Life in Richmond 1861-65
From the Richmond Examiner, Tuesday, 4/7/1863 Bread riot trials
From the Richmond Examiner, Tuesday, 4/7/1863, p. 1
MAYOR'S COURT - April 6, 1863. - THE RIOTERS. - The Mayor resumed investigation of the riot cases.
John Jones, the pop-eyed, red-headed man of forty, was called up. This is the party that it was proved on the previous day was arrested on riot Thursday, standing guard with a knife over twelve hats full of coffee, in the door of Tinsley & Tartly. - Jones was remanded to answer for felony, and bail was refused.
Alexander Jennings was called up for further examination.
Colonel T. P. August testified that the accused was a member of his regiment, and had been since the beginning of the war; could recollect no impropriety on the part of Jennings; was greatly astonished when he heard that Jennings was engaged in the riot.
Mr. C. W. Purcell deposed - O the day of the riot I saw Jennings in Knott's store; Mr. Johnson was accusing him of aiding the rioters and throwing things out of the store; Jennings denied or evaded the charge and Mr. Johnson called him a thief; then two gentlemen came up and arrested Jennings.
Mr. Johnson recalled - When I called him a thief Mr. Knotts seized him by the collar, and Mr. Fitzhugh and another gentleman came up, and taking hold of Jennings carried him out, Mr. Knotts going with them; in a moment Mr. Knotts returned and said he had let Jennings go; it is now my impression that Jennings was told by Mr. Knotts to throw things out of the window.
Mr. E. H. Fitzhugh deposed - I helped to arrest Jennings and brought him out into the street; then Jennings called upon the crowd to rescue him, and the crowd rushed upon us; Mr. Knotts let go and ran back into the store and left me alone with Jennings, who would have been rescued; but that a stout gentleman, with heavy whiskers, came to my assistance and said, "I have seen the whole of this affair and I’ll help you"; I never heard Knotts say anything without authorizing Jennings to throw things out to the mob until he said it in court.
Mr. Knotts - I told some one to throw a box of needles, hoping to appease the mob until the officers could come up; I don't recollect who I told.
Mayor - I regret that any citizen of Richmond should encourage a riot by throwing out things to the mob. I will say here that it is reported that Maj. Griswold told me that this riot was about to occur, and I take occasion to pronounce the report absolutely false. Mr. Knotts, on your utter failure to recollect anything at all, I shall discharge this young man. Before you have persons arrested in future, you had better be certain of your charges. As Jennings has threatened violence to Mr. Fitzhugh, I shall require him to give security to keep the peace.
Jennings gave the necessary security and was discharged.
George Jones, alias Orvell Jones alias Virgil Jones, was called up.
He was in the uniform of the City Battalion, but not a member of that corps. He was discharged from the Battalion three months ago for endeavoring [to] bribe one of the guards at the Government lithograph establishment to steal Treasury notes.
Capt. William L. Maule - On the day of the riot I heard that the prisoner was engaged in the affair; I heard that he was seen entering one of the stores; I went to look for him and arrested him on Main street.
Sergeant Harris, of the City Battalion, deposed. I saw Jones on the street and went down with him into the neighborhood of Pollard & Walker's; there he separated from me; the women made an ineffectual attempt on the door; under his efforts and those of others the door gave way; when I came down street with him he said nothing to indicate that he meditated engaging in the riot.
Corporal John M. Jackson, of the City Battalion, deposed - I met Jones during the riot; he told me he was the first person who entered Pollard & Walker's; that he had been handing bacon out to the ladies.
Another member of the Battalion testified that he saw Jones take a pair of boots from a man in front of Hicks' and give them to a woman.
A young woman testified that while the stores ere being broken open Jones was talking to her on the other side of the street; he advised her to go home; he said he was going to take things from men and give them to the women.
Private William Smith testified that he saw Jones take things from the men and give them to women; he said it was bad enough for the women to take the things.
Jones was remanded for felony and bail was refused. Sarah Farrand, from North Carolina, was sent on to answer for a misdemeanor. This is the party whose husband keeps a family grocery near Mayo's bridge, and where were found nine pair of shoes and other goods stolen during the riot.
Mrs. Mary Woodward was called upon. She was a young woman, perhaps of eighteen, pretty and handsomely dressed.
John S. Caskie appeared as counsel for the accused.
Officer Morris deposed - On the day of the riot this lady and another came up Thirteenth street from towards Cary, sitting in a furniture wagon loaded with two barrels of flour, a barrel of soap, and eighteen pieces of bacon; the woman with her was Mrs. Wasley.
Mayor - As Mrs. Wasley's case is continued to tomorrow, I will continue this case.
Mr. Caskie - We have a witness we would like heard.
Mr. Burnett, clerk at West & Johnson's testified that seeing this lady in distress in the crowd on the day of the riot, he assisted her to get into a furniture wagon to get out of the crowd; her hair was disheveled; her bonnet off, and she was evidently in great distress; the wagon had gone but a short distance when I saw it arrested; put her on the wagon in Cary street.
Officer Morris - When I first saw Mrs. Woodward on the wagon it was coming up Thirteenth street, between Main and Cary; I stopped the wagon at Spence's corner and told the women not to get out; this man, Burnett, ran up and helped this woman off the wagon and started with her down the street; I stopped her; she struck me in the face, and Burnett seemed disposed to interfere, when Mr. Johnson came up.
Officer Kelly - I did not see this woman until she was in this room; I was utterly astonished; I went up to her and said, "Great God, you wan't in that crowd"; she said, "Yes, I was"; I said, "Well, if you were, it was not for the want of anything to eat," for I knew her family to be well off; I said to her, "Where's your husband"; she said he was in the country; I said, "Well, you don't suppose he will ever have anything to do with you after this"; she said, "Oh, yes he will - he don't care anything about it."
Mayor - I prefer to continue this case.
The case was continued to the following day.
Barbara Idol, German, red-headed and enceinte(?), was called up. She was from Rocketts, where her husband owns real estate.
Officer Kelly deposed - On the day of the riot I arrested this woman in the passage over Sinton's hardware store, with a ham of bacon and some other things, which she said had been given to her on the street by another woman.
Mrs. Idol stated that she had been up to the Young Men's Christian Association, where she had got some rice and other things, and was coming down Main street, when a lady gave her a ham.
She was sent on for misdemeanor.
This concluded the riot cases set for the day. The remaining cases will be taken up to-day.
NOTE. - The parties in these cases sent on for felony, will be tried before Judge Lyons, those sent on for misdemeanor will be tried before Judge Meredith, in the Circuit Court of the city of Richmond.
Posted By: Joe Elia