Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Diary of a Southern Refugee, Judith White McGuire.

Diary of a Southern Refugee, Judith White McGuire.

April 2, 2013

Diary of a Southern Refugee During the War by Judith White McGuire

April 2d.—We were shocked when the gentlemen returned, to hear of the riot which occurred in Richmond today. A mob, principally, of women, appeared in the streets, attacking the stores. Their object seemed to be to get any thing they could; dry-goods, shoes, brooms, meat, glassware, jewelry, were caught up by them. The military was called out—the Governor dispersed them from one part of the town, telling them that unless they disappeared in five minutes, the soldiers should fire among them. This he said, holding his watch in his hand. Mr. Munford, the President of the Young Men’s Christian Association, quieted them on another street by inviting them to come to the rooms of the Association, and their wants should be supplied; many followed him—I suppose those who were really in want. Others there were, of the very worst class of women, and a great many who were not in want at all, which they proved by only supplying themselves with jewelry and other finery. The President was out speaking to them, and trying to secure order. The Mayor made them a speech, and seemed to influence them, but I dare say that the bayonets of the soldiers produced the most decided effect. It is the first time that such a thing has ever darkened the annals of Richmond. God grant it may be the last. I fear that the poor suffer very much; meal was selling to-day at $16 per bushel. It has been bought up by speculators. Oh that these hard-hearted creatures could be made to suffer! Strange that men with human hearts can, in these dreadful times, thus grind the poor.

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