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Civil War Soldier's Mess

Physical Description:
flour (overall material)
water (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 4 in x 4 in x 3/16 in; 10.16 cm x 10.16 cm x .4318 cm
Object Name:
hardtack
Object Type:
hardtack
Associated date:
1861 - 1865
Subject:
Military
Food
ThinkFinity
Event:
Civil War
Civil War and Reconstruction
ID Number:
AF*55596
Catalog number:
55596
Accession number:
195333
Description:
Physical Description
Small metal box to protect matches, two-piece lantern, metal frying pan, and cup. Hardtack.
General History
A match safe, lantern, frying pan, and cup would have been part of a soldier’s equipment. Hardtack is the name given to a thick cracker made of flour, water, and sometimes salt. While it has been called by several nicknames, the Union Army of the Potomac referred to the ration as hardtack, and the name stuck. When stored properly, hardtack would last for years. Because it could be prepared cheaply and would last so long, hardtack was the most convenient food for soldiers. The army furnished hardtack by weight, but in most units the biscuits were doled out by number, with a ration generally being nine or ten.
Location:
Currently not on view
See more items in:
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
ThinkFinity
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Food
  • Military
  • ThinkFinity
  • National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center