"It occurs to me that the little details of our camp life are are fading away, and that they are well worth sketching for the present generation, which knows not war; for this year's voter was born after the war was over." ~ Charles Ezra Sprague, Company E, 44th New York Infantry
During the Civil War, Charles Sprague served in the ranks of the 44th New York Infantry. In 1886, he was serving as secretary of the Union Dime Savings Bank in New York when he wrote memoirs, detailing his recollections of what one soldier saw and experienced. His memoirs provide insight into day-to-day life, in camp and on the march.
Coffee was a great sustainer -- the prime necessity at any halt. The most approved way of boiling was by suspending the cup by its bail at the end of a stick, and thus, as it were, fishing for coffee. This was found a great improvement over balancing your cup on an unsteady stick of wood, which was likely to give way just at the critical moment of the boil, and demonstrate that hot coffee will put out a fire just as soon as cold water.
Source: The Austin Weekly Statesman. (Austin, TX), July 08, 1886, Page 3.