I am researching a draft wheel from the 1863 draft. The violence of the Civil War wasn’t just isolated to the battlefields – New York City itself became a site of death and destruction during July of 1863. Congress passed a conscription law earlier that March, requiring a national draft. This law was strongly disliked in New York City, as wealthy men who were drafted were allowed to pay a fee and send poor men to fight instead. After a draft lottery began on July 11, 1863 riots broke out amongst the poor Irish of New York, and many of the lottery wheels used to select men for the draft were destroyed. This particular wheel was used on July 13, 1863 in the 7th Congressional District of New York City, which was on the East Side between 14th St. and Rivington St. After rioting broke out on the West Side, the wheel was protected and therefore survived the three days of riots undamaged. This wheel still contains 3,606 cards with the names of men from the 7th District who were eligible for the draft. The cards contain the last and first names of the men, along with their addresses and several numbers representing their wards and individual application or draft numbers. Although the draft continued after the rioting died down, the number of men ultimately drafted was much smaller than the initial quota, and a government grant allowed even poor New Yorkers to pay their way out of the draft.