In this comprehensive history of New York City and its role in the Civil War, McKay explores the city on all its levels, from the politicians, businessmen, and aristocrats, to the lower classes and immigrants. Prior to the outbreak of war, New York City had thrived on Southern trade. Consequently, one of its greatest fears was how the Civil War would affect its economy. Mayor Fernando Wood even suggested at one point that the City itself might secede from the Union and operate independently. However, with the firing on Fort Sumter the City backed the Union. After all, the United States Army headquarters were in New York City. A sudden rash of patriotism broke out and recruits rushed to the colours. McKay chronicles the City's deepening involvement in the war: the effects on Wall Street and the monetary system; the seizure of the Confederate emissaries to England; new mayoral elections; the Confederate plot to burn down the City; and the terrible July 1863 draft riot - three days of pillaging and hangings, creating two million dollars-worth of damage.
Publisher: Syracuse University Press