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Confederate CitadelRichmond and Its People at War$
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Mary A. DeCredico

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813179254

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813179254.001.0001

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Hardship and Despair, 1863

Hardship and Despair, 1863

“A General Gloom Prevails”

(p.68) 3 Hardship and Despair, 1863
Confederate Citadel

Mary A. DeCredico

University Press of Kentucky

Chapter 3 explores how the year 1863 challenged the city and its people as never before. Bad weather and the government fixing of prices for food and livestock led to spiraling inflation and food shortages. Because of these problems, coupled with a devastating fire at the Confederate arsenal laboratory on Brown’s Island, the situation in Richmond was tense. It finally exploded when hungry women marched to the governor’s mansion. Infuriated by the lack of response to their queries, the women took to the streets and created the largest bread riot to wrack the Confederacy that spring. Neither Mayor Joseph Mayo nor Governor John Letcher could appease the crowd, so the Home Guard was sent to deal with the rioters. In the aftermath of the Bread Riot, the Richmond City Council created what would become a comprehensive welfare system.

Keywords:   inflation, class divisions, Brown’s Island, Richmond Bread Riot, battles

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