Philadelphia City Guard poster, 1863.
Close Window

Philadelphia City Guard poster, 1863.

Credit: American Memory, Library of Congress

"Don't wait to be drafted!" Congress waited two years before resorting to the draft in 1863, and when it did, the new draft law allowed inductees to avoid service by hiring substitutes. Anger against this system and resistance was especially fierce in the northern cities with large immigrant populations, such as New York, where draft riots shocked the city only days after the Battle of Gettysburg.

Back to Top