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[523] of the exorbitant prices, and rumors of a popular movement had been in circulation for several days. Females had begged in the streets and at the stores until begging did no good, and many had been driven to robbery to sustain life. On the morning of the second instant, a large meeting, composed principally of the wives and daughters of the working classes, was held in the African church, and a committee appointed to wait upon the Governor to request that articles of food should be sold at government rates. After the passage of sundry resolutions the meeting adjourned, and the committee proceeded to wait upon Governor Letcher. That functionary declined to take any steps in the matter, and upon urging the case the ladies were peremptorily ordered to withdraw. The result of the interview was soon made public, when a body of females, numbering about three hundred, collected together and commenced helping themselves to bread, flour, meat, articles of clothing, etc. The entire city was at once thrown into consternation. Stores were closed, the windows barred, doors bolted, and every precaution taken against forcible entries ; but hatchets and axes in the hands of women rendered desperate by hunger made quick work, and building after building was rapidly broken open. The destruction commenced on Carey street, above Fifteenth street, and was becoming general in that section of the city, when the City Guard, with fixed bayonets, arrived at the scene of operations. A few individuals attempted to resist the women, but without success. One man who struck a female was wounded in the shoulder by a shot from a revolver, and the threatening attitude of those armed with hatchets, etc., intimidated others from attempting force. The Mayor soon appeared, and, mounting a stool on the side-walk, proceeded to read the riot act. During the reading of that document a portion of the crowd suspended operations, but no sooner had the Mayor concluded than the seizure of provisions commenced again more vigorously than before. At this juncture an attempt was made to arrest the more violent; but the party immediately scattered, and, entering Main street, resumed operations.

Governor Letcher then appeared, and, mounting a vehicle in the centre of the street, addressed the throng, characterizing the demonstration as a disgrace and a stigma upon the city, and announcing that but five minutes would be given them in which to disperse. If in that time the order was not complied with, the troops would be called upon to act. Again the crowd broke up, and in a few moments burst into the stores on Franklin street. But little damage was done here, however, and the riot finally subsided, but not until after the arrest of about forty of the women, and the promise of the Governor to relieve the wants of the destitute. A large amount of bread and bacon was carried off, and all engaged in the riot succeeded in getting a good supply of provisions. Steps have been taken to provide for the immediate wants of some of the families; but great suffering still prevails and is daily increasing. Another uprising is feared, and precautionary measures for its suppression have been instituted; but great uneasiness is felt throughout the city, and merchants are adding to the strength of doors and shutters in every possible manner. The effect of this riot upon the troops about Richmond was very demoralizing. The authorities are much exercised over it, and the greatest vigilance is enjoined upon the police force. The leading men of the city attempted to circulate the report that the women were “Irish and Yankee hags,” endeavoring to mislead the public concerning the amount of loyal sentiment in the city, but miserably failed. The fact of their destitution and respectability was too palpable, and the authorities are forced to admit the conclusion that starvation alone incited the movement.

Troops are being hurried up from Richmond to Fredericksburgh. There is still a large force in the vicinity of Richmond; but these, it is believed, are about to leave for the Rappahannock. Fortifications are being thrown up on the Rapidan River, and the force in that section is being augmented. No work is going on upon the defences about Richmond. Two gunboats (iron-clads) are afloat in James River. The Virginia has been trying to get below the obstructions, and now lies near Drury's Bluff. The third is unfinished, but is rapidly approaching completion. The iron works are worked to their utmost in the manufacture of munitions of war; but the iron is of miserable quality, and many of their projectiles contain pieces of stone.

The railroads have almost entirely given out, and no material is to be had for their repair. Great despondency prevails, and the events of the next three months are awaited with most absorbing anxiety.



Rebel newspaper account.

Happily these daylight burglaries are undergoing judicial investigation. A great part of the stolen goods has been reclaimed. The ringleaders are being arrested; they will be tried and punished. A full account of the affair, from its obscure origin to its disgraceful culmination, will be made public, and the exaggerations that have gone to the country will be counteracted.

That there was any just ground for the shameful disturbance of Thursday no one believes. The more it is looked into, the more causeless it appears. Doubtless there is much suffering in the city. But the fund voted the poor was by no means exhausted; the churches were willing and abundantly able to relieve distress; private benevolence had not once been appealed to. No petition, no remonstrance had been made; yet, on a sudden, a hundred or a hundred and fifty well-dressed, plump-cheeked women, led by a virago who is known to have made a fortune by market-gardening, and cheered by a rabble of gamblers and ruffians, who are protected here by the special toleration of the confederate, State and municipal governments that misrule this unhappy city — all of a sudden this throng of courtesans


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