Let us eat Bread!
The civil war was not just about the
battles between Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. Courageous
acts did not just occur on the battlefield of Gettysburg and Manassas. The
stories of millions of normal folks trying to get by while the country
fought a civil war are numerous and for the most part untold. Can you
imagine what it would be like to be living in Richmond during the
ten-month siege? The winter of 1863 was harsh on the soldiers living in
the city, and even harder on the residents who had to support the
soldiers. The supply situation got so bad during the siege that severe
rations had to be enacted. Throughout the travail, wives and mothers tried
their best to keep their children fed while supporting the tens of
thousands of troops who needed provisions. The army was prepared to defend
Richmond for a long time. They had enough stores of grain to feed
themselves for many months if that is what it took.
Now to a mother
watching her children become human skeletons while perfectly fine food was
potentially available for them within the city limits it got to be too
much to take. One mother named Mary Johnson took it upon herself to get
the food that was available and feed it to Richmond's starving children
and poor families. She led a crowd of 1000 people, mostly women, to the
town center where some interesting stuff went down.
Teddy contemplates his road
taverns and shops were broken into and food was distributed to waiting
mothers. The riot grew as hungry city-dwellers joined in on a march on the
food stores of the Confederate Army. The Confederate president Jefferson
Davis came and spoke to the crowd, warning them that if they did not leave
he would order his troops to fire on them. The crowd dissolved, but the
unstable position of the south was further shaken by this raucous episode.
Please email me at:
Links to Other Dispatches
Daphne - And the answer is "c) We are ignorant of our past"
Irene - was the Civil War really about freedom?
Nick - The bloodiest square mile in America
Stephanie - I'm nine but I can still fight!