Posted in History

Civil War Letters: Hardtack, Bacon, and Maggots! Oh My!

2013_06222013summer0071While writing Civil War Fiction, I spend a lot of time reading real letters and journals that were written during the war. I’ve found some of the most amazing stuff. You can click on the Civil War Letters tag on this page to read the collection of letters I’ve shared so far. Today, I want to share a humorous quote on the terrible food these men were given to eat:
“…our hardtack was harder still… We hailed the advent of a barrel of flour with great joy, although we had no convenience for cooking it. But necessity is the mother of invention so we hatched up a plan whereby we could get pancakes for supper, though Buddy the cook would have horrified at the idea of calling them pancakes but in the absence of anything better, we voted them excellent but the stomachs refused to sanction our decision…The boys gathered all the hardtack together placed it upon the back of the bacon and proceeded to drum them out of camp, the bacon carrying the hard tack but what was our surprise to find that the bacon had come back during the night…”
Another man writes about the food and says, “Our bacon was so maggoty that it could almost walk, and our hard-tack so hard we could hardly break it…”
Perhaps the story about their bacon “walking” back into camp was more truth than fiction. 
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4 thoughts on “Civil War Letters: Hardtack, Bacon, and Maggots! Oh My!

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