War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0900 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

Then commenced a general destruction of the furniture, &c., ending by heaping it up in the center of the floor, and setting fire to it, soon enveloping the building in flames, and, communicating to the adjoining buildings, destroyed the entire block of four fine houses. The guard, which had been ordered up, could not approach the scene nearer than two or three squares, and, coming up after the building was fired, found the crowd too dense to proceed. Here they were attacked with stones, and returned the fire with ball-cartridges, with which their muskets were loaded, and, before they could reload with ball, they were overpowered, muskets and equipments taken from nearly all of them, and the men most cruelly beaten. One has since died, and six more are severely wounded. The balance made their escape with more or less bruises. The enrollment records and papers are supposed to be preserved in the safe. As soon as it can be handled, I propose with a guard to take the safe from the ruins, and have it removed, when it contents will be examined. Captain Manierre, in the eighth district, had proceeded with the drawing in his district, and had drawn about 216 names from the wheel, when he received information of the proceedings in the ninth district. He immediately suspended the drawing, and, hastily getting his records and books together, they were safely deposited in the police station near by. He had hardly succeeded in doing so before the mob was upon them, and the same scenes were enacted as in the ninth district, ending by firing the building, and the destruction of an entire block of eight or ten stores. The mob here was so great that it was deemed useless to order up the guard, only to share the same fate as their companions in the ninth district. While these acts were being committed, I dispatched my aides and assistants to the headquarters of the other marshals, with orders for them to remove their books and papers to Governor`s Island, which was safely done, and, with the exception of the ninth district, the papers of all have been preserved. I also deemed it prudent to remove the books and papers of my own office, retaining only such as were necessary for the moment. I also removed all the arms and equipments which had been provided for the Invalid Corps to Governor`s Island, as the mob had threatened not only to hang me but destroy the building also. These arrangements being completed, I proceeded to the State Arsenal, and was placed in command by General Wool. The troops began to arrive about 5 p. m., and by midnight, when I was relieved of the command, I had about 400 available men, General Harvey Brown, U. S. Army, assuming command of the troops, by direction of General Wool. About 6 p. m., the mob assembled in front of Captain Duffy`s headquarters, fifth district, and set fire to the building, which was entirely destroyed, with the adjoining buildings, the papers, &c., having been previously removed. No loss beyond the furniture was occasioned. Two companies of the Invalid Corps, one from Fort Wood, New York Harbor, and one from Newark, N. J., reported early for duty, and rendered very effective service. The companies at Fort Schuyler were needed for the protection of the fort. Last evening a mob broke into the house where Captain [Edwin] Rose, first district, had stored his clothing, &c., and, removing the contents to the road, set fire to it. They threaten to return this evening and complete the work.