Port Washington in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Port Washington Civil War Draft Riot
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 chanting, "No draft! No draft!" The unruly crowd included many immigrants who opposed the war, 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 stairs, pummeled, kicked, pelted with rocks, and chased. He fled for his life to Milwaukee, where he telegraphed the governor for assistance.
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.
Erected 2012 by Wisconsin Historical Society. (Marker Number 546.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society marker series.
Location. 43° 23.303′ N, 87° 52.264′ W. Marker is in Port Washington, Wisconsin, in Ozaukee County. Click for map. In front of the Old Ozaukee County Courthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 109 West Main Street, Port Washington WI 53074, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Old Ozaukee County Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); Leland Stanford (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Wisconsin Street School Bell (about 400 feet away); The Wilson House (about 500 feet away); Port Washington Fire Engine House (about 600 feet away); Schumacher Building (about 700 feet away); The Wisconsin Chair Company Fire (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sidewheel Steamer Niagara (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Port Washington.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 446 times since then and 22 times this year. Last updated on . Photo 1. submitted on , by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.