Draft Riot

The population of the county in 1860 was about 14,000. The varied industries which were developed between 1854 and 1861 brought in many people from foreign lands. These were people who left their home country to escape the demands of military service so common there and to establish a new life in this land of peace and good will.

It is therefore understandable that they would develop a strong feeling of opposition to the draft for the army, as the North and the South went to war. The resistance grew very bitter until on November 10, 1862, there occurred the historic Draft Riot in Port Washington.

Troops sent from Milwaukee had little difficulty in stopping the riot. After the situation was properly explained to the people, most of whom could neither read nor write English, the draft could have been abolished; for men, young and old flocked to enlist. The record of Ozaukee men and women in the Civil War, and in the wars that followed can be better nowhere in the nation.