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    [New York Draft Riots]. Map and Thomas H. Ruger's Orders. Early in 1863, Congress passed a law allowing for all men between the ages of 18 and 45 to be conscripted into the Federal army. This law excluded free blacks (who were not considered citizens) and wealthy whites (who were allowed to hire substitutes). On July 13, 1863, the day that the law was supposed to go into effect, riots erupted in New York City. Over the course of the next three days, rioters, mostly immigrant Irish, would set fire to government buildings and fight with Union troops. Sadly, what began as a protest to forced military service devolved into a race riot, as the Irish focused their anger at the free blacks with whom they were in competition for labor.

    Measuring 37.75" x 23.75", this "Map of the City of New York" features the location of government offices, factories, military offices, fortifications, etc., centered mostly on the southern tip of Manhattan, indicated on the map by small, red, numbered dots. A numbered key along the upper edge of the map, also in red, gives the name of each corresponding building. Also depicted are the locations of locations of gunboats and ironclads that were posted in the East and Hudson Rivers during the riots. Folds with scattered spots of foxing. Unevenly toned.

    Gen. Thomas H. Ruger (1833-1907) was one of several Federal officers ordered to New York City to assist with putting down the insurrection. In his orders, dated August 15, 1863, from the headquarters of the 12th Corps, Army of the Potomac, Ruger is informed that "...the 2d Mass 3d Wis 27th Ind 5th, 7th, 29th and 66th Ohio Vol have been ordered to report to you...You will move these troops Rappahannock Station and there by rail to Alexandria." From there he is to " by telegraph to the Genl in Chief for further instructions...The troops from here have been ordered to take on supplies...They will of course take the usual supply of ammunition." Though it is not indicated directly in the orders, and the draft riots were a month earlier, docketing on the verso indicates that Ruger is being sent to New York City: "The within relates to movement of troops to Alexandria for transfer to New York on account of the 'Draft Riots' in 1863." It is possible that Ruger, if he is indeed headed for New York, is being sent as a precautionary measure as the original draft was going to be enforced for a second time on four days later, August 19. Water damage has caused staining along the vertical fold and weakening, with some separation and loss of paper.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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