Say What Special: Inside the quarters the air was thick enough to cut with a knife

MS2623

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“Our Christmas rations were a half pint of meal to the man and a quart of beans to the company. The beans were put into the largest camp kettle we had and dully boiled….You know the usual effect of beans provided certain ingredients are not cooked out of them and they never are. That quart of beans had enough of said ingredients for a whole barrel and the effect was simply wonderful and overpowering. There was little if any sleep that night. The only place you could get a breath of fresh air was out in the middle of the parade ground. Inside the quarters the air was thick enough to cut with a knife."

As being a student of 19th century cooking I am well aware of the olfaction of which they speak. Hence why the muster dinner was outside. When you combine young men with foods such as these the worst is inevitably going to happen. Some things never change.
 

captaindrew

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Calling @captaindrew Didn't you have some friends in this situation at a reenactment? :eek:
Oh yes, when the boys decided to arrange their shelter halves together in a circular fashion around the camp fire. It created the perfect conditions to circulate the effects of their chili supper. The expletives coming from their arrangement were quite entertaining but kept the rest of the camp up all night.
 

captaindrew

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Geez imagining a bunch of young men and boys around a campfire after a bean supper:help:
How come women never have such stories to share? I guess beans don't affect them like they do men?:giggle:
Regards
David
Without intentionally throwing my other half under the the bus I can assure you women are affected in similar manner! 😁
 

Ole Miss

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Beans were probably the healthiest part of these soldiers diets. Digestive disorders, such as diarrhea and dysentery, were the leading causes of death during the Civil War. The lowly bean was a splendid food source of protein and fiber and other nutrients. Considering the lack of vegetables---seasonal and desiccated if available---and preponderance of salted and boiled beef and pork, no wonder a soldier's diet was detrimental to his/her's health!

I can only imagine the numbers who had High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol and some food poisoning issues. The general health of soldiers had to be poor when you consider the questionable source and quality of avaiable water sources.
Regards
David
 

16thAL

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Beans were probably the healthiest part of these soldiers diets. Digestive disorders, such as diarrhea and dysentery, were the leading causes of death during the Civil War. The lowly bean was a splendid food source of protein and fiber and other nutrients. Considering the lack of vegetables---seasonal and desiccated if available---and preponderance of salted and boiled beef and pork, no wonder a soldier's diet was detrimental to his/her's health!

I can only imagine the numbers who had High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol and some food poisoning issues. The general health of soldiers had to be poor when you consider the questionable source and quality of avaiable water sources.
Regards
David
Looking at reports of the army of northern virginia, during the Gettysburg campaign, where both the digestive and general health of both soldier and officer improved when they began foreging off the land and incorporating foods such as fruits and vegetables to their diet. Lee himself was suffering gastric discomfort that was relieved with the nutrious food.
 
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