On July 4th Manhattan exploded into gang violence on a grand scale. Mostly Irish street gangs like the Dead Rabbits took to the streets. As the police attempted to restore order they were beaten back. Fighting continued apace for over a week. By July 13th the rioters were strong enough to begin assaulting police stations. Roughly 500 Dead Rabbit Club members attacked a police station. The rioters armed with knives and guns killed several policemen. What was there to do?
The rioting continued into August and finally sputtered to an end with a whimper rather than the crash of gunfire. By that time the energy of the rioters expended itself and the street violence ended more from overall boredom than any positive action taken by the authorities.
The image below is from the July 11, 1857 Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. It shows three rioters throwing brickbats at police out an open window. In the doorway, a policeman prepares to shoot one of the women in the back.