| American History Stories, Volume IV|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Stories of the great conflict from the time Lincoln became president and the southern states seceded, through the battles of Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, until the close of the war. Includes poems, songs, and illustrations commemorating the events. Ages 8-12 |
 How many Northern men had already fallen on the battlefield, do you
suppose? I am sure I don't know; and you
would have no idea of what the number meant, if I could
give it to you. More men, than all the people you ever
saw in all your lives, children. If you were to count every
man and every woman, every boy and every girl in your
city, all the people you ever saw on the cars, all the people
you ever saw in the stores at Christmas time, or at the
beach in the summer time—if you were to count them
every one, even then you wouldn't have, I think, more than
a handful compared with the thousands and thousands of
Northern men who had gone to join the army.
And for two long years they had been fighting, with no
success of much importance until the taking of Vicksburg
and the driving back of Lee from Gettysburg.
Do you wonder, then, that at the beginning of this third
year of the war, there were so few men left in the North
and many of those so discouraged that Lincoln could no
longer depend upon volunteers. Do not forget, children,
that up to this time, all these brave men had joined the
army of their own free will. They need not have gone
had they not wanted to—nobody had made them go. They
had gone bravely, because they thought it was right, and
 because they so loved their country that they were willing
to give up friends, home, family—everything, and die, if
need be for their Flag.
But now, in this third year of the war, the President was
forced to "draft" these northern men—that is, he had to
say to each town, you must send so many men.
This draft was made as mild as possible. No men over
forty-five years of age were drafted, and no boys under
eighteen. No son who had a widowed mother depending
upon him, nor a father who had motherless children. You
see, every attempt was made not to be unjust or cruel in
There was in the North, at this time, a party who called
themselves the peace party. They were tired of the war,
had lost their courage by these two long years of defeat,
and said the best thing that could be done was to declare
peace, and let the Confederate States do as they pleased.
This sounds all very well; but I am sure even you children
can see that it was too late to talk that way then, and it
was by far too early to say to the South, "You have beaten
us; we give up the struggle."
These "peace-party" men, managed to stir up a good
deal of anger among the low, ignorant classes in the city of
New York, and a terrible riot followed. On the day the
"drafting" began in that city these low people formed
themselves into a mob—as they had done once before
per-  haps you remember—and, half drunk, armed with clubs
and knives, they surged up and down the streets, killing
policemen, stabbing and trampling upon black men and
women and children, burning their bodies, or dragging them
through the streets. Houses were entered, stores were
robbed, and buildings burned.
For three whole days, this horrible riot went on—till,
at last, a band of soldiers arrived. Then the mob, cowards,
as such people are, slunk away to their dens and their grog-shops,
and the riot, one of the most terrible and most disgraceful
events of the war, was at an end.
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