As I have posted before, coffee by far was the most popular beverage in the North and the South. It was especially loved by soldiers. The North did not run out of coffee during the war but in the South it became nonexistent.
Southerners had many substitutes for coffee which included chicory, acorns, beans, beets, corn, cornmeal, cotton seeds, dandelion root, okra seeds, , peanuts, peas, sugar cane seeds, and wheat berries. These were parched, dried, browned or roasted and used to make coffee. Other versions of coffee used tubers like carrots, potatoes and yams which were cut into small pieces, dried, toasted and ground up to make coffee.
Many soldiers (prisoners) referred to substitute coffee as Lincoln Coffee. As Lonnie R. Speer in his book "Portals To Hell" states: "Lincoln coffee, what any coffee made from substitutes was called. The boiling of parched corn, rye, and even wood splinters were several methods resorted to. A derogatory term referring to the belief that President Lincoln was responsible for the current state of affairs and what the prisoners were reduced to doing in order to have some simulation of coffee."
I will post many substitute coffees and hope others will add to this list. A very informative article on substitute coffee is "Confederate Coffee Substitutes, Articles from Civil War Newspapers", at http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/coffee.htm
As the "Bellville Texas Countryman" published on June 12, 1861: 'The times are so hard, that many families have taken to drinking coffee but once a day. It is a good time to retrench and reform, when you can't help it."
So many Southerners, soldiers and Civilians alike, resorted to many ingredients to make a cup of coffee.
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