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Monday, February 28, 2011 - 10:50am

Marker Explains Civil War Bread Riot

A new historical marker in Columbus tells the story of a mob of women who led a bread riot during the Civil War.

The Georgia Historical Society, the Georgia Battlefields Association and the Department of Economic Development are sponsoring the downtown plaque.

It describes how local planters defied Confederate government orders to plant more food, opting to grow cotton because it was more profitable.

By summer 1863, the south was running out of food, so 65 women armed with knives and pistols marched down Broad Street and raided food supplies until police drove them off.

Georgia Historical Society President Todd Groce says it’s hard to imagine a nation of farmers going hungry:

“It’s a story that hasn’t been told before in a historical markers and I think it’s also an aspect of the war that I think most people don’t realize that particularly for the common people the war was a very difficult, broodish, nasty experience and there were people who did things to oppose the Confederate government during the war.”

The marker is part of a statewide educational campaign FOR the Civil War’s 150th anniversary.