During the Civil War
, New York State supplied the largest number of troops, provided the most money, arms, and food, and suffered the greatest casualties of any state, North or South. But New York's Civil War was not confined to battlefields in Virginia or Mississippi. The city was itself contested ground. Government contracts enriched manufacturers, but working families suffered from inflation, homelessness, and bereavement.
As emancipation became an official war goal, the city's divisions exploded. The draft riots of July 1863 constituted the worst civil disorder in American history. But once allowed to serve, black New Yorkers helped bring Union victory and the final destruction of slavery in the United States.