Saturday, July 13, 2013

This day 150 years ago in Rebel Raiders’ History

-Dedicated to Civil War episodes, battles, people and ships that also appear in my game, GMT’s Rebel Raiders on the High Seas,  

July 13, 1863New York City Burns – the Draft Riots

            Historical Event:   On July 13, 1863 names were pulled from a drum in New York City to fill a draft for the Union Army.  As the rich could buy their way out of service and freed Blacks were excluded from conscription, poor whites – most of them Irish immigrants – felt the draft unfair.  What began as a protest against the draft turned into a riot, and one further fueled by racial tensions as more than a dozen Blacks were lynched and the Colored Orphans’ Asylum set ablaze.  Troops, including several New York regiments that had fought at Gettysburg only 10 days before, were called home to restore order, which they did by July 16, but only after more than 100 people had died and 20 times that many or more had been injured.

            Game Connection:   “Northern Draft Riots” is one of the “Pro-Confederacy Optional Rules” available in the Playbook for Rebel Raiders on the High Seas.  The likelihood of the riots occurring is directly related to how well (or, more accurately, how poorly) the North is doing in the war.  Should they occur, that turn the Union may not purchase additional assaults or buy extra cards, due to the disruption and distraction of riots in New York (along with growing anti-war sentiment in other Northern cities).

Note the drawing below that was originally featured in The Illustrated London News in July 1863:

            For more on the Riots, see my article on

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