View Full Version : fresh vegetables
pvt t a white
03-18-2009, 08:05 PM
Don't know if this is the correct discussion group or not for this, but now that we are filled with our corn beef and cabbage or for the more traditional people, bacon and cabbage, did the troops eat fresh veges such ad cabbage, carrots, potatoes, beans, etc when available or was it just the rations. Haven't seen any evidence of big stock pots in the camps.
Any thoughts out there?
Pvt T A White
03-18-2009, 08:48 PM
Here's your pots!;-)
And yes, soldiers procured vegetables when they could, sweet potatoes being one of the more popular down here in Georgia.
Also keep in mind, that the official ration tables for the Union army stipulated, for every 100 Rations
15 lbs of beans or peas
10 lbs of rice or hominy
30 lbs of potatoes (when practicable)
Also issued were desicated vegetables and potatoes, and saurkraut was a favorite among civilians and soldiers alike.
03-18-2009, 08:58 PM
Perhaps reading a few books written by soldiers is in order. All of the below have mention of what was eaten by the troops during the War of Northern agression:
My brother Williams War...
Carrying the Flag...
The Freemantle Diary... Just to name a few.
03-18-2009, 09:07 PM
I would also recommend:
Hardtack & Coffee by John Billings
03-18-2009, 09:43 PM
From the diary of Sgt Jacob J Zorn ,Co F, 142d PVI:
Friday, Dec 12th, 1862. Fredericksburg, VA.
"here garlick is plenty I gathered some and eat for Supper, as I'm very hungry for vegetable of Some Kind."(sic)
03-18-2009, 09:50 PM
Here's your pots!;-)
Yes, the ubiquitous 'Federal Issue" mess kettle. To my understanding, this particular style of kettle was Army issue through nearly the whole span of the 19th century. Made of sheet iron, the exterior is quickly protected from rust by the accumulations of soot, while the interior must be scrubbed and oiled to keep the rust at bay. Note that in this particular image, the support stands are the supports for the center pole of a Sibley tent.
Easily 20 men can be fed from one kettle for all sorts of soups. This is also the sort of vessel used to boil beef or pork when preparing 'three days rations'. Probably the best fun we've had with them was based on a similar image, showing some cans of peaches littered about--and so, as laundress, I was called upon to roll out a whole bunch of little peach pies, which the men deep fried in the kettle 3/4 full of lard.
As for vegetables--my favorite thing to cook in these is whole hominey, as water can be added and the pot reheated for several meals, as the hominey continues to expand with every boil.
03-18-2009, 10:02 PM
Mrs Lawson introduced me to the joys of hominy at At High Tide in Gettysburg last summer. I highly endorse it.
If you've only had Quaker Hominy Grits you're in for a surprise -- it ain't the same.
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