Make your own free website on Tripod.com
1) Anna Dickinson, an abolitionist

On the morning of Monday, the 13th of July, began this outbreak, unparallelled in atrocities in American history and equaled only by the horrors of the worst days of the French Revolution. Gangs of men and boys, composed of railroad employees, workers in machine shops, and a vast crowd of those who lived by preying upon others...began to gather on the corners and streets and alleys where they lived...

...A body of these, five or six hundred strong, gathered about one of the enrolling offices in the upper part of the city, where the draft was quietly proceeding, and opened the assault upon it by a shower of clubs, bricks, and paving stones torn from the streets, following it up by a furious rush into the office...

...The work was begun, continued, gathering in force and fury as the day wore on. Police stations, enrolling offices, rooms or buildings used in any way by government authority or obnoxious as representing the dignity of law, were gutted, destroyed, then left to the mercy of the flames...

...Before night fell it was no longer one vast crowd collected in a single section, but great numbers of gatherings, scattered over the whole length and breadth of the city, some of them engaged in actual work of demolition and ruin, others, with clubs and weapons in their hands, prowling round apparently with no definite atrocity to perpetrate, but ready for any iniquity that might offer, and by way of pasttime, chasing every stray police officer or solitary soldier or inoffensive Negro who crossed the line of their vision. These three objects - the badge of a defender of the law, the uniform of the Union army, the skin of a helpless and outraged race - acted upon these madmen as water acts upon a rabid dog.

 

Back to directions