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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. 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.