The Long and the Short of It, 1860’s and 1918.
“Found” fresh apples continued tosupplement soldiers’ diets in
the War Between the States, and various kinds of preservedapples, bought or issued, often made their way to the troops.Soldiers enjoyed the fruit in many forms. Walter and Robert Carter, 22ndMassachusetts Volunteers, ate fresh apples near Sharpsburg, Maryland, "Wednesday Eve,October 29 ,
Bob's birthday, seventeen years old
. [Brother] Bob and I have justfinished our celebration supper ... It consisted of flap-jacks fried by Bob, ingredientsfurnished by myself, and soft bread and butter. We ate sugar and butter on 'slabs,' and had
a good apple to wind up with. ...” Dried apples were also mentioned.
Corporal JohnMcMahon, 136
New York, wrote from near Stafford Court House, Virginia, 18
February 1863, “Yesterday it snowed very hard all day and
has now turned into rain. I amin my tent [a log hut, topped by a tentcloth roof] by a good fire and have some beans, and
pork boiling for dinner and some dried apples cooking I bought the other day.” Corporal
Daniel Chisholm, 116
Pennsylvania Volunteers, noted in front of Petersburg, Virginia,
29 June 1864, “We are still in the same place, all quiet in front, days are hot and nights
are cool. We have marching orders. Our rations consist of soft Bread, pork, beans,[sauer]Crout, Sugar, Dry Apples, Coffee
and Whiskey. All hunkey.”
Special dishes were sometimes possible. John King, 92
Illinois, wrote on “June 14,1863, Triune, Tennessee … There were many fine apple orchards in this part of
Tennessee and in June the fruit was well-enough matured to make into green apple pies
or apple sauce or apple jack …When the army was not too far from the base of supplies
we could get some flour instead of hard tack. Then the soldiers could go to the negrocabins and dwelling houses and unceremoniously borrow or
carry away … bake ovens.
One could bake anywhere with them, in the house or out of doors, rain or sunshine,wherever hot embers could be obtained. Soldiers could get green apples, slice them intothin pieces, roll out crusts made from the flour, lay in the sliced apples and cover with
"Hardtack pudding" was another Civil War recipe, "made by placing the biscuit in a stout bag, and pounding bag and contents with a club on a log until the biscuits were reduced to a fine powder; then we added a little wheat flour, if we had it ...and made a stiff dough, which we next rolled out on a cracker box lid, like a pie-crust;then we covered this all over with a preparation of stewed, dried, apples, dropping in hereand there a raisin or two just for Auld Lang Syne's sake, rolled and wrapped it in a cloth,
boiled it for an hour or so and ate it …"