Reports of Mr. Edward S. Sanford, U. S. Military Telegraph Service.
JULY 13-16, 1863.--Draft Riots in New York City, Troy, and Boston
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/2 [S# 44]

NEW YORK, July 13, 1863.
(Received 12.10 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

        SIR: What is represented as a serious riot is now taking place on Third avenue, at the provost-marshal's office. The office is said to have been burned, and the adjoining block to be on fire. Our wires in that direction have all been torn down. A report just in says the regulars from Governor's Island have been ordered to the vicinity.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.


NEW YORK, July 13, 1863.
(Received 2.30 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: The riot has assumed serious proportions, and is entirely beyond the control of the police. Superintendent Kennedy is badly injured. So far the rioters have everything their own way. They are estimated at from 30,000 to 40,000. I am inclined to think from 2,000 to 3,000 are actually engaged. Appearances indicate an organized attempt to take advantage of the absence of military force.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.


NEW YORK, July 13, 1863--9.30 p.m.
(Received 11.45 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: The situation is not improved since dark. The programme is diversified by small mobs chasing isolated negroes as hounds would chase a fox. I mention this to indicate to you that the spirit of mob is loose, and all parts of the city pervaded. The Tribune office has been attacked by a reconnoitering party, and partially sacked. A strong body of police repulsed the assailants, but another attack in force is threatened. The telegraph is especially sought for destruction. One office has been burned by the rioters, and several others compelled to close. The main office is shut, and the business transferred to Jersey City.
        In brief, the city of New York is to-night at the mercy of a mob, whether organized or improvised, I am unable to say. As far as I can learn, the firemen and military companies sympathize too closely with the draft resistance movement to be relied upon for tim extinguishment of fires or the restoration of order. It is to be hoped that to-morrow will open upon a brighter prospect than is promised to-night.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.


WAR DEPARTMENT,
Washington, July 14, 1863--1 a.m.

EDWARD S. SANFORD,
New York:

SIR: Your telegram of 9.30 just received. Please report to me immediately--1st. Whether any and what military force has been called out or employed by the city authorities or the drafting officers. 2d. What amount of injury has been done, so far as you know, to persons and to property. 3d. What measures, if any, have been taken by military or police authority to quell the riot.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.


NEW YORK, July 14, 1863.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: It was impossible to answer your questions fully. I gave you such information as I could get at headquarters. Several conflicts have taken place to-day, with more serious results than those of yesterday, which were principally confined on the side of the police to severe injuries. Three arsenals were attacked to-day by the rioters. At two points they were repulsed. At the third they were successful, and obtained possession of the arms, which were recaptured by the marines and regulars.
        This morning nearly all the manufactories were visited by delegations from the rioters, who compelled the men to stop, work. This adds to the number and somewhat to the strength of the mob. The mayor has turned over his power and forces to Governor Seymour, who is about issuing a proclamation. Have sent to headquarters for statement of facts, as far as known, and will forward immediately on reception. An immense crowd has gathered around the Evening Post office since I commenced this message. As yet they are undemonstrative. General Wool s message has arrived, but gives no further information. Will try my own resources. My opinion is that one good regiment of native-born troops, well commanded, arriving here by 12 o clock to-night, would save the assay office, sub-treasury, and other Government property.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.


NEW YORK CITY, July 14, 1863.
(Received 12.30 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: Have seen General Wool. All the military which he can reach has been called for, but it now numbers only about 800 troops. These are aided by nearly 2,000 police. Governor Seymour has arrived, and General Wool reports him as co-operating heartily. He has called out several regiments, and General Wool has sent to New Jersey for two regiments; but, as far as I can see, the means of defense are entirely inadequate to control the present force of rioters.
        The military had a collision with the mob in Thirty-fourth street an hour ago, and used ball-cartridge. Result not reported. The rioters are now (12 o'clock) in possession of Mayor Opdyke's house, and destroying it.
        The chances appear to me to be against the immediate restoration of order in the city of New York. Will keep you advised of situation.

E. S. SANFORD.


NEW YORK, July 14, 1863--2.40 p.m.
(Received 4.30 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: You may judge of the capacity at headquarters here when every effort cannot extract any more information than I have forwarded. Excuse me for saying that this mob is testing the Government nearly as strongly as the Southern rebellion. If you cannot enforce the draft here, it will not be enforced elsewhere. The example will prove contagious, and similar events transpire in every large city. If you send sufficient force here to demonstrate the power of the Government, its effect will reach every part of the country, and one settlement answer for the whole.
        Immediate action is necessary, or the Government and country will be disgraced.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.


NEW YORK, July 14, 1863.
(Received 5.10 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

        SIR: It is reported from Boston that at 3 o'clock this afternoon a large body of armed men had assembled in North street to resist the draft. No details of the situation were received. I find it impossible to get any definite information from newspaper offices, police stations, or headquarters, of affairs here.

E. S. SANFORD.


WAR DEPARTMENT,
Washington, July 14, 1863--6.20 p.m.

Maj. E. S. SANFORD,
New York:

        SIR: The Government will be able to stand the test, even if there should be a riot and mob in every ward of every city. The retreat of Lee's army, now in a rout and utterly broken, will leave an ample force at the disposal of the Government.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.


NEW YORK, July 14, 1863.
(Received 8.40 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: We are expecting momentarily that our Southern wires will be cut, as the rioters are at work in their immediate neighborhood. It seems very important for the United States Government to define its position immediately in this city, and, if not done immediately, the opportunity will be lost. Governor Seymour has been sent for to come here immediately, and he is on his way. The police so far report themselves as having been successful in every fight, of which they have had many, but they say they are exhausted, and cannot much longer sustain the unequal contest. Not less than 10,000 good native soldiers ought to be here this moment to restore and enforce order.

E. S. SANFORD.


NEW YORK, July 15, 1863.
(Received 3 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: Have just returned from headquarters. Saw General Wool and Governor Seymour. The latter informed me that he had heard of organizations at Newark and Jersey City to prevent the passage of troops, and requested me to inform the Seventh Regiment. I learn from Philadelphia that this regiment will not reach there till 4 o'clock, which will make it due here about to-morrow morning. There does not seem to be any one here who is attending to these matters. Some one should superintend the transportation. If troops are to come in any numbers, all the equipments of the roads should be put on the Amboy line, which can be easily guarded, and boats enough sent from here to Amboy. The troops can land from on board boats at any desired point, and under cover of gunboats, if necessary.
        The situation does not appear to me to improve. There are indications of riotous organizations at all points from which we hear. The settling place is New York, and, once determined here, all is fixed.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.


NEW YORK, July 15, 1863.
(Received 6.20 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: The following message just received from the manager of our Boston office. It came from New Rochelle by horse-power, our lines up to that point being destroyed. There was a considerable riot last night at Staten Island, and there are indications of outbreaks at Brooklyn and Williamsburg:

BOSTON, July 15, 1863--6.20 p.m.

Col. E. S. SANFORD :

        SIR: Considerable excitement and gathering of people at North End yesterday; some fighting. Two police injured. Two companies regulars ordered up from Fort Independence; also two companies artillery from Readville. About 8 p.m. crowd made an attack on armory in Cooper street. All window glass demolished by brickbats. Troops fired a round of blank cartridges, and made a bayonet charge on mob, which retreated toward Charlestown street. Troops returned to armory, crowd following. A disturbance more intense. Large breach made in door of armory, which was then thrown open, and 6-pounder brass field pieces, loaded with canister shot, discharged full in the crowd. One man killed and several wounded. The crowd still refusing to leave, infantry marched out by platoons, and fired. One man and one woman killed by this discharge, and several wounded. Cooper street was then cleared.
        Later in evening a battalion of dragoons formed line in Cooper street. Part of the crowd assembled at Dock Square, and a hardware store was broken into. Police fired fifteen or twenty shots.
        At 8.40 p.m. alarm bells were rung, and another squad of police sent to Dock Square, which succeeded in keeping it clear until arrival of dragoons and company of infantry.
        At 10 p.m. dragoons returned to Cooper street, the disturbance in Dock Square being quelled.
        At 12.30 armory discovered to be on fire, but was saved from destruction by military. The Forty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment notified to assemble at their armory at 6 this morning.

G. F. MILLIKEN.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.


NEW YORK, July 15, 1863.
(Received 9.15 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: The situation of affairs here is quite as critical this morning as at any former time. As far as I can learn, there has not yet been much serious fighting, but the rioters are gathered in large crowds at various points, and for the first time making their appearance down town in the back streets. Whatever assistance is to come here, should have precedence over all other railroad arrangements.

E. S. SANFORD.


NEW YORK,
July 16, 1863.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: The situation is evidently improved. Cars and omnibuses are running. The Hudson River Railroad has been relaid, and trains have come in and gone out without molestation. Laborers have resumed work at various points, and the lower part of the city presents its usual appearance.
        The fighting last night was quite severe. At one time the mob had the best of it, and possession of our dead and wounded, including 2 officers of the Duryea Zouaves, killed, and Colonel [Edward] Jardine, severely wounded. General Brown sent all the force at his disposal. He retook the position, and brought off the dead and wounded. There were killed in this contest about 15 of our men and about 25 of the rioters. The mob were armed, organized, and fired at the word of command.
        General Brown has now, including the Seventh Regiment, about 1,400 men under his command. He thinks the force for his special purposes should be increased to 3,000. It is impossible to ascertain how many troops there are here, owing to the conflict of authority under which each officer will report those belonging to himself and all the others. Yesterday one officer received, at nearly the same time, five conflicting orders from as many commanders-in-chief. There is no danger of getting too many troops here of the right kind. The indications, to my mind, are that the rioters are resting and organizing. They have got arms to a considerable extent, and use them pretty well. The agrarian mania has taken a strong hold of a certain class, and the cry of contrast between rich and poor is loudly raised. Every city and town that we hear from is effervescing. Philadelphia seems the most quiet, but, if once started, will be the most dangerous.
        I have taken care that all press dispatches which went out this morning conveyed the right impression. The strong hand tightly grasped here will be felt all over the Union. When you have given us a leader, and he has 10,000 men at his command, the country will be safe.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.


NEW YORK, July 16, 1863.
(Received 7.10 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: There has been no fighting to-day of any consequence. The gatherings of excited people are confined at present to a small section of the upper part of the city.
        I anticipate a renewal of trouble to-night, both here and in Brooklyn.
        Advices from all quarters indicate that resistance to the draft will be made the pretext for rioting in nearly every large town in the country.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.


NEW YORK, July 17, 1863.
(Received 10.50 a.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: The situation this morning is similar to yesterday. Business is going forward in most parts of the city. No further attack has been made on our telegraph wires, and we are in connection with Boston.
        The rioters made a harder fight last night than at any previous time, but were thoroughly whipped.
        I will endeavor to obtain and transmit more detailed information.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.


NEW YORK, July 17, 1863.
(Received 2.07 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: Police Commissioner [Thomas C.] Acton reports that in a fight last night near Gramercy Park, the soldiers got the worst of it, and were driven back, leaving one of their number killed. Captain Putnam, of the regulars, started with two companies, and thoroughly routed the rioters, killing from 15 to 25, taking 16 prisoners, and bringing off the body of the sergeant, which was left at the first fight.
        Police Commissioner Acton desires to make a special request for the promotion of Captain Putnam, Company F, Twelfth U.S. Infantry, this being the second time that he has encountered and overcome the rioters after they had gotten the better of our troops under other officers.
        No disturbance has occurred this morning in any part of the city.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.


WASHINGTON, D. C.,
July 17, 1863--3.40 p.m.

Police Commissioner ACTON,
New York City:

        SIR: The courage and gallantry of Captain Putnam, of the Twelfth Infantry, and of the soldiers of his command, against the rebel rioters in New York, has been unofficially communicated to this Department. Suitable acknowledgment will be made as soon as an official report is received. In the meantime, please to communicate to him, and the officers and soldiers who have acted under him, the thanks of this Department.
        Your board will also please report all cases of gallantry and courage that may come to your knowledge, by officers or privates, in order that the Department may make proper acknowledgment.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.


NEW YORK, July 17, 1863--3.45 p.m.
(Received 3.50 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: Up to this hour the city continues very quiet. The following is a synopsis of the remarks by Archbishop Hughes up to 2.45 p.m.:

I do not address you as the President, nor as a military commander, nor as the mayor, but as your father. You know that for years back I have been your friend I have stood by: you with my voice and with my pen. Now, as to the causes of this unhappy excitement. Some of your grievances I know are imaginary ones, though, unfortunately, many are real. Yet know of no country under the sun that has not more cause for a just complaint than we have in this.

        The archbishop, who is in excellent voice, has entire control of the sympathies of the crowd of three or four thousand people.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.


NEW YORK CITY, July 18, 1863--1.30 p.m.
(Received 1.45 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

        SIR: The plunder rioting is suppressed for the present, but there are strong indications of a formidable and widespread organization to resist the taking away of conscripts under the draft. This organization assumes a party aspect, and extends to the military of the city who are subject to draft. The party supposed to be most interested in sustaining the Government and draft, and the property-holders, show no intention to prepare for the emergency or to fight when it comes.
        I give you this information, obtained by personal observation, to enable you to appreciate the position, and trust you will not consider it officious.

E. S. SANFORD.

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