ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
April 2, 1863
The Southern Bread Riots Occured in Richmond, VA
During the American Civil War
On this day in 1863, in the capital of the Confederate States of America, citizens, mostly women, had finally
had enough of the skyrocketing price of bread and shortage of other food items. Although the protest was directed
at the Confederate government, there were many causes for the problem. The drought of 1862 had already diminished
supplies and then the foraging Confederate AND Union armies exacerbated the situation. If that wasn't enough, the
Confederate government's policies triggered staggering inflation.
In order to show their frustration, angry mobs broke into shops and began taking clothing, shoes, food, jewelry,
and anything else they could get their hands on. The militia was called and Jefferson Davis tried to disperse the
crowd by giving a speech and throwing money from his pockets into the crowd saying "here, this is all I have". When
that didn't work, he threatened to have the militia fire into the crowd. That did the trick.