rough-looking fellow peeping through the window. He's done it three or four times."

"Ah!" I remarked; "perhaps it will be just as well to keep a watch on him. Next time he peeps in call my attention to it."

"There he is again," said the man, presently.

And sure enough, the dim outline of a man's face could be seen pressed against the window pane. I opened the door cautiously, and slipping out quietly grabbed him by the collar.

"Good heavens!" I exclaimed, as I looked at his features. "What are you doing here, Leonard?" for it was no other than my brother, who was a ship-carpenter.

He told me his fellow workmen had struck and wouldn't let him work.

"Well, if you can't work, can you fight?" I asked him.

"Try me," he replied.

I immediately had him sworn in, gave him a club and had no occasion to feel ashamed of my unexpected recruit. He served under me the whole of the week, and took an active part in all that occurred, on one occasion narrowly escaping death.

Things were already beginning to fall apart to the North. Telegrams poured into headquarters, detailing fires and fights. Reports stated that from Sixth Avenue to the West, over to Second Avenue on the East, and as far south as Broome Street were all covered with mobs. Businesses in these areas had shut down. Factories had no laborers reporting for work.

The troops were called out into Mulberry Street and companies chosen for immediate action. A police force of two-hundred-fifty men, headed by Sergeant Carpenter, headed for Second and Third Avenues. Carpenter and his men walked straight through the mob on Thirty-second Street without harm. While the mob did yell obscenities, there was no violence. Up alittle further, the mob had scattered to take positions on rooftops. As the police approached, they threw stones and bricks. The police column scattered.

Carpenter ordered men to storm the houses and clear the rooftops. The police broke through doors and stormed to the roof. Fights ensued, the police were victorious. Rioters who tried to escape back down the stairs were met by more police inside the buildings. Some rioters chose to jump the two or three stories to the street, rather than face the police. The fight lasted for about an hour, with bodies strewn everywhere. The rioters had conceded the victory to the police.

The soldiers who had accompanied Carpenter's police force, had formed a line across Third Avenue, about a block and a half up from the fighting. Colonel O'Brien, of the 11th New York, had assumed command and placed two howitzers in the middle of Third Avenue. The mob, who had remained quiet in their defeat, became boisterous again at the sight of the bodies scattered on the street and the soldiers blocking their way. They started throwing stones and bricks at the soldiers, and jeering Colonel O'Brien. O'Brien ordered his men to fire. The howitzers opened up into the mob while the soldiers fired their muskets. Bodies fell everywhere. An eyewitness described one of the victims as a woman carrying an infant in her arms. The mob tried to flee in terror, knocking each other down in an attempt to evacuate the street. In less than five minutes, Third Avenue was cleared of the mob.

Colonel O'Brien and his men marched back down to police headquarters where he asked to be relieved of command. O'Brien was an Irishman who had grown up in the poorer sections of the city. Conflicted by the duties of his military position and having grown up among many of the mob, O'Brien was disturbed and sickened by what had taken place. General Brown dismissed him. O'Brien rode home to find that his family had deserted the house and fled to Brooklyn. Crowds lined the streets, and they made threats as he rode by. O'Brien entered a neighboring store for a few moments, and upon leaving, found the door blocked by an ominous-looking crowd. He drew his sword in one hand and his revolver in the other, and pushed his way into the street. He was hit hard on the back of the head and staggered forward. Suddenly the crowd rushed him, and O'Brien was unable to defend himself. The crowd knocked him down and beat him bloody. They dragged the barely conscious O'Brien a little ways down the street, then left him. He laid helpless and bleeding, while onlookers would walk up, curse or spit on him, and walk on.

Eventually a Catholic priest came upon the dying O'Brien and gave him Last Rites. The crowd fell silent. The priest turned to the mob and demanded they let the man die in peace. When the priest went to administer aid to another victim, the crowd again attacked O'Brien -- pounding and trampling his body. Throughout the afternoon, people would walk up and throw stones at O'Brien, who could do no more than emit a groan. At sundown, O'Brien's body was dragged into his own backyard, stripped of his uniform except his pants and left there. Still more crowds would wander into his backyard to assault him. Sometime after sunset, Colonel O'Brien finally died.

What happened to Colonel O'Brien was happening all over the city. Mobs were wandering everywhere, exacting revenge. The military was facing more anger and hatred from the mobs than the police had faced.

Lieutenant Wood headed one of many companies who were sent off from police headquarters on Tuesday morning. Wood and his men were patrolling down around the Bowery. When they turned onto Pitt Street, they encountered a boisterous mob of about two thousand. Wood ordered his one-hundred-fifty men to form a line across the street and to 'shoulder arms.' A member of the mob stepped forward to speak with Wood, but Wood waved him off. The mob started throwing stones at the soldiers. Wood ordered his men to fire, and bodies began to fall. The mob fled in all directions.

The police had their hands full down around Thirtieth Street. Mobs were now aware that the military had been called out, and they rushed to arm themselves. They learned of a cache of carbines at a wire factory on Thirtieth Street, and rushed over to grab them. The factory had no one guarding it, so the mob thought it would be an easy take. They forced their way in, and distributed the carbines. However, the attack had been telegraphed to police headquarters, and a force of two hundred men, under Inspector Dilks, rushed to the scene. As the police marched off Twenty-first Street, they encountered a mob numbering one thousand strong. Dilks ordered a charge and the scene soon disintegrated into hand-to-hand combat. One of the leaders of the mob attempted to charge the police. As he turned around and saw that he had no back-up, a blow from a police club sent him staggering onto the sidewalk, where he fell and was impaled through the jaw on an iron railing. The police managed to cut a swath through the crowd and proceeded to recapture the stolen carbines. The sidewalk and the street were covered with bodies. The mob began to flee.

Once the street was clear, Dilks ordered his men to secure the wire factory of all armed rioters. The police stormed the building, securing the staircase step-by-step. Rioters tried to run back down the stairs, only to be met by police officers wielding clubs. The police secured the building and a physician from headquarters treated the wounded. Gathering what guns they recaptured, Dilks and his men marched back to headquarters amid a crowd of cheering spectators.

While the wire factory was under attack, Mayor Opdyke's house on Fifth Avenue was again attacked and this time, looted. Provost Marshal Maniere, with a small force, dispersed the rioters and saved the house from destruction.

By afternoon, a reinforced mob returned to the wire factory and overthrew the small police guard left to defend it. They found some boxes of guns the police had overlooked earlier and rearmed themselves. A detachment of police and soldiers under Captain Franklin was sent out this time. As they approached the five-story building, they were hit with stones and bricks thrown from the windows. The police charged the mob, clubbed their way into the building, and cleared it floor-by-floor. Rioters fled back down the stairs or jumped out the windows to their death. The police took all the guns from the building and proceeded to march back to police headquarters.

The mob was right on their heels in pursuit, yelling obscenities and hurling bricks at the soldiers, who took up the rear of the procession. The soldiers took the onslaught quietly, until Captain Franklin ordered them to fire. The soldiers fired at pointblank range. The rioters fled, scrambling over the bodies that had fallen.

Police headquarters had become a madhouse. The telegraph machine worked nonstop, requesting help from every precinct to handle the mobs. In a short two hour period, headquarters had received and answered the following telegrams:

10:20 AM From Thirteenth Precinct. Send military here immediately.

10:22 AM From Sixteenth Precinct. A mob has just attacked Jones' soap factory; stores all closed.

10:50 AM From Twenty-sixth Precinct. Tell Inspector Leonard to send one hundred here forthwith.

10:55 AM From Twentieth Precinct from General Brown. Send to arsenal and say a heavy battle is going on. Captain Wilkins and company of regulars will report to me here at once.

11:18 AM From Sixteenth Precinct. Mob is coming down to station-house; we have no men.

11:20 AM From Eighteenth Precinct. The mob is very wild, corner Twenty-second Street and Second Avenue. They have attacked the Union steam factory.

11:35 AM From Twenty-sixth Precinct. Send another one hundred men here forthwith.

11:35 AM From Twentieth Precinct. Send one hundred men to disperse mob assailing Mayor Opdyke's house.

11:38 AM From Twenty-first Precinct. Can you send a few men here?

11:40 AM From Twenty-second Precinct. The mob has gone to Mr. Higgins' factory, foot of Forty-third Street, to burn it.

11:45 AM From Eighteenth Precinct. What shall we do? The mob is about 4,500 strong.
Reply - Clear them down, if you can.

11:50 AM From Eighteenth Precinct. We must leave; the mob is here with guns.

11:50 AM From Twentieth Precinct. Mob tearing up track on Eleventh Avenue.

11:58 AM The mob have just sacked a large gun-store in Grand Street, and are armed, and are on the way to attack us.

12:10 PM From Fifteenth Precinct. Send your men here forthwith.

12:35 PM From Twentieth Precinct. Send two hundred men forthwith to Thirty-fifth Street arsenal.

12:36 PM From Twenty-first Precinct. The mob have just broken open a gun-store on Third Avenue, between Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Streets, and are arming.

12:40 PM From Twenty-first Precinct. Send help - the crowd is desperate.

The telegrams continued all day, as precincts around the city pleaded for help.

Businessmen gathered for a meeting on Wall Street and declared businesses closed until the city was under control. The Harbor Police were busy ferrying in troops from Riker's and Governor's Islands, while also trying to prevent their docks from being destroyed. The Sub-Treasury building and the Custom House were guarded by the 10th National Zouaves and one-hundred-fifty armed citizens. The Invalid Corps patrolled the areas around the government buildings. Approximately four hundred New Yorkers were sworn in as special police officers, furnished with clubs and badges, to help quell the riot. The fire department worked tirelessly, rushing to all corners of the city to extinguish the flames.

Governor Horatio Seymour had finally reached the city. He holed up for awhile with Mayor Opdyke, drafting two proclamations for the mob and orders for a citizen opposition.

New York City's African-American population, fearing for its lives, fled from the city. Ferries leaving the city were packed. However, aged and poor blacks were unable to leave. They were forced to face the mobs, who were now hunting them down.

African-Americans were chased down the streets, while the mob yelled obscenities. If he/she was overtaken, they would be beaten to death. If an African-American ran into a house in a black neighborhood, the house was burned down -- consuming the occupants. Entire black neighborhoods went up in flames.

On Tuesday morning, James Costello, an African-American, left his house on Thirty-third Street on an errand when he was set upon by a large mob. As they chased him down the street, he pulled a revolver from his pocket and shot of his pursuers. The shot was fatal. The mob, now enraged, chased and caught Costello, beating him to death. They then hanged his limp body from a lamppost for a while, only to then cut it down, drag it through the gutters, pelt it with stones and finally set it on fire. When Mrs. Costello emerged from her house to try to stop the attack, the mob turned on her and her children. The Costellos fled the scene, dodging through backyards and over fences, and finally found safety at the local police station.

In neighborhoods such as those around Sullivan and Roosevelt Streets, African-Americans were afraid to venture into the streets. Two boarding houses in this area were surrounded by mobs. The lodgers fled in fear. Finding only the owner inside, the mob beat him, broke up his furniture and burned the building to the ground.

Stores patronized by African-Americans shared the same fate. Rioters would loot the establishment, distribute the goods amongst themselves, then torch the building.

The police came upon the half-naked body of an African-American man hanging at the corner of Twenty-seventh and Seventh Avenue. Crowds danced and sang around the body. The body was that of Abraham Franklin, a man who had stopped by that area earlier in the day to check on his elderly mother. Franklin was on his knees, praying for God to protect his mother, when the mob, who had seen him enter the house, broke through the door. They beat Franklin with their fists and clubs and then hanged him in front of his mother. When the police arrived on the scene, Franklin was barely alive. As the police cut him down, he showed some signs of life by raising his arm slightly. However, the police were then called off to another mob scene and left Franklin in the street. Once the police were out of sight, the mob hanged Franklin again. When he was dead, they mutilated his body.

A huge crowd at Thirty-second and Eighth spent the day looting houses and hanging African-Americans. When Colonel Mott of the Eighth Regiment appeared on the scene, he saw three bodies hanging from lamp posts while the crowd shouted. As the soldiers approached, the mob fell back. Mott cut down one of the bodies from the lamp post. This enraged the mob and they attacked the soldiers with stones and bricks. The infantry was called up and with bayonets affixed, pushed the mob back, but just for an instance. They rushed the soldiers again, and the infantry fired. The infantry would fire five or six rounds before the mob finally fled. Soldiers followed. Once the scene was clear, the soldiers retired to police headquarters. Once the soldiers were off the scene, the mob went back to hanging African-Americans.

African-Americans who were unable to flee the city, attempted to take up refuge at police stations. As the stations became too full, many were escorted downtown to police headquarters, where they slept on the floor. The police fed them out of their own meager rations. When headquarters became too crowded, many were escorted to the Armory, where they were protected by soldiers.

It was nearly impossible for the police to protect every African-American in the city, as riots had encompassed practically all of Manhattan. By mid-afternoon of Day Two, eight buildings were burning in Harlem and there were reports of mobs gathering in the lower end of Westchester. Mobs that were dispersed by the police or soldiers would simply meet up again in another area. Businesses were closed, street cars had stopped running and citizens were arming themselves to patrol the streets. Broadway was deserted and the Fifth Avenue Hotel had closed all its iron shutters. New Yorkers of all races were attempting to flee the city by rail or ferry. Trains leaving the city couldn't get far as most of the railroad tracks were torn up. The Weehawken ferry was burned. Ordinary patrol for the police was out of the question, and crimes went unchecked. Even in the midst of the riots, newspapers continued to call the draft unconstitutional, calling for an examination by the courts and full suspension of the draft.

The mobs seemed to be without a singular goal. Some attacked African-Americans and burned their houses. Others attacked police stations and looted houses. Crowds attacked a house on Twenty-ninth Street and Eighth Avenue, believing Horace Greeley to be there.

The police stopped every stage that was still running and commandeered it as a means of transporting police and soldiers to various locations throughout the city. By early evening, there was a line of stages parked in front of police headquarters.

Crowds had been gathering on Sixth Avenue since late morning. They milled about, partaking in some general looting. By early afternoon, they decided to loot the mansions at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Forty-sixth Street. Supplied with guns, revolvers, muskets, stones, clubs and barrel staves, they forced their way into the residence.

Police headquarters had gotten word of their plans and sent Police Captain George Walling from the Twentieth Precinct with a company of soldiers under Captain Putnam. The soldiers marched up Forty-sixth Street with bayonets affixed. Under orders to take no prisoners, they charged into the mob, splitting it in two. The soldiers broke down into squads and chased the fleeing rioters.

Captain Walling saw an armed crowd in an alley. He ordered his men to take cover behind an approaching fire engine. When they were opposite the alleyway, the police fired, then charged. Rioters fled into a nearby tenement house. Police sharpshooters fired on rioters that were at the fringes of the crowds. Fleeing rioters were shot off the roofs. Walling saw about thirty men break into a hardware store, in an attempt to steal some pistols. He charged the group by himself, and shot the leader in the head.

George W. Walling:

That day I was directed to proceed with my men - one hundred in number - to certain buildings in the Twentieth and Twenty-second wards which were to be protected. We marched up Broadway, being supported by a company of regulars from the Invalid Corps. Thirty-second Street was reached without any exciting incident; but on arriving there I was informed that a mob was about to attack the Sixth Avenue car stables. This was not exactly true, the mob having designs on Dr. Ward's and other private residences in the neighborhood of Forty-sixth Street and Fifth Avenue. We marched up Forty-fifth Street, and through it to Fifth Avenue. We were confronted by a howling mob of men and women, numbering over 2000. A large number were armed with bludgeons. There was but one thing to do, and that was done quickly. I shouted out at the top of my voice, so that the rioters could hear me:

"Kill every man who has a club. Double quick. Charge!"

And at them we went with our clubs. The rioters dropped their bludgeons, tumbling over each other, and took to their heels. We took no prisoners, but left the rioters where they fell. The number of broken heads was large. The mob dispersed in all directions, despite the frenzied cries of the women for the men to "stand up and give the police."

This scrimmage, however, was nothing compared to what was to follow.

Word came of another attack on Horace Greeley's house, and the police sent a squad over. When they arrived, they found the building filled with men, women and children in the process of looting it. One rioter ran out the front door, shooting his pistol as he fled. The police closed on him with clubs before finally subduing him. Inside, the looters refused to hand over the goods to the police. One Irish woman fought so hard that she grabbed a police officer by the throat. Rather than dropping their goods, the rioters escaped with loot in hand, including women's shawls, dresses and sheet music.

There was chaos in the street when the soldiers arrived. Police and rioters were all mingled together. The soldiers fired a volley into the crowd, sending both the rioters and the police diving for cover. As the smoke cleared and the rioters fled, order began to be restored. However, three police officers were wounded by the soldiers' volley.

By evening, mobs had descended on the Brooks Brothers store on Catherine Street. Workers inside the store became alarmed at the sight of the growing mob. The rioters turned the gas off, plunging the store into total darkness. Headquarters sent a squad of approximately sixty men to defend the store. Officers Platt, Kennedy and Sergeant Finney guarded the front door. The three police officers seemed to intimidate the crowd for a while, but then shouts broke out, demanding the store be opened. The crowd started to push forward. The three officers advanced upon the crowd with their clubs drawn, when the crowd rushed forward, knocking the officers to the ground. The officers were beaten badly before managing to escape and flee back to headquarters.

The mob broke down the door and entered Brooks Brothers. However, it was pitch black inside. Windows were broken out while the gas was turned back on. The store was ablaze with light. Crowds milled in and out for a while, taking what they could carry out the door with them. The mob was almost done looting when Sergeant Delaney and a small force bore down on them. The mob was armed, and gunshots were heard. The police then drew their revolvers and a gunfight erupted in the street. Rioters scrambled over fallen bodies trying to escape. The police pushed their way into the store.

The rioters on the first floor didn't put up any resistance, but jumped through windows in an attempt to escape. It would be different on the second floor. Another gunfight erupted on the second floor. Finally the police were able to force the rioters to the rear of the building, where they remained until they could be put in custody. Once the store was completely cleared, the military guarded it for the remainder of the riots.

While Brooks Brothers was under attack, a mob attempted to burn the Tribune building, but failed. Nearby, in the office of the New York Times, staffers prepared for a similar fate by arming themselves. The mobs never bothered them.

Police Captain Petty was ordered to take two hundred man and go protect a wire factory on Second Avenue. Petty, with ten police officers behind him, chased a mob up the factory stairway, to the fifth story, clubbing rioters as they went. When they reached the top, the police fought hand-to-hand with the rioters. At one point, eight bodies lay blocking the doorway.

At City Hall, Mayor Opdyke asked for police protection, fearing an attack from the mob gathering outside. Governor Seymour, who was at the St. Nicholas Hotel, hurried over to City Hall and addressed the rioters from the steps, pleading with them to give up and return home. The mob listened quietly.

Archbishop Hughes, yielding to pressure from Mayor Opdyke, addressed the Irish of the city, asking them to refrain from violence. At the same time, Hughes sent a letter to Horace Greeley explaining that the Irish of the city had been oppressed and it was time the war ended. Critics charged Hughes of sympathizing with the rioters, rather than calling for peace.

The mobs over on Eighth and Ninth Avenues began to assemble barricades across the streets. Their purpose was twofold: to slow down the advance of the police and soldiers and to give the mob a point from which to rally an attack. As the afternoon wore on, the barricades were strengthened by wiring telegraph poles, carts and wagons together.

Headquarters knew of the barricades and dispatched police and Army regulars to handle the situation. A request was sent to General Sandford at the arsenal for reinforcements, which never came. The officers on the scene waited until dusk, but seeing that no back-up was coming, pressed on with a charge.

As the police and soldiers advanced on the first barricade at Thirty-seventh Street, a rain of bullets came at them, followed by stones and bricks. The police fell back, while the Army regulars kept advancing and firing. The rioters stayed their position. Both sides exchanged shots until the mob fled back to the second barricade.

The police moved, dismantling the first barricade, while the soldiers advanced on the second. More gunshots were exchanged; the soldiers advancing and the mob holding its ground. When the soldiers got too close to the barricade, the mob fled to the next one. The scene repeated itself at every barricade, until the last one at Forty-third Street.

After the last barricade was taken by the police, the mob fled in all directions. The soldiers were fast on their heels, firing into the crowds.

George W. Walling:

...at the request of General Sanford, I conveyed a large number of colored persons, who had taken refuge in the Arsenal, to my station. This was crowded already, but I managed to stow them away somehow, the officers and men giving up their rooms. Barricades had been erected by the mob on Ninth Avenue, at certain intervals, all the way from Twenty-sixth to Forty-second Street. These obstructions were constructed of carts, bricks, wagons, etc., the vehicles being lashed together with telegraph wires, or anything else that came to hand. Many of the rioters had fire-arms. They could be seen not only behind the barricades, but on the house-tops.

My instructions were simply to "clear the streets," and a company of Zouaves having been sent to support us, we proceeded to obey orders. We advanced towards the first barricade at the "double quick" with the soldiers in our rear. When within a short distance of it we were greeted by a sharp volley of pistol shots, with an occasional bullet from a musket by way of variety. Fortunately most of the balls passed over our heads, but it was warm work. The barricade could not be carried by the police alone, so we deployed to the right and left, thus allowing the soldiers space in which to manuevre and return the fire of the mob. This they did, and the rioters retreated.

Barricade No. 1 was won.

The police then went to the front, but were again greeted with a volley from the mob, while the Zouaves, in skirmishing order, occupied the sidewalks, getting a shot at the rioters whenever they exposed themselves.

Even after so many years one or two tragical incidents come to my mind in connection with this sad affair as distinctly as though they happened yesterday. One was that of a rioter who had stationed himself with a musket at the corner of an intersecting street, and was firing at us as fast as he could load, simply poking the muzzle of his gun round, he being protected by the angle of the house. One of the Zouaves saw this trick, and, watching his opportunity, fired completely through the wooden house, killing the man instantly.

Another fellow on top of a house made himself very conspicuous during the conflict by taking a shot at either the police or the soldiers, and then dodging behind one of the chimneys. He tried this once too often. Suddenly, while I was watching him, he threw up his arms and fell headlong to the street with a rifle ball through the very centre of his forehead.

Every inch of ground was disputed by the now desperate rioters, but slowly and surely we advanced. One by one we captured the remaining barricades with the aid of the soldiers, until our task was accomplished.

This area was the scene of disturbances up until after midnight. Around 9 PM, the police broke up an attack on a gun store. At midnight, a mob tried to destroy a black church on Thirtieth Street, but were repelled by soldiers.

The promised reinforcements never appeared that night. Seven hundred soldiers were holed up at the arsenal. The police needed them in the streets. Acting Police Commissioner Thomas C. Acton - who had replaced the badly injured John Kennedy - tried appealing to Governor Seymour for the men to be released, but was initially turned down. Finally, after much arguing, a company was released to police headquarters.

George W. Walling:

...the police under my command, together with the Zouaves, returned to the station. While there, waiting for orders, the Governor (Horatio Seymour), accompanied by Alderman John Hardy, came up and I accosted them. Alderman Hardy said to me:

"The Governor and myself have been over on Ninth Avenue, and found a number of persons there killed in the fight. It's too bad."

"I can't help that," was my reply. "They were there behind their barricades, and we had orders to clear the street. If there were any innocent persons there, I regret it very much. But such persons had no business there; they should have got out of the way when ordered to disperse. It's certain they were there, and gave encouragement to the rioters by their presence. If they come back," I added, after a pause, "I shall attack them again and serve them in the same way."

Turning to the Governor, I asked him:

"Have you anything to say, sir; or any orders to give?"

The Governor's reply was: "Take your orders from your official superiors."

Both then walked away.

Night brought little relief to New York City. George W. Walling:

We marched back to the station only to find that our duties for that day were by no means ended. At night, word was brought that the mob had attacked a church in Twenty-seventh Street belonging to a colored congregation, and that we must disperse the rioters.

No time was lost in getting to the scene of action, but the rioters were well prepared to give us a warm reception. They had thrown out a line of pickets to warn them of our approach. It happened that several fire-engines were passing through the street at the time, and mixing with the party of firemen we approached close to the church without attracting much attention.

The building was occupied by the rioters, and no sooner was our presence made known than we were greeted with a sharp fusillade from pistols, muskets, shotguns, etc. My men returned the fire with their revolvers, and this was the first time during the day that the police under my command had recourse to fire-arms. But now they did use them they proved most effective, as the following incident will show:

One of the rioters had straddled the ridge-pole of the church, and was hacking away at the timbers with an axe. The outline of his form stood out boldly against the sky, and he was in full view of the crowd. His actions were watched with great interest, and I kept my eye on him, as did everyone else. Presently the arm of one of my men was slowly raised to the proper level, there was a flash and a report, and the man on the roof disappeared from sight. Next day his body was found at the rear of the church. The bullet had lodged in his skull, and death must have been instantaneous.

That shot was followed by a howl of rage from the rioters, who attacked us in a savage and determined manner. We also set to work with a will, clubbing our opponents must unmercifully. The neighborhood was cleared in short order.

A mob attempted to burn the Harlem Bridge, but were unsuccessful due to the rainstorms of the night before. Mobs were gathered outside the Western Hotel and other establishments, but were dispersed before any damage could be done.

Most of the mobs had gone home by midnight, though there were scattered problems. At police headquarters, exhausted policemen slept on the floor. Outside, soldiers and policemen were stationed at various points around the city. The streets were mostly deserted. Houses and businesses were shuttered.

George W. Walling:

Before this a tragic occurrence was added to my day's experience. I was standing on Eighth Avenue, at Thirty-fifth Street, late in the afternoon, when six or eight burly-looking fellows, armed with clubs, marched up the street. In the middle of the block was a hardware store kept by a man named Heiser, and there it was that the party of ruffians stopped. The one who was evidently the leader was flourishing a heavy cart rung, with which he attempted to smash in the door. Heiser dealt in guns and pistols among other things, and if these men succeeded in getting into the store they would arm themselves and their comrades. I was alone, and there was no time to waste in seeking assistance. The fellow with the cart rung plied his weapon with such energy and strength that at the third or fourth blow he split the door in two. It so happened that his club stuck in the crack, and while he was endeavoring to pull it out I rushed forward and struck him a terrible blow on the head with my locust. He fell to the pavement as if he had been shot. His companions, who made no attempt to attack me, put him in a wagon and hauled him away. A doctor was afterwards sent for to attend him, but his only remark on seeing the patient was:

"He doesn't want a doctor. He needs an undertaker."

The man was dead!

Wednesday, July 15, 1863: Day Three

By Wednesday morning, July 15, New York City was occupied territory. Gunboats silently patrolled the rivers. Marines stood on guard at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, while six war ships, fully armed, watched from the water. Within the city, soldiers were quartered in private houses, churches and police stations.

Six warships sailed into the harbor this morning, carrying a total of ninety guns. A gunboat lay off the Battery to protect Fort Columbus. Businesses and residences stayed shuttered.

New Yorkers awoke to read Governor Seymour's proclamation, written the previous day, now published in the newspaper. It had also been printed and distributed as fliers:

To the People of the City of New York:
A riotous demonstration in your city, originating in opposition to the conscription of soldiers for the military service of the United States, has swelled into vast proportions, directing its fury against the lives and property of peaceful citizens. I know that many of those who have participated in these proceedings would not have allowed themselves to be carried to such extremes of violence and of wrong except under an apprehension of injustice; but such persons are reminded that the only opposition to the conscription which can be allowed is an appeal to the courts. The right of every citizen to make such an appeal will be maintained, and the decision of the courts must be respected and obeyed by rulers and people alike. No other course is consistent with the maintenance of the laws, the peace and order of the city, and the safety of its inhabitants. Riotous proceedings must and shall be put down. The laws of the State of New York must be enforced, its peace and order maintained, and the lives and property of all its citizens protected at every hazard.
The rights of every citizen will be properly guarded and defended by the Chief Magistrate of the State.
I do therefore call upon all persons engaged in these riotous proceedings to retire to their homes and employments, declaring to them that unless they do so at once I shall use all the power necessary to restore the peace and order of the city.
I also call upon all well-disposed persons, not enrolled for the preservation of order, to pursue their ordinary avocations. Let all citizens stand firmly by the constituted authorities, sustaining law and order in the city, and ready to answer any such demand as circumstances may render necessary for me to make upon their services; and they may rely upon a rigid enforcement of the laws of the State against all who violate them.
Horatio Seymour, Governor

Seymour had also drafted an order for all citizens to report to one of the designated areas to become part of a citizen organization.

Early this Wednesday morning, a mob was prowling through the African-American neighborhoods around East Twenty-eighth Street. They chose a house at random, broke in and began to loot the building. The residents fled just as the house was set on fire. One of the tenants, 7 year old Joseph Reed, became separated from his family in the confusion and the mob seized him. A group of male rioters gathered around Reed, beating him with sticks and hitting him with cobblestones. A large man stepped forward from the crowd and struck Reed on the temple with the stock of his pistol. Just as Reed hit the ground, a young fireman, John F. McGovern of Company 39, ran to his rescue. McGovern single- handedly held the mob at bay while scooping the unconscious boy into his arms. He carried Reed to safety. Reed would die from a severe head trauma the following Tuesday.

Military reinforcements sent by Lincoln, most fresh off the battlefield of Gettysburg, began arriving. Colonel William F. Berens of the 65th Regiment of the New York State National Guard, arrived in New York City with his troops on Wednesday morning. Immediately upon docking, he experienced the anger of the mobs:

On the way from the dock, a large mob gathered about and attempted to get possession of two Negroes who were serving as cooks with the artillery company of the Eighth New York National Guard. I protected them from harm by placing them amidst the battery and protecting the same by a company thrown on either flank.

Two companies from the 65th were assigned to guard the treasury buildings on Wall Street, while four companies were sent to restore order in Union Square. Berens himself, would experience more trouble as he headed for Seward's Shell Factory on 17th Street:

On arriving at the corner of Avenue A and Twenty-second street, I was fired into by the mob. I wheeled my men into line to return the fire, and the mob skedaddled. I then passed on a block farther, to the corner of Twenty-third street, when the mob gathered in upon my company from both directions on Twenty-third street, and commenced at once to fire upon us. I returned the fire, and kept up the street, firing, until I arrived at Twenty-eighth street. Finding my small company of only 28 men, besides the men serving the howitzer, too small to disperse so large a mob as had collected, I dispatched Quartermaster Flack to headquarters, on Mulberry street, for re-enforcements. The mob seemed to be very generally armed. I then fought my way through the mob to the factory. One of my men was wounded, and several of the crowd were killed and wounded by our fire. On arriving at the factory, we found the door closed. I forced the door, and took possession.
The mob gathered heavily around the factory and fired upon us. We returned their fire, and afterward sallied out upon them and drove them up Twenty-eighth street, as far as the corner of First avenue, and dispersed them.
At 2 p.m. Quartermaster R. Flack arrived with Companies A and D. At about 5 p.m. a priest came to me as a commissioner from the riotous populace, and urged me to quit the factory and return, stating the people agreed that if I did so the factory should not be injured. He stated further that the crowd threatened that if we did not leave they would burn us out. He implored me to accept the proposal, saying that he feared the worst consequences; that the mob was about 4,000 strong--altogether too large for my weak force to resist--and that he could not control or restrain them. I reported the offer made to me by the priest to General Brown. His answer was, to hold the place at all events, and to disperse the assemblage about me at the point of the bayonet, if necessary. Previous to the receipt of this response from General Brown, however, having refused the offered compromise, and the priest having retired beyond the reach of harm, and the crowd gathering heavily around the building we occupied, I found it necessary to open fire upon them, which was kept up until our assailants were driven back behind the corners of the neighboring streets.

At 3 PM, African-American Mrs. Staat decided to visit her son, William Henry Nichols on East Twenty-eighth Street. A mob saw her enter the house and immediately surrounded the building. They showered the house with stones, bricks and assorted bric-a-brac they found in the street. Mr. Nichols was not the only resident of the building. Upstairs from him, was a new mother -- her baby only three days old. The rioters broke through the front door of the building with axes and rushed inside. Nichols and his mother fled to safety in the basement. The rioters ran through every floor of the building, eventually finding the mother and her new baby. The baby was wrestled from the mother's arms and thrown from the window to the street below.

Ten residents of the building had taken refuge in the basement. The rioters axed through the buildings water pipes, causing water to flood the basement. The residents, mostly women and children, fled the basement as quickly as they could -- running out into the back yard. As they were attempting to climb over the fence, Mrs. Staat fell behind -- too tired to make the jump. The mob immediately set upon her. Her son, William Nichols, sprang to her defense, imploring the mob to Save my mother, if you must, kill me. Mrs. Staat was released and two rioters grabbed Mr. Nichols. They held each arm, while a third rioter, armed with a crowbar, hit Nichols repeatedly in the head. Mrs. Staat fled to safety. William Nichols died at New York Hospital two days later.

While the mob spent most of its energies in the last two days looting and attacking policemen and soldiers, they used day three to focus their hatred on the city's African-Americans. At around 3 PM, the same time William Nichols' house was being overrun, a mob attacked and set fire to a building on Second Avenue that was occupied by African-Americans. The residents fled in terror while flames consumed the building. The mob then prowled along Second Avenue, hunting down their escaping victims. The police wired headquarters, requesting reinforcements. They were slow in coming. By 4 PM, the mob had caught five or six African-Americans and was preparing to hang them. The police of the Twenty-first precinct again wired for immediate reinforcements.

After killing Mr. Nichols over on Seventh Avenue and Twenty-eighth Street, the mob threatened to cut off the Croton Reservoir. Soldiers arrived in time to prevent the service disruption. At the same time, a riot erupted on Pier 4 on the North River. A group of African-Americans were viciously beaten to death.

While mobs were killing African-Americans all over the city, General Sandford was having another problem at the arsenal. He telegraphed police headquarters that the arsenal was so full of African-Americans who had come seeking protection, that if headquarters didn't do something about it immediately, he would turn them back out into the streets. Acting Police Superintendent Acton and General Brown were horrified at the prospect and wired Sandford to keep them inside and do the best he could.

General Sandford had the same number of men underneath him at the arsenal that General Brown had at police headquarters. However, Sandford had not sent out any reinforcements in the last two days. He had little communication with General Brown at police headquarters and firmly believed the worst of the riot to be over by the third day. Sandford thought the police were now capable of handling any disturbances without the aid of the military. (This would be a matter of contention between Sandford and Brown in the aftermath of the riots.)

Day Three of the riots passed in much the same way as the previous two days. Telegraphed reports flew into police headquarters, describing mob activity. Buildings burned at the corner of Thirty-third and Second Avenue, government stores down on Liberty Street were ablaze, buildings at the corner of Catharine and East Broadway were on fire, stores were looted on Houston Street. The police station in the Twenty-first precinct was overrun by the mob and all the police fled.

Citizens began pouring into police stations, offering their services to help quell the riot. One company of noncombatants was formed and placed under the command of Charles A. Lamont. Other citizens were enrolled as policemen for the day and placed on duty.

Nineteen-year old African-American Joseph Jackson was gathering driftwood down by the East River in which to heat his house with when he was seized by a mob. They beat him bloody and tossed his body into the river.

Early in the afternoon, word reached headquarters of a cache of muskets in a store on Broadway, near Thirty-third Street. Colonel Meyer was sent out to recover the muskets, with the aid of fifty-three soldiers from Hawkins' Zouaves. Upon reaching their destination, Meyer found a large mob gathering, its size increasing by the moment. The soldiers pushed their way into the building and seized the muskets. As the mob closed around them on the street, a cart happened to drive by. Meyer grabbed the driver, explaining the situation to the Irishman, and the cart was offered as a getaway. The guns were thrown in the back. The Zouaves surrounded it as it drove away.

A battery of rifled cannon arrived at the Seventh Regiment Armory and immediately put into position in the street. Pickets had been firing all day, and an attack in the area looked imminent -- even though Sandford had thought the riot basically over. Towards evening, Sandford received word that a mob was gathering on First Avenue, between Eighteenth and Nineteenth Streets. A force was sent out under Colonels Winston and Jardine consisting of regular soldiers and citizens. They stopped on Nineteenth Street, set out the howitzers and placed the infantry in front. When the rioters spotted the big guns, they fled in every direction -- into basements and onto rooftops. Many of the rioters were armed with pistols and muskets and those that were, took up position along the rooftops. The howitzers opened fire and cleared the street of any rioters who were left. When the howitzers were silenced, rioters fired back. The rain of bullets from the rooftops was incessant. The soldiers tried to pick them off, but had a hard time as they presented a small mark. Since the soldiers presented a large target down in the street, the fight soon turned towards victory for the rioters.

Pinned down in the street, Colonel Jardine weighed the prospect of having his soldiers storm the building. Suddenly, a rioter stepped from behind a building, and resting his gun on the shoulder of another rioter, fired at Jardine. Jardine was hit in the thigh, knocking him down on the pavement. Rioters opened fire again, and officers began to drop. As the howitzers were failing to hit any rioters, though they were tearing the buildings apart, and seeing many of his men falling, Colonel Winston ordered an immediate retreat. As soon as the infantry began to withdraw, the mob swarmed into the street and gave chase.

In the ensuing panic to escape, many wounded and killed soldiers were left where they lay, including Colonel Jardine. Jardine managed to limp off the street and take refuge in a basement, where the mob soon found him. They were yelling for him to be strung up, when a rioter stepped forward, recognizing Jardine as an old friend. This man protected the Colonel from further harm and carried him to a surgeon in the area.

The mob had control of Nineteenth Street and police headquarters was not happy. General Brown sent down one-hundred-fifty men under Captains Putnam and Shelby, along with two field guns. Putnam's orders were to not only disperse the mob, but to bring back the wounded and dead soldiers. The Captains were in place by 11 PM. The dim street was still packed with rioters. Upon word of the approaching soldiers, rioters again took to the rooftops with guns. Without hesitation, Putnam and his men charged into the middle of the mob, sending them in every direction. The two field guns then opened fire on the buildings, clearing them just as quickly. Putnam and his men remained on Nineteenth Street, collecting the dead and wounded until after midnight.

While the battle for Nineteenth Street was still being determined, fights were taking place all over the city. Houses in African-American neighborhoods were being torn down, piece by piece, leaving a pile of rubble. Looted houses were burned to the ground. The night air was filled with the sounds of fire bells, gunfire, cannon-fire and smoke. Disturbances were beginning to break out over on the Brooklyn docks, as stores were set on fire.

African-Americans Jeremiah Robinson and his wife, decided to flee the city for the safety of Brooklyn on this night. Believing that Mr. Robinson would go unmolested in the streets if in disguise, his wife dressed him in some of her clothes. Even though he wore a hooded cape, there was nothing that hid Robinson's beard. As the couple turned off Catherine Street onto Madison, they encountered a mob. Two boys saw Robinson's beard, and proceeded to lift his skirt, exposing his heavy boots. The mob set upon Robinson in rage, beating and mutilating him. When he was dead, the mob threw Robinson's body into the river. Mrs. Robinson fled up Madison and eventually took refuge in Brooklyn.

A crowd of rioters were prowling Clarkson Street in search of an African-American male who had escaped from their clutches when they came upon William Jones. Jones was returning from the local bakery with a loaf of bread under his arm when he was grabbed. The mob beat him close to death, then hanged him from a lamppost. They then made a large bonfire under his feet, passing around liquor bottles while they warmed themselves. Jones' remains were beyond recognition. For two weeks, two different women, both in search of their lost husbands, returned to the scene to try to glean some sort of information about the victim. Mary Jones was finally able to identify the remains as her husband after an eyewitness reported that the victim had a loaf of bread with him. Mary had sent her husband to the store for bread that day, and he never returned.

African-American Ann Derrickson was enduring her own nightmare on York Street. A mob had grabbed her twelve year old son. After dousing him with kerosene, they fastened a rope around his neck and prepared to hang from the lamppost. White residents from the area, who had been patrolling on their own to help quell the violence, rushed to the young boys defense. They beat off the mob and untied the rope, just as the police arrived on the scene. Mrs. Derrickson, pushing through the crowd to get to her son, was grabbed by a fleeing rioter and beaten to death with a cart rung.

Police Superintendent Acton had gone 48 hours without sleep, and was about to forgo it another night. The telegraphs at headquarters worked incessantly through the third night. Acton was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Seventh Regiment, sent from Gettysburg, and due in at any moment. A special police force was sent down to the trains to await their arrival. However, Acton and his men would have to wait all night.

Thursday, July 16, 1863: Day Four At half past four on Thursday morning, July 16, Superintendent Acton's prayers were answered. The Seventh Regiment had marched up Canal Street towards Broadway, and were amassing outside the St. Nicholas Hotel.

The morning newspapers were full of statements from church, city and state officials. Governor Seymour's second proclamation, also drawn up on July 14, appeared:

Proclamation.
Whereas, It is manifest that combinations for forcible resistance to the laws of the State of New York and the execution of civil and criminal process exist in the city and county of New York, whereby the peace and safety of the city and the lives and property of its inhabitants are endangered: and
Whereas, The power of the said city and county has been exerted, and is not sufficient to enable the officers of the said city and county to maintains the laws of the State and execute the legal process of its officers; and
Whereas, Application has been made to me by the Sheriff of the city and county of New York to declare the said city and county to be in a state of insurrection:
Now, therefore, I, Horatio Seymour, Governor of the State of New York and Commander-in-Chief of the forces of the same, do, in its name and by its authority, issue this proclamation in accordance with the statute in such cases made and provided and do hereby declare the city and county of New York to be in a state of insurrection; and give notice to all persons that the means provided by the laws of this State for the maintenance of law and order will be employed to whatever degree may be necessary, and that all persons who shall, after the publication of this proclamation, 'resist, or aid in resisting, any force ordered out by the Governor to quell or suppress such insurrection' will render themselves liable to the penalties prescribed by law.
Horatio Seymour
New York, July 14, 1863

A proclamation from Mayor Opdyke appeared in the newspapers this morning. In it, Opdyke declared the insurrection to be basically ended. (This was news to the exhausted police and soldiers.) He called on New York City residents to aid the police and military, by forming citizen bands to patrol their own neighborhoods. He also asked everyone to return to their normal daily routines and for the railroads and stage lines to resume their routes.

At the same time, the City Council had declared the draft to be officially suspended in New York City. The council went so far as to appropriate .5 million towards paying the commutation fee for any poor man who may be drafted.

Also appearing in the newspapers that morning was an invitation from Archbishop Hughes to all the Irish in the city:

To the men of New York, who are now called in many of the papers rioters.
Men!
I am not able, owing to rheumatism in my limbs, to visit you, but that is not a reason why you should not pay me a visit in your whole strength. Come, then, tomorrow (Friday) at two o'clock, to my residence, northwest corner of Madison Avenue and Thirty-sixth Street.
There is abundant space for the meeting, around my house. I can address you from the corner of the balcony. If I should not be able to stand during its delivery, you will permit me to address you sitting; my voice is much stronger than my limbs. I take upon myself the responsibility of assuring you, that in paying me this visit or in retiring from it, you shall not be disturbed by any exhibition of municipal or military presence. You, who are Catholics, or as many of you as are, have a right to visit your bishop without molestation.
John Hughes
Archbishop of New York
New York, July 16, 1863

On Day Four, the police commissioners and General Brown changed their strategy. Rather than having the military rendezvous at police headquarters, they divided the city into four districts, and placed a strong force of soldiers and police within each district. The districts consisted of Harlem, the Eighteenth, Twenty-sixth and Twenty-ninth Precincts.

There was some semblance of normalcy in New York City that morning. Streetcars on Eighth Avenue were again running, as well as those over on Third Avenue. Stores in this area were again opening for business. However, over on the East side of the city, businesses remained closed along First Avenue.

The streets were still littered with the debris from the combat: bricks, stones, glass, wood, etc. Tenement houses in the poor sections of the city were filled with wounded, dead and dying rioters. Saloons in these areas opened for business, and wounded rioters poured in for drinks. In the poor areas, women stood in their doorways, cursing the military and the police. The Seventh Regiment was stationed on the West side of the city, given a larger area to protect than the other regiments. Yet the morning remained relatively quiet.

At around noon, police headquarters was informed of a small mob menacing the military in the Twenty-first Precinct. A small group of police, numbering only twenty-five men, were sent out to help. Upon reaching the spot, they discovered that the mob numbered about two hundred. As the soldiers were trying to load their howitzer, the mob rushed them, seizing the howitzer and sending the soldiers scrambling to take refuge in Jackson's Foundry at First Avenue and Twenty-eighth Street.

As they awaited military reinforcements from headquarters, the mob kept increasing in size. Whenever a soldier attempted to take up a position to fire on the mob, he was shot. As the reinforcements arrived, the mob attacked. The soldiers fired into the mob, but the mob gave no ground. The military backed up to the corner of First and Twenty-eighth. The mob delighted in the apparent retreat of the military and started to jeer them. Just then, a band of soldiers appeared with bayonets affixed and charged the mob. The rioters fell back, only to rush the soldiers again, and cause the soldiers to fall back. The tug-of-war continued until word of the street skirmish reached the Seventh Regiment.

The Seventh marched through the streets, unharmed through crowds of rioters, to the Twenty-first Precinct. When the mob at Twenty-eighth Street spotted the large column of soldiers, they fled back to Twenty-ninth, where they proceeded to loot businesses. Word reached police headquarters and another military force was sent out. As soon as the rioters saw the arriving soldiers, they attacked. Rioters had taken up positions in the buildings along Twenty-ninth, shooting from windows and rooftops. Eyewitnesses reported that the gunfire kept up incessantly for a half hour. A sergeant was hit in the head with a brick thrown from a rooftop. When he hit the ground, the rioters grabbed him and beat him to death.

Unable to make any headway against the rioters, the soldiers began to retreat, leaving the body of their sergeant in the street. General Brown did not have any more reinforcements to send, so the mob kept control of the area for most of the day. At around 9 PM, Captain Putnam was sent back with reinforcements. Arriving on the scene, Putnam pleaded with the mob to allow his men to remove the body of their fallen sergeant. As the body was being placed in a wagon, the mob attacked. The soldiers opened fire and the mob scattered, regrouping at Second Avenue and Thirty-first Street, where they were joined by more rioters.

The rioters took up positions again along rooftops and in windows. The soldiers appeared on the street, and the mob opened fire. Putting their field cannons in position, the soldiers opened fire, bodies piling up in the street. However, the assault from the rooftops hadn't been abated. Putnam ordered his men to open fire on the buildings. This proved ineffective as the rioters were deeply entrenched. Captain Putnam finally ordered the buildings to be stormed.

As the soldiers advanced up the stairways, the rioters had no means of escape. They seemed to prefer death to being taken prisoner, and fought with a vengeance the soldiers hadn't seen in the previous days. For a half hour, bloody hand-to-hand combat took place within the buildings. With their numbers rapidly thinning, the remaining rioters tried to run. Many who couldn't escape, hid under beds and behind furniture. The soldiers found them all and brought them in to police headquarters.

Aftermath Friday, July 17, dawned brightly, bringing with it something New York City hadn't seen all week -- peace. Omnibuses, full of passengers, rumbled down the streets, businesses and residences were unshuttered and opened, pedestrians again took to the streets. The precincts that had seen some of the worst fighting, were again quiet. No crowds assembled on the streets.

However, New York City itself, bore the look of a warzone. Smoldering ruins replaced buildings. Broken barricades remained in the streets. Buildings that were still standing showed broken windows and damage from cannon fire. Lampposts and telegraph poles laid on the streets.

The people who had rioted in the streets all week, stayed close to home. Many retired to local saloons to nurse their wounds and trade war stories. They hid their battered faces from patrolling policemen.

Police had already begun the tireless task of searching for looted goods in the poor neighborhoods. In dirty cellars and squalid apartments, the police retrieved priceless art, antique vases, expensive garments and jewelry.

Approximately five thousand people met with Archbishop Hughes at his residence. Although the crowd consisted mainly of those who had rioted, noticeable by all the bruised faces and broken limbs, the assembly was peaceful. Critics complained that Hughes had acted too late to have done any good.

Relief was abundant at police headquarters. Acton settled down to the first amount of sleep he had had in five days. Exhausted police officers also snoozed on the floors.

There was one big surprise for General Brown on this day. After fighting side-by-side with the police all week to save the city, he received word from Secretary of War Edwin Stanton in Washington: he was being immediately replaced by General Canby. Upon relinquishing his command, Brown spoke of his troops:

(They) engaged night and day in constant conflict with the mob, they have in some fifteen or twenty severe contests -- in most of them outnumbered more than ten to one, many of the mob being armed, whipped and effectually dispersed them, and have been uniformly successful. In not a single instance has assistance been required by the police, when it has not been promptly rendered; and all property, public and private, which has been under their protection, has been perfectly and efficiently protected.

To Superintendent Acton and Commissioner Bergen, I offer my thanks for their courtesy to me and their kindness to my command.

Mayor George Opdyke issued yet another proclamation on this sunny morning:

The riotous assemblages have been dispersed. Business is running in its usual channels. The various lines of omnibuses, railway and telegraph have resumed their ordinary operations. Few symptoms of disorder remain, except ill a small district in the eastern part of the city, comprising a part of the Eighteenth and Twenty-first Wards. The police is everywhere alert. A sufficient military force is now here to suppress any illegal movement, however formidable.
Let me exhort you, therefore, to pursue your ordinary business. Avoid especially all crowds. Remain quietly at your homes, except when engaged in business, or assisting the authorities in some organized force. When the military appear in the street, do not gather about it, being sure that it is doing its duty in obedience to orders from superior authority. Your homes and places of business you have a right to defend, and it is your duty to defend them, at all hazards. Yield to no intimidation, and to no demand for money as the price of your safety. If any person warns you to desist from your accustomed business, give no heed to the warning, but arrest him and bring him to the nearest stationhouse as a conspirator.
Be assured that the public authorities have the ability and the will to protect you from those who have conspired alike against your peace, against the government of your choice, and against the laws which your representatives have enacted.
George Opdyke
Mayor

During the riots, Governor Seymour had telegraphed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton in Washington, requesting a suspension of the draft. Seymour finally received his answer. However, it was not the answer he wanted and it didn't come from Stanton:

Time is too important...We are contending with an enemy who, as I understand, drives every able-bodied man he can reach into his ranks...No time is wasted, no argument is used. This produces an army with a rapidity not to be matched on our side if we first waste time to re-experiment with the volunteer system.... The draft was just and constitutional, and yet practical, in performing the important duty with which I am charged, of maintaining the unity and free principles of our common country.
Abraham Lincoln

New York City was America's most populous city by the 1860s, and had already become its financial capitol. While America had many ports of entry in the 19th century, New York City was the number one port of entry for millions of immigrants seeking a better life. By the end of July 1863, New York City was also an occupied city. Approximately ten thousand troops had set up camp in Manhattan to help preserve the peace.

The 65th Regimental Infantry of the New York State National Guard had an impressive battle resume prior to July 1863: Seven Pines, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. They were exhausted. With little or no rest or rations, they were ordered to bring peace to the streets of New York City. Now, in the calm after the storm, they tried to process the horrendous events of the previous 16 days. A telegram arrived at police headquarters:

5:45 PM From the Ninth Ward. The Colonel wishes his men be allowed to have beer in the stationhouse.
Reply: Acton says he is opposed to beer, but the colonel can give his men as much as he pleases. They have earned it.

Colonel William F. Berens and his men of the 65th, left New York City on July 20, bound for Buffalo. They were replaced in the city by the 152nd Regular New York Volunteers. The 65th would go on to take part in the Battle of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania and Appomattox.

The men of 7th Regimental Infantry of the New York State Militia were mustered out of service on July 21, 1863. Historians have complained that the 7th was underutilized during the riots.

Major-General Sandford and Brigadier-General Brown would go at it tooth and nail after the riots. Brown complained to superiors that Sandford never sent out reinforcements -- or at any rate, sent out very few. The action of each general during the riots was closely scrutinized and criticized by the other. Sandford claimed that all the troops placed in New York City were under his command, as ordered by General Wool, Commander of the Department of the East. Therefore, he could do with them as he wished. Brown claimed to know nothing of this order and argued that it was foolish for the military to take command of quelling the riot when it was the police department who should have been in charge. Brown continued to argue that the police were in the best position to know which areas of the city needed protection, how to get to these areas and which disturbances needed to be taken care of first. Besides, all communiques went through police headquarters. According to Brown, the military was simply a cooperating force to the police department.

Sandford told superiors that he would have had the riots under control by Monday night if all of his orders had not been countermanded by General Brown and there had been no interference from the police department. Brown was livid. He countercharged the Sandford had holed himself up in the arsenal all week and would have had no idea if the entire city had gone up in flames unless he went up to the roof and looked around. Brown was also quick to defend the tireless work of the police department -- men he worked side-by-side with all week. Acton also jumped into the fray, detailing how the defense of the arsenal was important, but that his men and Brown's had secured the rest of the city. Acton reported to the Board of Police Commissioners:

General Sandford's error consisted in not choosing to be in close communication with this department, when alone through the police telegraph, and other certain means, trustworthy information of the movements of the mob could be promptly had.

Brigadier-General Brown had been replaced by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, but his unwavering support during the riots was not forgotten by New York's Finest. In an address to the New York Police Department, the Board of Police Commissioners said:

During the whole of those anxious days and nights, Brigadier-General Brown remained at the Central Department, ordering the movements of the military in carefully considered combinations with the police force, and throughout the struggle, and until its close, commanded the admiration and gratitude of the Police Department and all who witnessed his firm intelligence and soldierly conduct.

In the judgment of this Board, the escape of the city from the power of an infuriated mob is due to the aid furnished the police by Brigadier-General Brown and the small military force under his command. No one can doubt, who saw him, as we did, that during those anxious and eventful days and nights Brigadier-General Harvey Brown was equal to the situation, and was the right man in the right place. To the soldiers under his command, we are grateful as to the brave men who perilled all to save the city from a reign of terror.

It is unknown what Stanton or Sandford thought of the address.

Sandford, of the 1st Division New York State National Guard, would forever claim that he and his men were solely responsible for bringing peace to New York City. In a December 30, 1863, letter to Brig. General John T. Spruce, Adjutant-General of the state of New York, Sandford claimed that he sent out a total of 26 detachments during the course of the riots to help quell the violence. He also said that under his orders, his men secured the northern and western sections of the city on July 13 and 14. Brown could only shake his head in disbelief.

Police Superintendent John A. Kennedy would return to work a week or so after the riots. Thomas C. Acton would return to his position as President of the Board of Commissioners - with much relief. The police suffered horribly during the riots. Approximately 80 police officers were wounded; four were killed -- including one officer who had been thrown off the roof of a building. Two police stations were burned to the ground -- the 18th on East 22nd Street and the 23rd on East 86th Street.

George W. Walling:

I am entirely aware that resistance to the draft was the first incentive to these disturbances; but in New York, as in all large centres of population, where any set of men makes a demonstration to ventilate its grievances, there will always be grouped around this party of malcontents the very worst elements of society. Aside from the strictly criminal classes - always ready to take advantage of any local troubles in order to carry on their peculiar vocations - there is a large body of idle persons, with no interests at stake, who amalgamate with the thieves for the purpose of sharing in the plunder. At times, when the utmost license has been rampant, this class has formed a most dangerous element. I really know of no instance of a riot occurring in New York, or in any other large city, during which robbery did not play a prominent part. A riot, or disturbance, is the thief's opportunity, and he is sure to take advantage of it. For more than a year after the draft-riots various articles, stolen during the disturbances from the houses of well-to-do citizens, were discovered by the police in different parts of the city. Furniture, carpets, china and other articles of domestic character were carried off, and in some instances tapestry carpets, valuable rugs and rich hangings were found decorating some of the most squalid and poverty-stricken shanties on Manhattan Island.

The police resumed their regular patrols, but now in pairs. There was fear that a lone police officer was not safe. Recovery efforts of stolen goods continued in the poorer neighborhoods for over a week. Police retrieved some strange articles, including barrels of bird seed, sugar and starch. The people in possession of the stolen articles claimed they found them in the streets and took them in to prevent them from being destroyed. Arrests were made on a daily basis. Officers watched over the docks to make sure stolen goods weren't ferried out of the city.

It's estimated that as many as 50,000 people took part in the riots. The police were unable to arrest any of the leaders of the mobs, though anyone believed to have taken part in the riots was taken in. Most of these prisoners were indicted. Twenty people would be tried for taking part in the riots, with nineteen convictions. It would cost the city million (.1 million today) to bring these individuals to trial.

The physical damage to New York City was catastrophic. An untold number of houses and buildings were destroyed. Parts of city blocks were now gone -- nothing remained but smoldering ruins. The cost of the physical damage was $1.5 million -- or approximately .5 million today.

Much more than the physical damage, was the emotional and psychological toll on the citizens of New York City - especially African-Americans. During the riots, many had fled the city to take refuge on Blackwell's Island, in the woods of Bergen New Jersey or in the fields of Long Island. Those who remained in the city, hid at police stations or at the arsenal. Now they faced the hurdle of returning to their homes.

Those who did return to the city, came back in apprehension and fear. The hatred that had been directed at them all week could still be felt. African-Americans wandered the ruins of what had once been their homes, trying to salvage something. It is believed that as many as 5,000 African-Americans were left homeless after the riots. Even if their houses were left standing, many found their homes looted of all possessions. Family members haunted the police stations, trying to determine what had happened to their missing loved ones. Most were directed to the city morgue.

Many African-Americans would either refuse to return to New York City, or after finding everything gone, would leave quickly. By 1865, New York City's African-American population had decreased by 20% -- from 12,472 (in 1860) to 9,945.

The exact number of casualties from the riots are unknown. Many of the rioters who were killed by the police or military were left in the streets. Family and friends would come later to remove the bodies. The exact number of African-Americans killed is also not known. Estimates of casualties on all sides is believed to be anywhere from 110 to over a thousand. Even the approximations of loss brought out the partisanship of the city's leaders. Democrats claimed the Republican propagandists exaggerated the figures to make their constituents look bad and put their estimate at 74 victims at the most.

New York City's merchants banded together and raised approximately ,000 for relief of the city's African-American victims and also to help rebuild the Colored Orphans Asylum. Approximately twenty-seven thousand dollars was set aside for rebuilding the Orphan Asylum, while the balance was to be distributed between the victim's families. The Committee set up shop on Fourth Street, near Broadway, to disperse funds. On July 24, the first day the doors opened, approximately 3000 African-Americans showed up to receive relief. If an applicant was believed to express need, he or she was given a set fee that didn't exceed . By August 21, a total of 12,782 African-Americans had received relief.

Life would be equally difficult for New York City's Irish, but in a vastly different way. The Irish were deeply hated through the late 1840s and 1850s. The Nativist party had been fading. The gallantry and bravery of the Irish on the battlefields of the Civil War, on both sides, had begun to change public thinking. Northerners reveled in the glorious stories of New York's legendary Fighting 69th, the 28th Massachusetts and the 24th Pennsylvania Irish. Prior to the war, these men were viewed as drunken, violent good-for-nothings who would never be loyal to America. In the early years of the war, these same men were viewed as brave defenders of freedom by those who supported the Northern war effort. Maybe, some of them began to think, they were wrong in their suppositions on the Irish. However, one week in July 1863 would undo it all. Nativist thinking would be on the uprise again. Talk again returned to closing America's borders to immigration. Cartoons would continue to portray the Irish as violent, drunken monkeys.

While not all of the rioters were Irish, the Irish did comprise a large majority of the mobs. They rioted alongside their poor German and American neighbors. Talk would always be of the Irish rioters. There is little talk of the Irish who gave their all to bring peace to their city -- the police, the soldiers, the average citizen who risked their lives to save their neighbors; the firefighters who risked their lives to not only battle the blazes, but had to fight the mob off to do their jobs. The newspapers didn't talk about firefighter John McGovern, who risked his life to save a small African-American boy from a lynch mob. They didn't mention the police, many of whom were Irish, who offered food and comfort to the African-Americans who had taken refuge at the station houses. They are the forgotten heroes of this immense tragedy.

And as for the draft? It would resume in New York City on August 19, without any further disturbances. Throughout the North, the draft would raise 150,000 troops -- only 1/5 of the Union's total forces. Of the 150,000 troops raised, a full 3/4 were paid substitutes -- most of whom were newly arrived Irish and German immigrants.

George W. Walling:

The draft-riot was certainly the most serious uprising that has ever occurred in New York, both in the area over which the disturbance extended and in the number of persons engaged in it. The forces of the police at the beginning of the trouble was not of sufficient strength to cope with the rioters at all points at once; but whenever the police and the mob came in contact the former were invariably the victors. No sooner, however, had the conflict ended in one part of the city than it began in another. That the struggle would have been prolonged and more disastrous had it not been for the aid of the military, there is no doubt; but I believe the police would have subdued the mob eventually.

Whenever there are the slightest premonitions of a riot, an once of prevention is worth more than a ton of cure in the shape of clubs or bullets. At the beginning of such a conflict, a mob has no organization, and can be readily broken up.