War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0931 Chapter XXXIX. DRAFT RIOTS IN NEW YORK CITY, ETC.

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Washington, July 20, 1863.

[Honorable E. M. STANTON:]

MY DEAR STANTON: I sent you a bundle of letters from men of different views about the draft; they show a great conflict of opinion. My conclusion upon the whole matter is that you want as large a force in New York of loyal men as possible from this time until the draft is executed.

Faithfully, yours,


[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

GREEN POINT, N. Y. July 17, 1863.

Honorable WM. H. SEWARD:

SIR: We, of Brooklyn, have been saved from the mob for the present by the prompt action of the citizens forming in military companies and squads, and showing a bold front to the murderers. The Irish were ripe for revolt, and many Germans and dastardly Americans were encouraging them, and marking prominent Republicans for slaughter, but as the mob in New York gradually developed its disposition for indiscriminate pillage, American Democrats and even Copperheads began to join our ranks, not to enforce the draft (as they are all opposed to that), but to resist the mob and save their property. So that self-interest made them patriotic for once. We (the Republicans) accepted the new issue at once, and welcomed our new allies to the ranks and to the drill, and the very men who for years have been telling us that we ought to be hung for our opinions, and who worked that idea into the minds of the barbarian Irish until they were ready to slaughter us, are now joined hand in hand with us, and God help the Irish now, if they raise their murderous hands in Brooklyn. And that is not all; retaliation may be the order of the day ere long. There is a limit to the patience even of Republicans; the time may come when patience will cease to be a virtue, and I for one confess that I am very nearly at that state of mind. You men in high places may philosophically receive the abuse of a vile and hireling press, knowing that it only serves to bring you into notice and strengthen you with all good people, but we of the rank and file, who elect Presidents and Senators and Representatives, we, I say, must receive the hootings, the slander, the malice, and brutality of the vile mob, and now we are marked for slaughter in every ward and village in the North, but more particularly in New York and Brooklyn. Do you suppose that we are to bear this much longer? Give us, then, what every good man here prays for; give us, I say, Butler and martial law. If you men in power fail to rise to the true standard, and take the responsibility of protecting us, who have made you, in our homes and firesides we may some day act for ourselves. Then we will cut the hearts out of these murderers and Copperheads, who have been so long instigating the mob to murder us. In the name of God, of mercy, of law and order, then, give us Butler and martial law, and don`t for a moment suppose that the danger is over; the wolf has tasted blood, and he is not yet satiated.

Yours, respectfully,