The Plug Uglies were a street gang in Baltimore during 1861. The Uglies actually controlled Baltimore’s elections during the 1850s through fear and violence. On April 19, 1861, the Plug Uglies were center stage as they fired the first shot at the 6th Mass. Regt. as they marched down Pratt Street thus starting what was known as the Baltimore Riot. This skirmish resulted in the first bloodshed of the American Civil War.