This Week in the Civil War - 539

Apr 2, 2013

On Thursday, April 2, 1863 the so-called “Bread Riot” occurred in Richmond, Virginia.  Allegedly a mob crowded around a wagon, demanding bread.  The unruly mob then broke into shops and took whatever they wished, including jewelry and other finery. 

President Jefferson Davis personally proceeded to the scene, climbed aboard a wagon near the Capitol building, and threw the rioters the money he had in his pocket, telling the mob “(Y)ou say you are hungry and have no money.  Here is all I have; it is not much but take it.”   

Davis then encouraged the mob to disperse before the militia and local police took action.  The crowd rapidly dispersed without further incident.  Although a minor event, the “Bread Riot” was unsettling to the Confederate government and felt throughout the Confederacy.