How Many Years Was The Civil War latest 2023

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Civil War Food – What Union and Confederate Soldiers Ate

The modern US military has a wide range of food items at base camps and in the field. There are plenty of MREs (which are actually quite tasty) and other portable foods available to them while on missions and while stationed in hostile terrain. And when posted at an established base camp, the food prepared is also quite good. A big part of that, of course, is the ready availability of large quantities of every kind of food imaginable in today’s modern environment. In fact, today’s soldiers have the best food ever made available to a fighting force.

But it has not always been so.

Take the Civil War. Civil war food fed the soldiers and not much else. Let’s take a look at the diet that included the typical Civil War food ration. Several issues affected the food provided to Civil War soldiers. These include the organization of the commissary department – which was responsible for the acquisition and distribution of food to soldiers in the field, the season which determined whether fresh food was available or was preserved in some way and the ability of the food to remain good for long-term storage and transportation.

Before the war, the concentration of commissars was in the north, so when the civil war started, the north had a big advantage because they already had an existing commissar department that was already trained in how to acquire and transport food to soldiers in the field. . Their job was to work with troop numbers and schedules and to maintain a constant supply of food in each area where troops were stationed so that soldiers could keep fighting without worrying about where their next meal was coming from. It took several years for the Confederacy to develop a labor commissar, so being a soldier in the South was more difficult. It took real dedication to fight when you didn’t know where your next meal was coming from. Due to this lack of infrastructure, the South had to do a lot of foraging between battles until supply lines were in place and operational.

Food for Civil War soldiers was generally very simple – often consisting of meat, coffee, sugar and hard dough – a type of dried biscuit. Meat was often salted or cured to last a little longer, and fruits and vegetables were rare on the battlefield. Because the soldiers were often in the field, they had to carry rations with them. They had a special bag – called a rucksack – which was made of canvas with a fabric inner bag that could be washed to clean out food debris from time to time. But even with this design, the bags were often very contaminated and smelly. Cleanliness was generally not high on the list of priorities for Civil War soldiers.

Union soldiers and Confederate soldiers usually had a different mix of rations. A Union soldier may have salt pork, fresh or salted beef, coffee, sugar, salt, vinegar, dried fruits and vegetables. And if it was in season, they might have fresh carrots, onions, turnips and potatoes. A Confederate soldier usually had bacon, cornmeal, tea, sugar, molasses, and very occasional fresh vegetables.

The other difference in Civil War food between the Union and Confederate armies was the type of bread they had available. The Confederate soldiers had something called “Johnnie Cake” which they made in the field from cornmeal, milk, and a few other ingredients. Union soldiers had hardtack, also called “tooth grinders” or “sheet metal crackers”. Hardtack was made in large northern factories and was a staple for Union soldiers. Hardtack gets its name from the fact that it was often only used months after it was made and during that time it hardened like a rock, earning it its nicknames.

As you can see, food has come a long way due to the advent of technologies that allow better preservation of a wide variety of foods. Gone are the days of weevil-infested hardtacks. They have been replaced by modern vacuum sealing technologies that allow food to stay fresh and flavorful for years after being packaged. And since an army is said to be ruled by its stomach, it’s no surprise that the modern soldier is the finest the world has ever seen.

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