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Prostitutes were a worrisome presence to army leadership, particularly because of the possible spread of venereal diseases. At concert saloons , men could eat, listen to music, watch a fight, or pay women for sex.
Over brothels existed in lower Manhattan. Prostitution was illegal under the vagrancy laws, but was not well-enforced by police and city officials, who were bribed by brothel owners and madams. Attempts to regulate prostitution were struck down on the grounds that regulation would be counter to the public good. The gold rush profits of the s to attracted gambling, crime, saloons, and prostitution to the mining towns of the wild west.
A brothel-keeper, Julia Bulette , who was active in the mining town of Virginia City , Nevada , was murdered in Thirty years before, in , the New York City courtesan Helen Jewett was murdered by one of her customers, gaining prostitution considerable attention.
The Lorette Ordinance of prohibited prostitution on the first floor of buildings in New Orleans. Some army officers, however, encouraged the presence of prostitutes during the Civil War to keep troop morale high. In August 20, , the U. General Robert S. Granger legalized prostitution in Nashville, Tennessee , in order to curb venereal disease among Union soldiers. The move was successful and venereal disease rates fell from forty percent to just four percent due to a stringent program of health checks which required all prostitutes to register and be examined by a board certified physician every two weeks for which they were charged five dollars registration fee plus 50 cents each time.
The youth on the left was a "procurer". By the U. Civil War, Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue had become a disreputable slum known as Murder Bay, home to an extensive criminal underclass and numerous brothels. So many prostitutes took up residence there to serve the needs of General Joseph Hooker 's Army of the Potomac that the area became known as "Hooker's Division.