Blackberries for the Soldiers

John Hartwell

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Frank B. Goodrich's The tribute book: a record of the munificence, self-sacrifice and patriotism of the American people during the war for the union… (1865) is a detailed accounting of the work of hundreds of civilian organizations and individuals that worked tirelessly to help and support the Union soldiers in the field. Ranging from huge, national organizations, like the Sanitary and Christian Commissions, to state and local efforts all across the country, and some overseas, even to Children's Fairs, selling their own craft creations and baked treats to raise money:
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Children were mobilized for the effort in many ways.

Such as "Blackberries for the Soldiers":

"In August, 1864, the Sanitary Commission set all the children in the country to picking blackberries for the soldiers, their mothers and sisters to distill from them a refreshing cordial and tonic. In September, acknowledging that 'rivers of blackberry juice had flowed in upon them from all parts of the country, and that it would be impossible to think of a more grateful flood,' it made another call upon the boys and girls, asking for peaches, not canned, nor preserved, but simply dried. Peaches were never so plentiful, and could never be turned to better account. The peach had never borne a large part in the charities of mankind, and its history had had but slight connection with the practice of the healing art, but its opportunity had now come. Do not can the peaches, said the commission to the children, and waste no sugar upon them. Cut them carefully in halves, and take out the stones. Lay the halves upon clean boards or upon sheds and roofs sloping to the south. Dry them thoroughly in the sun, if possible; if not, put them in slightly heated ovens, or toast them gently upon the hearth, or before the stove. You cannot dry them too thoroughly, boys; and you cannot send too many, girls. If there are any left when the sick and the convalescent have had their fill, they will do no harm to the well men in the trenches and the field."

And, newspapers of the time contributed by printing easy recipes for

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[Sunbury American (Pa.), Aug. 20, 1864]
Don't forget to add "1 pint of good brandy: -- "for medicinal purposes."
 

WJC

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Frank B. Goodrich's The tribute book: a record of the munificence, self-sacrifice and patriotism of the American people during the war for the union… (1865) is a detailed accounting of the work of hundreds of civilian organizations and individuals that worked tirelessly to help and support the Union soldiers in the field. Ranging from huge, national organizations, like the Sanitary and Christian Commissions, to state and local efforts all across the country, and some overseas, even to Children's Fairs, selling their own craft creations and baked treats to raise money:
Children were mobilized for the effort in many ways.

Such as "Blackberries for the Soldiers":

"In August, 1864, the Sanitary Commission set all the children in the country to picking blackberries for the soldiers, their mothers and sisters to distill from them a refreshing cordial and tonic. In September, acknowledging that 'rivers of blackberry juice had flowed in upon them from all parts of the country, and that it would be impossible to think of a more grateful flood,' it made another call upon the boys and girls, asking for peaches, not canned, nor preserved, but simply dried. Peaches were never so plentiful, and could never be turned to better account. The peach had never borne a large part in the charities of mankind, and its history had had but slight connection with the practice of the healing art, but its opportunity had now come. Do not can the peaches, said the commission to the children, and waste no sugar upon them. Cut them carefully in halves, and take out the stones. Lay the halves upon clean boards or upon sheds and roofs sloping to the south. Dry them thoroughly in the sun, if possible; if not, put them in slightly heated ovens, or toast them gently upon the hearth, or before the stove. You cannot dry them too thoroughly, boys; and you cannot send too many, girls. If there are any left when the sick and the convalescent have had their fill, they will do no harm to the well men in the trenches and the field."

And, newspapers of the time contributed by printing easy recipes for

View attachment 150557
[Sunbury American (Pa.), Aug. 20, 1864]
Don't forget to add "1 pint of good brandy: -- "for medicinal purposes."
Thanks for posting yet another window into a long, lost world....
I like my blackberries 'as is', but I'm told they make a great wine as well.
 

donna

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Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
Wonderful illustrations.

Love blackberries. Here is an old recipe for Blackberry Wine.

1 gallon blackberries
1 quart boiling water
2 lbs. sugar

"Bruise berries, add boiling water. Let stand 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain off the liquor and put into a cask. Add sugar; cork tight and let stand till next October, when it will be ready for use. It may be bottled."
 

GS

Retired User
Joined
Jan 31, 2017
I have my mother's recipe in her own handwriting for blackberry cordial, minus the brandy, a rich syrupy "tonic for dysentery", so she said.
 

donna

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Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
A different recipe for blackberries is Spiced Blackberries.

4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 cups vinegar
5 pounds blackberries
1 tablespoon cloves
2 sticks cinnamon
8 whole allspice

Dissolve sugar in vinegar; add the blackberries and spices tied in a cloth bag. Boil rapidly until thick. Remove spices, pour into clean hot jars and seal. Makes 5 pints.
 

ErnieMac

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I think iPhones would have worked better. :D

I grew up with a blackberry patch 100 ft. or so away from the house. Picked them by the bucket, at least those I didn't eat off the bush. I've always preferred them to the more common black raspberry.
 
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