Books: Riot: 1863

THE SECOND REBELLION by James McCague. 210 pages. Dial. $5.95.

The July sun was scarcely above the Manhattan rooftops when the mob began pouring out of the decaying tenements on the Lower East Side—ragged, shouting, weaponed with sticks, iron bars and brickbats. By midmorning, the crowd had moved across Broadway, filled Eighth and Ninth Avenues, descended on the 47th Street Army draft-board headquarters and set it afire.

It was about this time that New York City's police superintendent, John A. Kennedy, a vigorous man of 60, arrived to see what was going on. Screaming...