Marker 546: Port Washington Civil War Draft Riot

© Photographed August 14, 2013 and March 28, 2014
Erected 2012 by Wisconsin Historical Society
 Port Washington, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin
40.327519, -81.519441
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During the Civil War, Wisconsin Governor Edward Salomon postponed the draft several times but finally gave authorization for several counties to hold lotteries. In Ozaukee County, Draft Commissioner William A. Pors set Monday, November 10, 1862, for the draft lottery. As he approached the courthouse in Port Washington, formerly located on this site, he was greeted by hundreds of angry onlookers changing, "No draft! No draft!" The unruly crown included many immigrants who opposed the way, the draft, and compulsory military service. As he attempted to begin, some of the protesters rushed forward, and a full-blown riot was underway -- the first major draft disturbance of the Civil War. Pors was pushed down the courthouse stares, pummeled, kicked, pelted with rocks, and chased. He fled for his life to Milwaukee, where he telegraphed the governor for assistance.
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The mob destroyed draft materials, paraded in the streets under a "No Draft" banner, and vandalized the homes of Pors and several other prominent citizens. The protest ended two days later when companies of the 28th Wisconsin arrived from Milwaukee to restore the peace. The soldiers arrested more than 130 people, who were first held at Camp Washburn in Milwaukee and then moved to Camp Randall in Madison. No charges were filed, and all were released over the next few months. The Ozaukee County draft resumed on November 14 under the watchful eyes of soldiers. It was completed without incident. Despite the draft riot, Ozaukee County had an outstanding Civil War record.
NOTE: This is a two-sided marker.

The marker is located on the grounds of the Ozaukee County Courthouse, at the intersection of West Main Street and North St. Clairsville Street, Port Washington, Wisconsin 53074.

See also, Ozaukee County Veterans Memorial and Ozaukee County Courthouse, also at this location.

The marker is located in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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