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These hard biscuits were called "sheet iron crackers".

Civil War Foods

Union and Confederate soldiers of the Civil War faced a common enemy: hunger. Although many officers dined well on food prepared for them, common soldiers had to cook their own meals from what limited rations were provided.

Mostly, soldiers were provided with flour or cornmeal, salt beef, salt pork, beans or peas, and dried fruit. Union soldiers were also issued biscuits called hardtack. These foods were chosen because they would not spoil, and so could be shipped to and carried with armies on the march.

Johnnie Cake

The Johnnie Cake was a simple Southern (Confederate) meal that made use of available supplies.

Eggs and Bread

As the hardships of the Civial War reached the average family, stretching food became a must. Adding breadcrumbs to eggs meant there was more breakfast available.

Idiot's Delight

This dish used whatever fruits were available and was said to be so easy that even an "idiot" could prepare it!

A photograph of hardtack a hard biscuit eaten during the Civil War

Civil War recipes used foods that would not spoil and shipped to and carried with armies on the march.

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Cooking Up Some American History!

50 Authentic, Easy-to-Make Recipes from All Periods of American History!

Cooking Up Some American History cookbook front cover
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