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The Draft Ordered article
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"The Draft Ordered"

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

By August 1862, the number of men volunteering to enlist in the Union Army slowed. In March 1863 Congress passed a Conscription Act that required all men between the ages of twenty and forty-five to register for the draft. This meant that men must register with the Army, then their names were chosen by lottery, and published. They were expected to present themselves to the Army the next day. There was great anger at the law, especially among the working class and poor Irish in New York City and Brooklyn. The law included a proviso that if a man did not want to serve, he could pay a "substitute" to take his place. Only the wealthy could afford this way out; thus, the burden of the draft fell on the shoulders of the poor.

In July 1863, rioting erupted that lasted for days. The mobs burned draft offices, department stores, and homes. They directed much of their anger against Blacks. Their churches and buildings were destroyed, and a Black orphanage was burned to the ground. Blacks were beaten and some lynched and killed. The Atlantic Docks in Brooklyn was burned. It took Union troops to calm the crowds. The Fighting Fourteenth Regiment came back from the Battle of Gettysburg to help restore order. In the end, the draft raised only about 150,000 men, or just one fifth of the total Union force.

Read the entire article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, "The Draft Ordered" (July 10, 1863). For another report on the draft riots, read "Riot in New York" (July 13, 1863).

Other suggested Web sites:

Virtual New York: New York City Draft Riots ( draft_riot_intro_set.html)

Citation - Document 56
Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online
July 10, 1863
Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn Collection

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