It was with great wonder that  I read about the food hardships stomached by our
troopers and warriors a century from now.  
    I recall my days during my hitch in the war between the states when we were entitled to
receive daily 12 oz of pork or bacon or 1 lb. 4 oz of fresh or salt beef; 1 lb. 6 oz of soft
bread or flour; and 1 lb. of hard bread or 1 lb. 4 oz of cornmeal.   Every 100 troopers
shared 1 peck of beans or peas; 10 lb. of rice or hominy; 10 lb. of green coffee; 8 lb. of
roasted and ground coffee, or 1 lb. 8 oz of tea; 15 lb. of sugar; 1 lb. 4 oz of candles; 4 lb. of
soap; and 1 qt of molasses.  In addition to, or as substitutes for other items, dried
vegetables and fruits, pickles, or pickled cabbage might be issued.  The marching ration
consisted of 1 lb. of hard bread, 3/4 lb. of salt pork or 1 1/4 lb. of fresh meat, plus the
sugar, coffee, and salt.  
    However, we were fortunate if we were issued the daily ration of eight sticks of
rock-hard bread shaped something like your six-inch pencil-thick classroom rulers.  We
softened them up in boiling water to make them edible and in reality rarely added bits of
the bacon, meat, or vegetables.  And even then most of the hard bread and dried foods
were infested with weevils and insects.  
    I hear that our cousins in the Confederate army didn't fare any better.  The
commissary system had problems keeping rations flowing to the troops at a steady rate,
thus alternating between abundance and scarcity in its issuances.  As the matter of fact,
most of us in both armies relied to a great extent on food sent from home.  In effect, some
of the troopers gambled their rations away such that the captain put a stop to sequential
illness and starvation.  
    By the way, that forthcoming miraculous chow of a hundred years hence preserved in
metal containers and the variety of powdered foods--milk, coco, and eggs topped with
thickened flavorings of fruits or vegetable choices--prompts me and the boys to wonder
what'll they think  of next?--Old Bill
                                        Source:  "The Civil War Dictionary" by Mark M. Boatner III
Old Bill Says
    First hand accounts by soldiers of varied duties of the chow served
in Korea during the sixties and seventies.
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