Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Lets Eat!, Eating In The Civil War.

We all heard the old saying, ( the army travels on it’s stomach ) well this might be true but at some point in time, that old stomach will need to be filled. Both armies would find time to do just that, although they may only get one meal a day, if they were lucky two meals a day and if they were real lucky three.

I have touch on a lot of subjects over the years but I have not touch on the subject of meals. Now I will not go into great detail on the meals, but I thought it would be fun to put down when and where they took their meal, some of the places had funny sounding names. Both armies were on the march a lot so they had no regular time sat a side for meals but usually it was after a march of seven to fourteen miles at which time they would take a rest of about a hour then they were on the march again.

There is no way one could tell when every regiment was taken it’s meals but I will pick a few. I will cover all three meals. They may have breakfast at some farm in the morning and lunch beside a creek, then supper on the battle field. As many meals were far and in between they eat when ever they could.

Cook at the siege of Peterburg.

Note. Photos can be enlarged by pushing on them.


Tenth Michigan Infantry.

August 20, 1864, moved out to position of yesterday (leaving camp long before day) and took breakfast. August 29, moved out at for one mile and a half and threw up works and got breakfast. Nothing is said about any more meals for that day. On August 30, After getting dinner moved in an easterly course some three miles and a half, and halted and pitched camp in a pleasant grove. Marched seven miles. August 31, lay in camp until noon, then marched one-quarter of a mile to the right and occupied breast-works of troops which had marched out. Soon after, ordered out with everything and marched two miles to the right and formed line of battle, and bivouacked for the night.

Report of Major John M. Schofield, First Missouri Infantry, and Acting Adjutant-General Army of the West, of operations August 1-14.

On the morning of the third day the whole column was detained three hours for Colonel Sigel's brigade to have beef killed and cooked for breakfast, the remainder of the command having made their breakfast upon such as they had, and, with the exception of the Iowa Regiment, marched 6 miles before the killing of beef for Colonel Sigel's breakfast commenced.

By this time the clamor for relief became such that almost total anarchy reigned in the command. At length, after numerous entreaties from officers of the command, Major Sturgis resumed command of the army, giving as his reason for so doing, that, although Colonel Sigel had been for a long time acting as an officer of the army, he had no appointment from any competent authority.
On or about April 6, 1862.

While at breakfast, Edward N. Trembly, private Company C, First Regiment Illinois Artillery Volunteers, and on detached duty at headquarters, reported artillery firing in the direction of Pittsburg Landing. Breakfast was left unfinished.

Camp near Rogers' Gap, Tenn., June 17, 1862.
The column will march to meet the enemy to-morrow morning in the following order:

I. Carter's brigade, with Lanphere's battery and the two 20-pounders, and 100 cavalry, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Munday, will march at 1 o'clock, on the new Valley road, entering it at its commencement on the Knoxville road, and proceed toward its intersection with the old Valley road. En route it will halt 45 minutes for breakfast at or near Kincaid's, where water may be best obtained, after which time the march will be resumed with caution.

III. Spear's brigade, conducted by Jefferson Powell and Daniel Cupp, as guides, will march, without wagons, at 1 o'clock, by the old Valley road to its intersection with the road leading from Alexander's across the Poor Valley Ridge. Upon arriving at the opposite side of that ridge the command will be halted for forty-five minutes for rest and breakfast.

V. De Courcy's brigade, with Foster's battery and the two 30-pounder siege guns and 50 cavalry as an advance guard, under Captain Roper, will march at 1.30 o'clock, on the old Valley road, parallel with Carter's brigade, and will halt forty-five minutes for breakfast at Big Spring, 5 1/2 miles east of Roger's Gap.

VII. If possible, the men of all the commands will be required to fill their canteens with strong coffee to-night for breakfast and supper on to-morrow.

XV. In consequence of intelligence just received as to the supposed position of the enemy, paragraph III of General Orders, No. 42, is hereby modified as follows: Spears' brigade will march with ammunition wagons on the New Valley road forty-five minutes after the rear of Carter's brigade has entered that road. En route General Spears will halt forty-five minutes for breakfast and rest at or near Kincaid's, where the canteens of the troops must be filled with fresh water.

By command of General Morgan:

Report of Lieutenant Commander Patrick U. Murphy, C. S. Navy, commanding gun-boat Selma.

Between 5 and 6 of the morning of the 5th it was reported to me a move was made by the fleet outside. I gave the order at once to get up steam, to weigh the anchor, and to lash it securely, then to go to breakfast, and, if we had time, for the crew to dress themselves in their best clothes. The Selma was lying to the south and east of the flag-ship, and much nearer the shore. After the anchor was weighed the steamer drifted up with the tide to the northward and eastward. While the crew were at breakfast the engagement commenced, and many shots were fired by both sides before I went to quarters; but as soon as the crew were through with their breakfast and the decks were cleared up I went to quarters and stood to northward and westward and as soon as I passed the stern of the Tennessee I opened fire on the enemy with all my guns.

U. M. LAURANCE, Major 107th Regiment Illinois Infantry Volunteers.

May 24, crossed the Etowah on pontoons at daylight, and moved out two miles and halted for breakfast; then moved up the Etowah to the residence of Colonel Ryal, where our skirmishers met a few dismounted cavalry and drove them before them; we halted for the night to protect the left and rear of our army. May 26, moved at 2.30 a. m.; crossed Pumpkin Vine Creek, and moved forward two miles and halted near battle-field of proceeding day for breakfast; at 8 a. m. moved on a road to the left, formed our corps, and moved to the left of the Army of the Cumberland.

Report of Captain Joseph H. Little, First Missouri Cavalry (Militia).

Early on the morning of the 25th the command was ordered to the scene of the mail robbery near the residence of Mr. Luther Green. Mr. Green stated that on the morning of the 22nd Quantrill, with about 25 men, came to his residence and demanded breakfast for himself and men, and while at breakfast the mail-coach passed and was hailed by Quantrill and the mail-bags opened and ransacked. Quantrill, having breakfasted, left in the direction of Chapel Hill. Having received this information I ordered immediate pursuit.

Colonel Thomas Moonlight, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, commanding Northern Sub-District of the Plains.

On the morning of the 17th, of June 1865, I was just forty-eight hours out, I was 120 miles east-northeast of Laramie. The command had marched that morning about twenty miles before breakfast, and I halted on Dead Man's Fork to graze the horses and allow the men refreshment.

Report of Colonel James C. Briscoe, One hundred and ninety-ninth Pennsylvania Infantry.

Next morning, the 8th instant, marched at 6 a.m., and at midnight halted a short distance from Appomattox Station until 4 a.m. of the 9th instant. The men were very much fatigued, weary, and foot-sore, yet not a murmur was uttered as they fell in again for the march, none of them having had breakfast and but a few had had anything to east since noon of the previous days, as they were too tired after their thirty miles march to do anything save sink down beside their gun stacks and take the short sleep allowed them. Pushing on for a couple of miles, the command halted for breakfast, and again moved forward rapidly, passing at double-quick through Sheridan's cavalry camps.

HENRY H. WITHERS, Major Tenth West Virginia Vol. Infantry, Comdg. Regiment.

On the morning of the 19th I was very restless from some cause, and rose much earlier in the morning than usual; had taken my seat in my tent (about fifty distant from the part of the fortifications occupied by my regiment) and commenced eating my breakfast, when I heard several shots fired in tolerably quick succession; through, however, the pickets were disturbed by some unimportant event, until I heard a volley fired apparently from the left, where the Second Division were fortified; the almost immediately I heard a volley from our part of the fortifications (the part occupied by Third brigade, First Division), when, leaving my breakfast, I ran up to the extreme right of the line, where I encountered an enfilading fire.

Report of Colonel Embury D. Osband, THIRD U. S. Colored Cavalry, commanding expedition to Woodville.

The fight occurred near the residence of Judge McGehee, who had breakfast cooked for the rebels. Our men ate the breakfast without difficulty, and giving Judge McGehee half an hour to move out of his residence, burned it, together with the quarters he had erected for the use of the rebels.



May 8, broke camp at 9 a. m., crossed Taylor's Ridge, halted one hour for lunch at Gordon's Springs, made a long evening's march, halted for supper; broke camp again at dark, marched three miles, and encamped on mountain.

Cooks in the kichen of soldier's rest, Alexandria,Va.

Surgeon and Medical Director, Army of the Potomac.
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS, U. S. A., Assistant Adjutant-General.

Directions for cooking in camp.

The importance of soup as a diet for troops is not sufficiently apprehended except by veteran soldiers those of experience in the field. It cannot be too highly esteemed, and should be used to a much greater extent than it is. Been soup, when properly made, is one of the best that can be used; when improperly made, one of the worst. The beans must be washed, steeped in water overnight, put on the fire at reveille, and boiled slowly for six hours; a piece of pork, say one ration for three men, put in three hours before dinner; this, eaten with a little pepper and vinegar, makes a wholesome and palatable dish. The cooking is everything; if not well done, it is positively injurious; if well done, it is wholesome. The great principle in making soup is that it must be boiled slowly and for a long time; it cannot be boiled too much. In making beef soup all the bones should be used, together with half rations of beef rice, and desiccated and fresh vegetables, with salt and pepper; the desiccated vegetables should be steeped in water for two hours, and boiled with the soup for three hours; the rice should be added, after having been washed half and hour before the soup is served; the beef must first be put in cold water, and the soup kept at a low boil for five hours.

Beef should not in any case be used for cooking until cold. Hard bread will be more palatable and more easy of digestion if placed in the ashes until thoroughly heated; it can also be improved by breaking it in pieces in inch or two square and soaking it thoroughly in warm water, then placing it in a frying-pan with a few shoes of pork, and cooked for five minutes, stirring it, that all may be cooked alike. Such portions of beef as are not used in making soup should be cut in pieces about the size of a hen's egg, with half a ration of potatoes and a small-sized onion cut in slices to one man, and half a ration of desicated vegetables previously soaked in cold water for an hour, with a few small pieces of pork, adding salt and pepper, with water sufficient to cover well the ingredients, and stewed slowly for three hours, will make an excellent dish. Beef that is not used thus should be cooked on coals or held before them on a stick or fork, and no salt or pepper put on until cooked; the salt put on before cooking only assists in abstracting the juices of the meat and in making it dry and hard when cooked.

The secret in using the desiccated vegetables is in having them thoroughly cooked. The want of this has given rise to a prejudice against them which is unfounded; it is the fault of the cooking, and not of the vegetables. Pork should be boiled three hours, having been previously soaked in water, to abstract the salt, for three hours, the water being changed twice in that time; when cold and cut in slices, with a piece of bread and a slice of onion, it makes an excellent lunch; cut in slices and toasted over coals it is sweet and good. Coffee should be roasted over a slow fire, constantly stirring it until it becomes of a chestnut-brown color, and not burnt, as is so commonly done. It should be boiled for twenty minutes, set one side, sweetened, well stirred, and a little cold water added to cause the grounds to settle. Cabbage is more wholesome when cut in shreds and eaten with a little vinegar, pepper, and salt, than when cooked. All fried meats are unwholesome; they should be boiled or broiled.

Surgeon and Medical Director, Army of the Potomac.

From journal of Major General Jacob D. Cox, U. S. Army, 1865.

Tuesday, April 11. - Marched at daylight, but the pontoon and other trains ahead of us delayed us so that we did not make over three miles before noon and not over ten miles in the whole day. The stragglers of the army have become much worse than they were in the Atlanta campaign, Two of the best residences along our road were burned to-day. One, the house of a Mr. Atkinson, where I stopped at noon to take lunch, was in flames half an hour after we left it; the soldiers suspect him of being a conscription agent for the rebel government, and this may account for his house being burned.

Supplementary specifications to charge 2nd against Brigadier General William Dwight, U. S. Volunteers.

Specification 2nd.-In this: That Brigadier General William Dwight, U. S. Volunteers, commanding First Division, Nineteenth Corps, did, while the troops of his command were engaged with the enemy and hard pressed and in a critical part of the day, go to the rear beyond the presence of his troops and beyond the falling of the shot of the enemy, and in a place of comparative safety, and id remain there, together with his staff, or a part of it, and eat his dinner or lunch. This at the battle of the 19th of September, 1864, near Winchester, Va.

JAS. G. BLUNT, Major-General.

As my men came up wearied and exhausted, I directed them halted behind a little ridge, about one half mile from the enemy's line, to rest and eat a lunch from their haversacks. After two hours' rest, and at about 10 a. m., I formed them in two columns, one on the right of the road, under Colonel [William R. [Judson, the other on the left, under Colonel [William A.] Phillips.

Camp before Yorktown, Va., Sunday, April 13, 1862.

Agreeably to orders, early on Friday morning, April 4, I left New Market Bridge, Va., preceded by the Twenty-second Massachusetts Regiment, Colonel Gove, en route for Yorktown. After a pleasant and easy march, lunching at Big Bethel, where were joined by General Morell's brigade, we arrived about 5 o'clock p.m. at or near Cockletown.

Colonel Benjamin S. Roberts, Fifth New Mexico Infantry.
battle of Valverde, near Fort Craig, N. Mex., on the 21, February 1862.

The commands were fatigued with five hours' constant action, and while waiting the
arrival of the commanding colonel the men were permitted to lunch and ordered to replenish their cartridge-boxes. During this time the batteries continued to operate on the enemy whenever he displayed himself until Colonel Canby reached the field, fifteen minutes before 3 o'clock p. m.


JAMES FITZPATRICK, Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding 28th Regiment Penn. Vet. Vol. Infantry.

Second Rhode Island, &c. ; marched this day about twelve miles. 7th, left camp at 7 a.m. ; marched quite slowly until 12 m. ; stopped for dinner; started at 1. 30 p.m.

8th, left camp at 6 a.m. ; marched ten miles; halted for dinner one hour at 12. 30 p.m.

12th, left camp at 6 a.m. ; halted at 10 a.m. for dinner; started at 11. 30 a.m.

13th, left camp at 5. 30 a.m. ; crossed the South Anna River and the New Found River; halted three-quarters of an hour for dinner; started at 12 m.

14th, left camp at 5 a.m. ; marched five miles; crossed the North Anna River. Met the First Division, fourteenth Army Corps, at Chilesburg and went to the right of it. Halted for dinner at 12 m.

15th, the left camp at 5 a.m. ; marched through Spotsylvania Court-House, over the battle-grounds of Grant of May 8 to 14, 1864. Crossed the Po and Ny Rivers; halted for dinner one hour at the Ny. Many dead bodies lie exposed on the plains.

16th, left camp at 4. 30 a.m. ; marched by Hoartwood Church and United States Ford Gold Mines; halted one hour for dinner at 12 m. ; started again at 1 p.m.

18th, left camp at 9. 30 a.m. Orders to be ready at 7. 30 a.m. ; day hot and sultry. Marched slowly until 12 m. ; crossed the Occoquan River; halted for dinner one hour and a half. Started again at 1. 30 p.m.

19th, left camp at 6 a.m. ; passed Fairfax Station; Two hundred and second Pennsylvania Volunteers, Brevet Brigadier-General Albright commanding, at the station; ran into the First Division train; halted until they got out of the way; day cloudy and drizzling. Halted at 12 m. for dinner one hour; started at 1. 30 p.m.

Report of Colonel John Flynn, Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry, of operations September 2-December 21.

On the morning of November 15. We started from camp at 6. 30 a. M. and marched seven miles in the direction of Decatur, Ga; halted for dinner at 1 p. m. ; started again at 3p.m.

November 16, started at started at 9 a. m. and marched fast for a distance of twelve miles; halted for dinner at 2 p. m. one mile from Rock Bridge.

November 17, started at 6 a. m. ; marched until 12. 15 p. m; halted for dinner; started at 2 p. m. and marched to within six miles of Social Circle.

November 18, started at 5 a. m. ; passed through Social Circle, where we found the railroad depot destroyed; moved on and halted at Rutledge for dinner at 11. 30 a. m.

November 19, started at 5 a. m. ; passed through Madison at daylight; halted at 12 m. at Buck Head for dinner; started again at 1 p. m.

November 20, started at 7 a. m. and marched eight miles without incident; halted for dinner at 12 m. ; at 2 p. m. we started.

November 21, started at 7 a. m., the Twenty-eight Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry in advance of the division; halted for dinner at 1. 30 p. m., and moved out again without incident at 2. 30 p. m.

November 22, started at 7 a. m. as rear guard for the division; after marching for four miles we crossed the Central railroad at Dennis Station. Here we rejoined the corps, which had been separated since we came from Madison on the 18th. We traveled slow in the direction of Milledgeville and halted for dinner at 1 p. m.

November 26, started at 8 a. m. as guard for the division quartermaster's train; halted at 9. 15 a. m. to reorganize the train; started again at 11 a. m. ; marched to within half a mile of Sandersville; we here halted for dinner.

November 27, commenced tearing up the track at 8 a. m. and worked until 1 p. m., when we rested for dinner.

November 28, went to work again on the railroad, about five miles west of Davisborough, at 7. 30 a. m., and halted at 1 p. m. for dinner

November 29, started at 7. 20 a. m., and marched to Spiers Station, when we halted for dinner.

November 30, started on the march again at 6. 45 a. m. ; marched quick and through swampy ground until 2 p. m., when we halted for dinner at the plantation of Doctor Blake, a great slave holder.

December 1, this day's march was without incident. We left Miller's plantation at 7. 25 a. m. and marched until 2 p. m., when we halted for dinner.

December 2, left camp at 6. 45 a. m. and marched until 12 m., when we halted for dinner.

December 4, started at 9. 30 a. m. and marched until 11 a. m. ; halted for dinner.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel Samuel M. Zulich, Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania infantry. November, December 1864.

26th, moved at 7 a. m. reached Sandersville at noon; halted one hour for dinner; marched to Tennille.

29th, moved at 7 a. m. ; halted for dinner at Bartow Station.

5th, started at 10 a. m. ; Companies K and f were detailed as a rear guard. After crossing the north branch of the Little Ogeechee these two companies were ordered to destroy, by fire, the saw-mill and bridge and break them dam. after the same had been opened and the road flooded, three foraging teams came in sight on the other side of the road. The men were ordered to cross the burning bridge, which they did, and succeeded in backing the flames and brought the teams and horses across in safety. Halted for dinner at the Little Ogeechee.

9th, marched at 8 a. m. ; halted at Monteith Swamp for dinner.

Camp of the 153d, New York Infantry.

Point Lookout prison.

Full diet: Dinner-beef or pork, 4 ounces; potatoes, 4 ounces; hardtack, 3 ounces. Breakfast and tea-coffee or tea, 1 pint; rice, 2 gills; molasses, 1 ounce; hard-tack, 3 ounces. Half diet: Dinner-meat, 2 ounces; potatoes, 3 ounces; hard-tack, 2 ounces. Breakfast and tea-coffee or tea, 1 pint; rice, 1 gill; molasses, half an ounce; hard-tack, 2 ounces. Low diet: Dinner-no meat; potatoes, 2 ounces; hard-tack, 1 ounce. Breakfast and tea-coffee or tea, 1 pint; rice, 1 gill; molasses; half an ounce; hard-tack, 1 ounce. Soup and soft bread is also given at least once a week. The cooking is done by their own men, and heard no complain in this quarter, except they were poorly supplied with cooking utensils and were very much in want of tin cups, knives and forks. The patients were required generally to eat with their fingers. They had a large cooking stove, but they complained it was not sufficient for their purpose, as it kept them at work nearly all the time.


ROME, October 11, 1864.
General SHERMAN:

Your dispatches to General Elliott I have received and sent to him. The details upon which I based my telegram I did not give you fully. Will add that Captain Peek, who is a cool, resolute officer, saw roads badly cut by artillery, heard noise of infantry in camp, and saw some officers [come] out of a house near camp; they were there getting supper.

Report of Major George E. Johnson, Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania Infantry, of operations January 27-March 25.

February 23, moved at 7 o'clock; marched seven miles and halted for supper; moved after supper; crossed Catawba River; so many wagons assigned to a regiment to be assisted up the hill (Liberty).

March 1, moved at 11. 30 o'clock, in charge of twenty-one wagons; crossed Buffalo Creek and halted for supper; crossed Big Lynch's Creek and went into camp at 8 o'clock, having marched fourteen miles.

JAMES C. RICE, Colonel, Commanding Outposts.

LIEUTENANT: In accordance with directions from the commanding officer of the brigade, I report the facts in regard to the capture of Major [William R.] Sterling and Captain Fisher, as related to me by the people of the house where they were taken. Major Sterling and Captain Fisher were on their way to communicate with General Pleasonton, when they halted at the residence of Mr. [Almond] Birch for supper, and to inquire how far it was to Aldie. Having finished their supper, they started for their horses, which were left with their orderly at the yard gate. The horses and orderly had been removed, and before Major Sterling and Captain Fisher had reached the gate, 10 or 12 cavalrymen seized them, and hurriedly mounted them and bore them off. This took place last evening at 10 o'clock, about 400 yards from the picket outpost, at the house of Mr. Birch, on the Little River turnpike. Mr. Birch and family are from Clifton Park, Saratoga Country, N. Y. They are Union people, known to some of the officers of our regiment.
I am satisfied that these people had no complicity with this affair, and had no knowledge of the enemy being anywhere near their house.

Report of Asst. Surg. Elias J. Marsh, U. S. Army, Surgeon-in-Chief, of operations July 30-December 12.*

The Second Brigade in advance of the infantry had gone into camp at Sussex Court-House and I therefore ordered the ambulance train to this place, directing the surgeon-in-charge to take the court-house or an empty dwelling house for and hospital. He selected the most convenient house, had all the wounded taken out, fires built, supper cooked, and wounds dressed. One case required amputation of arm, which was performed by Surgeon Le Moyne. The wounded were all made comfortable.
A report by T. J. STAUBER.

On the 23rd instant a party of rebels, under the command of a man named Purcell, formerly of this county, of Audrain, Mo., variously estimated at from 35 to 75 men, stopped and suppered at the houses of William Mason and Clem. Smith (Southern sympathizers), about 2 1\2 miles west of Mexico, Audrain County, Mo. On the same evening they robbed E. T. Jacobs of saddles, bridles, and all the money he had.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel William Rickards, jr., Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania Infantry.

April 29.-Had charge of the corps train this day. The train was cut and stopped by the Fifth Corps, which detained us until 3 p. m., when we crossed over, and by a rapid march reached the brigade near the Rapidan at 6 p. m.; halted, got supper, and then crossed the Rapidan at Germanna Ford on a foot-bridge, wagons and horses fording river; water 4 feet deep; halted on hill beyond the river and bivouacked; rained al night; marched 15 miles.

Report of Lieutenant Herbert Reed, Third Missouri Cavalry.

Fifty men in the command. Marched in a southerly direction until noon, then halted for feed and dinner 20 miles from Salem, on the Barren Fort of Sinking Creek. Marched down Sinking Creek in a southwestern direction 5 miles; then changed course to the south and marched 5 miles, which brought us to the Current River, and continued 4 miles down Current River in a southeastern direction and halted for supper. At 11 p. m. resumed the march in a southern direction 6 miles on the country road, and halted at the house of a certain Jackson Sugs. Searched the house, but found nothing.

Report of Major General Joseph Wheeler, C. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Corps.

As we were continually fighting the enemy, our camps could not be designated before night-fall. Details had then to be sent out to procure forage and rations, frequently making it midnight before supper could be prepared for my men, and then they were often compelled to be in the saddle before daylight. No men in the Confederate States have marched more, fought more, suffered more, or had so little opportunities for discipline; yet they are to-day as orderly and as well discipline; yet they are to-day as orderly and as well disciplined as any cavalry in the Confederate service.

No comments: