When the War first began, short-term enlistments were presumed adequate for the successful prosecution of what each side believed would be a short conflict. It wasn't long before both Confederate and Union officials realized they had miscalculated. When voluntary reenlistments failed to fill the ranks depleted by death, woundings, and reluctance to reengage the enemy, drafts were instituted on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Suffering from a greater shortage of manpower, the Confederate government moved first. On April 16, 1862, it ordered all white males between the ages of 18 and 35 to report for three years of service. Almost a year later, on March 3, 1863, the Federal government passed the Enrollment Act.

Both acts were wildly unpopular with the affected segments of the population. In July of 1863, incited by New York Governor Horatio Seymour, mobs of Irishmen rioted in New York City following the first draft lottery. For four days, they burned, wrecked, and set fire to black institutions in the city, the provost marshall's home, and the offices of the New York Tribune. Over $150,000 worth of property damage was done before troops from the Army of the Potomac moved in and restored order. The draft was postponed until mid-August and took place without further incident.

"The House-Top"