HW #2: Food and Coffee in the Civil War

During the Civil War, many soldiers from both North and South had to adapt to a new lifestyle, one I don’t  think they were ready for. One major change was their diet, it was hard for many soldiers to eat because nobody knew how to cook. They were very dependent on their wife or female slave servant to cook their every meal. Even though the Union soldiers didn’t know how to cook they didn’t starve because of the help they received from  Sanitary Commission. According to Civil War Cooking: What the Union Soldiers Ate it states that “The Sanitary, it made the soldiers’ health and nutrition a top priority. Even before the start of the war, volunteers in The Sanitary were trained to find and distribute food to soldiers stationed in the field.” As they were trying their best to provide for soldiers at times it wasn’t enough or the food was just unhealthy to eat. A fascinating thing about their diet was the role coffee had in it. Throughout the Civil War coffee slowly became apart the soldier’s lifestyle, according to How Coffee Fueled the Civil by Jon Grinspan he stated that “Soldiers drank it before marches, after marches, on patrol, during combat. In their diaries, “coffee” appears more frequently than the words “rifle,” “cannon” or “bullet.” One food item I can’t live without is tea because growing up in Jamaica my grandmother would never let me leave the house before drinking a cup of tea, she always would tell me that its good for my system and burn gas.



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