in the Thirteenth United States Infantry--was detailed as assistant provost marshal general, and established his headquarters in Leonard street. The business of his department was conducted with quiet discretion, and the bugbear of a draft, which at first had created great consternation, in the course of time lost its terrors, as people became accustomed to its contemplation.
Still there was a deep-seated hostility to the proposed conscription, which the political opponents of the war fostered as sedulously as they dared, with the hospitalities of Fort Lafayette and its-sturdy commandant, Martin Burke
, staring them in the face.
On Monday, June 29th, Governor Seymour
, in Albany
, received private information that a deep laid conspiracy was on foot in New York to resist the draft.
Hastening to the city the details of the plot were communicated to him from the same source, to the effect that a large body of deserters, 1,800 strong, acting in concert with another large body of “Copperheads” were banded together to oppose the draft.
Arms were to be obtained for the revolutionists by a simultaneous attack on the State arsenal in Seventh avenue, and on the Seventh Regiment armory, to be made during the night of July 3d, when it was believed that the noise and confusion attendant upon ushering in the national holiday would render the movements of the leaders in the daring project less liable to be observed.
held a council with Mayor Opdyke
and General Sanford
Strong guards were posted at the places threatened with attack.
The police authorities were privately notified, and Superintendent Kennedy
detailed trusty officers to watch the armories, and to report the slightest circumstance of an unusual character that might occur in their neighborhood.
Having made preparations for the assault General Sanford
left the city on Friday morning, confiding the management of affairs to General Spicer
The night passed quietly, however.
No attack was made, no conspirators exposed themselves to arrest, and the Governor
and the small circle whom he had admitted to his confidence satisfied themselves that the whole affair was a hoax, gotten up with the mischievous intent of creating an alarm.
The incident, however, revealed the existence of a dangerous under-current of sentiment in New York, at that time, hostile to the war policy of the government, and competent to impress itself with fatal distinctness upon the minds of the ignorant masses who make up so large a portion of that city's foreign population.
The “Peace party,” as the opposition styled itself, was carrying things with a high hand.
At a meeting in the Twenty-second ward, held shortly after the 4th of July, the approaching conscription was