War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0917 Chapter XXXIX. DRAFT RIOTS IN NEW YORK CITY, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

[NEW YORK CITY, July 14, 1863.]

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: A good deal of excitement exists in this city to-day in reference to the draft. There is quite a riot in the Twenty-second ward (ninth congressional district), and the rioters have fired several buildings, four being already destroyed. Parties drafted are leaving in large numbers, and I fear that serious results may ensue either by violent resistance or legal evasion. Will it do to put the city under martial law, and have all the ferries and avenues guarded? A strong military force should be stationed here, under a strong minded and determined man. General Wool is, I fear, with entire personal respect to him, too far advanced in life and too infirm to endure the fatigue and labor incident to such an emergency. Seymour is here, but he is too much indoctrinated with the heresy of State rights to do much in aiding the Government in a measure like the draft. I hope, however, he will not interfere to the disadvantage of the Government. Still, you ought to be prepared, if possible, for any contingency.

Respectfully, yours,


Syracuse, N. Y.


July 14, 1863-10. 15 p. m.


Mayor of New York:

SIR: You will please keep this Department advised of the condition of things in your city, and suggest whatever may occur to you as proper to be done by the Department, within the means at its command, for the preservation of the public peace. Hostile demonstrations have been made in different States, some of a threatening appearance, but the local authorities have succeeded in their repression.


Secretary of War.


July 14, 1863-11 p. m.


SIR: I just started for New York, but previous to reaching the slip on the New York side, the signal was given for our boat to return to Jersey City. There we were told that an immense crowd were in possession of the Courtlandt Street Hotel, and were crying, "Now to the ferry. " The fire-bell on the general post-office in New York is now giving signals of fire in the seventh and eighth districts. Fighting still continues serious in upper part of New York.

STILL LATER. -The wagons loaded with the Persia`s mail have just returned to the steamer, it being found impossible to land them in New York.