Period Corn and Apples with the 17th Virginia Infantry

NH Civil War Gal

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This is actually from a connection of my husband, since his mother is from the Warfield's of Maryland.


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In Private Edgar Warfield's memoirs, he describes his experiences in the 17th Virginia Infantry Regiment on marches, in camp, and during battle. His writings about the Maryland Campaign of 1862 gives a glimpse of the deprivations the soldiers in his unit endured. He described his own appearance at this time:
I was not entirely shoeless, for I had the soles of my shoes held to the uppers by pieces of bandages, which I had to renew quite often. But I was good and ragged, all right! My hat I had found at a farmhouse in Virginia. It was part of a straw that had been painted or varnished black, and half of the rim was missing. It took the place of a good brown felt hat that I had up to within a few days or our entering on Maryland soil and that I lost one night when, tired and footsore, I was allowed by the drive of one of the wagons of our regiment to get in and ride. Crawling out just before daybreak I found that my hat was missing. It had evidently fallen out during the night....
One of Warfield's friends—Alexander Hunter—included details in the memoirs about the food this regiment ate during the campaign, "We lived on apples and green corn all of this time, and the soldiers began to drop out of the ranks at every halt." Clearly, the high fiber diet had its problems, probably coupled with drinking bad water on the march.
Hunter went on and gave details that the produce was carried in "cotton haversacks" and also explained how the soldiers prepared and ate the food:
"Apples and corn, corn and apples, were our only fare. We ate them raw, roasted, boiled together, and fried. They served to sustain life and that was all. I have often been asked about the 'Rebel yell.' I have always answered that the Rebs were savage with hunger, and men always 'holler' when hungry."
 

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