Ryan Hobe Homework #2: Coffee or Food?

During the Civil War, everything was rationed. Space, sleep, training, and even LIFE. Soldiers were dying in everything from battle to sleep. Disease was one of the major factors that contributed and besides lack of medical care, there was major malnutrition. Food undoubtedly has one of the largest impacts on a soldiers performance during a physical altercation on the battle field because it provides energy and brain-power when making and executing important decisions. The Union side was lucky to have Cook Major Sanderson. He made it his mission to teach the Union army how to properly feed themselves with the options they had. He appointed a few soldiers in each sector to watch over nutrition benefits of the food their whole army ate. This is something that the Confederate South did not have the luxury of because the Union side had blockaded most of their shipments. Although the two may not have had relatively equal food sources, but they both had coffee to drink. This was important because of it’s warmth from the cold weather and the caffeine for that extra kick. So’ in this case, the south could have had m0re dependance on coffee. If I personally had to choose between food or coffee as something to give up, it would have to be coffee. While it helps with temporary and artificial energy, it is also something you can live without. There is no amount of coffee in this world that would suffice for a severe lack of food, not to mention no food. One common food for every soldier to eat was hardtack, because it was non-perishable and reasonably nutritious. It didn’t taste very good which is why most soldiers found new ways to eat them, like dunking them in water or coffee or molding them into dough to heat over a fire. This, basically, is where my reasoning lies. Where the hardtack was more of a necessity, the coffee could be considered a luxury or condiment even.



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