New York Draft Riots

The Civil War was the first American war in which soldiers were drafted. The South was first to employ the draft, followed by the North. In March of 1863, the National conscription act was passed. Draftees would be called by lottery. Once called, a draftee had the opportunity to either pay a commutation fee of $300 to be exempt from a particular battle, or to hire a replacement that would exempt him from the entire war. Over the course of the riots, Blacks were often the target of many of the rioters. Lincoln sent federal troops to put down the riots. There are various estimates of the number of dead and wounded– ranging from 70 to 1,000.