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Gotham at War: New York City, 1860-1865
by Edward K. Spann
Publisher: Scholarly Resources 2002
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Gotham at War is an accessible, entertaining account of America's biggest and most powerful urban center during the Civil War. New York City mobilized an enthusiastic but poorly trained military force during the first month of the war that helped protect Washington, D.C., from Confederate capture. Its strong financial support for the national government may well have saved the Union. New York served as a center for manpower, military supplies, and shipbuilding. And medically, New York became a center for efforts to provide for sick and wounded soldiers. Yet, despite being a major Northern city, New York also had strong sympathy for the South. Parts of the city were strongly racist, hostile to the abolition of slavery and to any real freedom for black Americans. The hostility of many New Yorkers to the military draft culminated in one of the greatest of all urban upheavals, the draft riots of July 1863. Edward K. Spann brings his experience as an urban historian to provide insights on both the varied ways in which the war affected the city and the ways in which the city's people and industry influenced the divided nation. This is the first book to assess the city's contributions to the Civil War. Gotham at War examines the different sides of the city as some fought to sustain the Union while others opposed the war effort and sided with the South. This unique book will entertain all readers interested in the Civil War and New York City.

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