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From the NEW YORK HERALD, Morning Edition – Monday, July 6, 1857.
The Military Parade and Ceremonies in the Park
Serious and Bloody Riots and Loss of Life
The Military on Duty in the Disturbed Districts.
Accidents, Incidents and Stabbing Affrays.
Scenes in the Park at Noon and at Night
The Celebrations Out of the City
Interesting Mormon Clam bake in Connecticut
&c.,             &c.,                 &c.
 The Fourth is always a great day in New York.  It is always the noisiest of the year.  Saturday, owing to one or two serious riots, will be remembered as noisier than any previous Fourth for several years.  We give pretty full descriptions of the scenes of joy as well as the scenes of blood.  Accounts of several social gatherings we are, however, compelled to omit, in consequence of the space occupied by the details of the riots.

*       *       *       *       *       *

The Sixth, Seventh and Thirteenth Wards In Arms on the Fourth
Bloody Fights between the Bowery Boys and the “Dead Rabbits.”
Seven Men Killed and Thirty-Nine Wounded.
Three Regiments on Duty to Suppress the Riots
The Origin and Progress of the Disturbance.
Accurate List of the Killed and Wounded.
     &c.,     &c.,     &c.,
The city was the scene of two or three serious riots on the Fourth – one a bloody affair, resulting in the death of seven men, and the wounding of thirty-nine others.  Fifteen or twenty arrests were made.  These disturbances occurred in the Sixth, Seventh and Thirteenth Wards.  That in the Sixth ward, the most serious and bloody, was renewed last night, ending in the injury of a dozen more, who were so badly beaten that they had to be taken to the City Hospital.  The police force not being strong enough, three regiments of troops were ordered out, and remained on duty last night.
The bloody riot in the Sixth ward, by which nearly a dozen men have lost their lives, and a large number have been seriously wounded, appears to have originated with the revival of an old feud between a party of rowdies, called the “Dead Rabbit Club,” from the neighborhood of Mott, Mulberry, Bayard and Elizabeth streets, and a party of Bowery boys.  As early as two o’clock on Saturday morning an attack was made by the “Dead
Rabbits” on the drinking saloons, No. 40 Bowery, which seems to have been the headquarters of the Bowery boys, severely injuring a number of the inmates, breaking the windows, and doing a good deal of damage.  The police of the Tenth, Thirteenth and Sixth Wards were notified and succeeded for the time in quelling the riot.  The Metropolitan police were pretty roughly handled in their attempt to restore order, as will appear from the following return of Sergeant Hicks: -
A strong malignant feeling was manifested in my district last night, by a large gang of rowdies residing therein, against the Metropolitan police.  A special patrolman, named Thomas Sparks, received a cut in the forehead while in a conflict with these rowdies in Chatham street, near Mulberry.   There was also considerable fighting during the latter part of the night between these rowdies and a party of men in the Bowery, near the theatre.  The reserve force at No. 88 White street was turned out several times to suppress the row, but in every occasion the rowdies had made good their exit.  No doubt their spies gave due notice that the police were coming.
The skirmishing, however, seems to have been kept up at intervals throughout the day, though assuming no very important aspect until about 4 o’clock in the afternoon.  At this time word was received at the Superintendent’s office, No. 88 White street, that there was a serious riot in the Seventh ward, and accordingly a force of twenty-five men was detailed to proceed thence and suppress the riot, under command of Sergeant Brower. This squad proceeded up White street to Baxter (old Orange street), and through Baxter to Bayard street, where, as they turned the corner, as if by previous notice everything had been prepared, they were met by a tremendous mob, armed with sticks, stones, rifles, brickbats, and every imaginable weapon of assault.  The crowd commenced hooting and jeering, imagining that the police were seat after them.  Pretty soon the missiles commenced to fly, and a rush was made for the police, who fought as bravely as they could, but were at a great disadvantage on account of the inferior a number.  The assailants were of every age, men and complexion, and projects, their missiles from every quarter, from stoops, windows, and even tops of houses, bricks, stones, tin pots and other objects descended upon the unfortunate police, wounding many of them severely.  They, however, forced their way up Bayard street, though they became much scattered.  At the corner of Elizabeth street, while the exasperated mob was at their heels, ready to tear them to pieces, they met some members of engine companies in the vicinity, and the Bowery boys, who sided with them, and at some of them  say, preserved  them from certain massacre. The feud between the Bowery boys and the assailants became heightened at this point, and a most terrible fight took place at the corner of Bayard street and Elizabeth, the assailants being for the most part in Bayard, Mott and Mulberry streets, and the police, under Sergeant Brower, being with the Bowery boys in the Bowery, Bayard and Elizabeth streets.  Not only the most dangerous missiles, but pistols and guns were freely used, and an incalculable number of wounds of every variety were inflicted.
Word had meanwhile, been sent to the Superintendent’s office that the police had been attacked, and accordingly a force of forty men, under the command of Sergeant Hicks, of the Sixth precinct, was sent to their relief.  These, consisting mostly of special men, went down White to Centre street, through Centre, Franklin and Baxter streets, where they came upon the assailants in the rear, in Bayard street, where they would be hemmed in and obliged to surrender, but the hurricane of missiles from the tops of the houses told with fearful effect upon the police, who had likewise to contend with a violent mob hand to hand.  They, however, fought bravely, though they had no firearms of any consequence.  Sergeant Hicks saw one man throw a brickbat, and instantly rushed for him and collared him with  the design of having him taken to the Tombs.  The mob, however, gathered round him, as they cried, “Take him away!” “Don’t let the sons of b—s have him!” &c.  The Sergeant was, however, assisted by three or four officers, and, fortunately, having a revolver, drew it pointing it at the threatening mob, declared that whoever made an assault must die instantly.  His prisoner was therefore taken off to the Tombs.  The force fought bravely, and succeeded in carrying off a large number of rioters to the Tombs, where they were locked up.  Their desperate situation, however, becoming known at 88 White street, a force of nearly one hundred men – all that could be spared – was sent to the aid of the Metropolitans, now fighting against fearful odds at Bayard, Baxter, Mott, Mulberry and Elizabeth streets.  The scene at these points is said by those who witnessed it to have been of indescribable confusion.  The crowding, fighting mass in the streets – the howling, shrieking women and children in the upper floors busily engaged in showering every description of missile on the heads of those below, hitting indiscriminately friends and foes – the explosion of firearms, amid the shrieks of the wounded and dying, rendered the scene one of horror and terror.

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©2003 The Composing Stack Inc. ©2003 Gregory J. Christiano