Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 289
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James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
 
Page 289
 
 
the draft. The wheel was placed on the table. Slips of paper bearing the names of the men liable, rolled tightly and bound with a ring of india-rubber, were put into the wheel. One-fifth of the names were to be drawn, and each person so designated, unless physically or mentally unfit for service or exempt for other reasons under the law, if failing to furnish a substitute or pay three hundred dollars, must serve in the army for three years or until the end of the war. At ten o’clock the wheel began to turn, and at each revolution a man blindfolded drew out a name which the provost-marshal read to the comparatively orderly crowd of mechanics and laborers who filled the room. For half an hour the business proceeded. A hundred names had been drawn when a pistol was fired in the street, and a mass of brickbats and paving-stones came crashing through the windows and doors of the house, hurled by a mob of some thousands, which had been gathering since early in the day. The workmen of the Second and Sixth avenue street railroads and of many of the manufactories in the upper part of the city had stopped work and, parading the streets, had persuaded and compelled others to join their ranks. When their force had become a little army, they moved with one accord to the place where the drafting was going on and attacked and took possession of the house, driving the provost-marshal and his deputies away. The furniture was broken up, turpentine poured on the floor and the building set fire to; soon this and the adjoining houses in the block were ablaze. The superintendent of police came near on a tour of inspection, and, though not in uniform, was recognized, set upon and badly mauled; it was only by an exhibition of remarkable pluck that he escaped with his life. The provost-marshal’s guard from the Invalid corps, hurrying to the scene, were stopped and
 

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