10.4 The Turning Point Year of the War: 1863Having set his second war aim, Lincoln could argue more effectively that he was saving the Union in order to sustain the equality upon which the nation was founded. But not everyone applauded Lincoln’s wartime leadership. Some were angry at the president for instituting the nation’s first graduated income tax on yearly incomes of $600 or more. Many more were upset when Congress instituted a draft in March 1863. All men between the ages of 18 and 45 were required to join local militia units and be ready for action at the front. The government offered bounties of $100 to $500 to men who would enlist directly in the Union Army. Congress added a provision that allowed men to avoid the draft by paying $300 to the government and hiring a substitute to fight in their place.The Draft RiotsSome recent Irish immigrants, especially in the poorest neighborhoods of New York City, opposed the law, claiming they had no interest in the fight between the North and the SuperStockAbraham Lincoln is seen here reading the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet. Secretary of War Stanton is seated to the far left, and Secretary of State Seward sits directly across from him facing left. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase stands between Lincoln and Stanton.
CHAPTER 10Section 10.4 The Turning Point Year of the War: 1863South. In fact, they disliked the free blacks who competed against them for jobs. They especially hated the provision that allowed rich men to buy their way out of the war, claiming it made the conflict into “a rich man’s war, a poor man’s fight.” In the draft riotsthat broke out in New York City during the summer of 1863, gangs of Irish immi-grants roamed the streets of Lower Manhattan, attacking blacks and destroying property. At least 17 African American men were lynched. In all, more than 200 people—black and white—died, and nearly 2,000 were injured. Property damage ran into millions of dollars (McPherson, 2001, pp. 395–399).Lincoln sent the Union Army to New York City to put down the riots. He exercised his executive authority as he deemed necessary elsewhere as well. In border states where sympathy for the Confederacy remained high, he suspended the right of habeas corpus and jailed anyone deemed potentially dangerous. At least 13,000 people were imprisoned. Despite court rulings against these practices, Lincoln continued having people arrested and tried in military courts, arguing that he must bend the Constitution to save it. When the poorer counties in western Virginia broke away from the wealthier slaveholding east, Lincoln ignored potential constitutional issues and welcomed West Virginia into the Union.Politics During the WarLincoln was proud of the fact that elections went on throughout the war. Democrats and Republicans ran for office, often criticizing the president and his administration quite severely. The greatest criticism came from a faction of the Democratic Party known as the Peace Democrats or, as their enemies called them, Copperheads. They were opposed to the war and demanded immediate peace negotiations to end it. Some were openly racist,