Military history

City of Sedition: The History of New York City during the Civil War

City of Sedition: The History of New York City during the Civil War

No city was more of a help to Abraham Lincoln and the Union war effort, or more of a hindrance. No city raised more men, money, and materiel for the war, and no city raised more hell against it. It was a city of patriots, war heroes, and abolitionists, but simultaneously a city of antiwar protest, draft resistance, and sedition.

Without his New York supporters, it's highly unlikely Lincoln would have made it to the White House. Yet, because of the city's vital and intimate business ties to the Cotton South, the majority of New Yorkers never voted for him and were openly hostile to him and his politics. Throughout the war New York City was a nest of antiwar "Copperheads" and a haven for deserters and draft dodgers. New Yorkers would react to Lincoln's wartime policies with the deadliest rioting in American history. The city's political leaders would create a bureaucracy solely devoted to helping New Yorkers evade service in Lincoln's army. Rampant war profiteering would create an entirely new class of New York millionaires, the "shoddy aristocracy." New York newspapers would be among the most vilely racist and vehemently antiwar in the country. Some editors would call on their readers to revolt and commit treason; a few New Yorkers would answer that call. They would assist Confederate terrorists in an attempt to burn their own city down, and collude with Lincoln's assassin.

Part I. BEFORE: City of Confusion

Chapter 1. My God, We Are Ruined!

Chapter 2. City of Slavery

Chapter 3. City of Confusion

Chapter 4. The Great Riot Year

Chapter 5. The War of the Pennies

Chapter 6. Immigrants and Know-Nothings

Chapter 7. A Trio of Tammany Rogues

Chapter 8. Lurching Toward the Precipice

Chapter 9. Riot and Outrage

Chapter 10. From New York to Bleeding Kansas

Chapter 11. Leaves of Grass

Chapter 12. Hard Times and High

Chapter 13. Murder and Rebellion

Chapter 14. Slave Ships

Chapter 15. The Tall, Dark Horse Stranger

Chapter 16. City of Secession

Part II. DURING: City of Sedition

Chapter 17. The Tempest Bursting

Chapter 18. War! War!! War!!!

Chapter 19. New York to the Rescue

Chapter 20. Immigrants Join the Fight

Chapter 21. The First to Fall

Chapter 22. Seeing the Elephant; or, The Great Skedaddle

Chapter 23. The Hyenas of War

Chapter 24. The Shoddy Aristocracy

Chapter 25. We Are Coming, Father Abraham

Chapter 26. Three Cheers for Ericsson

Chapter 27. I Goes to Fight mit Sigel

Chapter 28. The Dead of Antietam

Chapter 29. Sambo’s Right to Be Kilt

Chapter 30. Burnside Falls, Sickles Rises

Chapter 31. Grafted into the Army

Chapter 32. Dan Sickles, Hero or Villain?

Chapter 33. The Volcano Erupts

Chapter 34. Tweed to the Rescue

Chapter 35. The Fire in the Rear

Chapter 36. New York City’s Burning

Chapter 37. Last Acts

Chapter 38. A “Hippodrome of Sorrow”

Part III. AFTER: City of Gilt

Chapter 39. The Postwar Boom

Chapter 40. Anything to Beat Grant

Chapter 41. Scandals and Scams

Chapter 42. Old Soldiers