|In March 1863 Congress
passed the first national Conscription Act, requiring the enlistment of males
between 20 and 45. Substitutes or a payment of $300 could be used for
|Although the new law did not
exclude African Americans, resentment against the act erupted into violence
against blacks who were accused of starting the Civil War.
|During the four days from 13
to 16 July 1863, primarily Irish-Americans and other poorer men hit hard by
the new act, participated in draft riots in New York City, destroying
property and lynching blacks. Federal troops were called in to restore order.