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Re: [WarOf1812] How common was hay?

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  • HQ93rd@aol.com
    Bob
    Message 1 of 22 , Jan 1, 2003
      Bob << The straw in barracks is pretty common on both sides. The question
      that
      comes to the fore on campaign is that most of the campaigns were in
      rural areas, covered with farms which might well have hay and straw
      gathered for their animals and other uses. I haven't seen any mention
      of soldiers in the US army being issued bed sacks/ticks as individuals
      which they might take with them on campaign. I must admit that this is
      far from my area of expertise. Can anyone shed more light on this? >>

      I have it on good authority that Brit soldiers, at least, would skulk about
      in the night and knock others over the head to get their straw for bedding...
      ;-)
      B
      93rd SHRoFLHU
      THE Thin Red Line
      www.93rdhighlanders.com
    • ebclemson <ebclemson@webtv.net>
      Rich, I agree this is a very good book with great accounts. Another description by Hanks is found on page 28: We pitched our tents, spread hemlock boughs
      Message 2 of 22 , Jan 1, 2003
        Rich,

        I agree this is a very good book with great accounts. Another description by Hanks is found on page 28: "We pitched our tents, spread hemlock boughs for our beds...."

        In the same book is an account by an Pennsylvania Volunteer who was in Porters Brigade. On page 62, he writes:

        " The tents arriving, we commenced our march for Lake Erie on Monday, the 4th [March 1814], and crossed the North Mountain to McConnelsburg, in Bedford County, where the tents were pitched, STRAW PROVIDED, and we began to assume a military appearance."

        The REGULATIONS FOR THE ....INFANTRY ...also known as Smyths, published in Philadelphia 1812, can be found on page 171 under "Police of the Camp":

        "One officer of a company will every day visit the tents, see that they are kept clean; that every utensil belonging ... ... is in proper order...and when the weather is fine, will order them (tents) to be struck about two hours at noon, and the straw and bedding well aired."

        The MILITARY LAWS AND RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, published in Washington, May 1st 1813, on page 203...."No purchases on public account, will be made by the Quartermasters department, but of the following articles----
        1st. Of Forage
        2nd Of Food.
        3rd straw for soldiers' bedding
        ...etc.

        On page 208 of the same book is found...
        "OF STRAW One truss of straw, weighing 36 puonds, is allowed for every two men.
        At the expiration of 16 days, each truss is to be refreshed with 8 pounds. At the expiration of 32 days, the whole straw is to be removed, and a fresh bedding of one truss to be furnished..."

        I also agree with Tim Pickles that if 'straw bales' are present in our camps, that they should be broken up. When the 1st, 7th, 25th, CLC (all sister units) formed a company and attended Fort Erie a few years ago, we were greeted with a "depot" of straw bales stacked at the edge of our camp. As soon as the suggestion was made.....the bales were gone, and nothing but a pile of straw left. Bales or no bales, the men still found the way to used this "mound" to their benifit while eating their meals.

        If a site wants to use hay bales for the public to sit on ...that is great, but in a camp that we are attempting to make as authentic as possible (without people dying or getting sick,etc.) then modern straw bales should not be allowed in camp.

        The subject came up that there were not baling machines yet....so....how did they produce "Cotton Bales" ?

        Adiu,

        Dave Bennett 1st U.States Infy. & Missouri Rangers.


        --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Rich Parkinson" <rich.parkinson@s...> wrote:
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Raymond Hobbs"
        > > I recall reading the journal of one US soldier who said that after a few
        > > months of campaign he had gotten used to sleeping on the soft side of a
        > > pine board! Don't have the reference at hand but I'll dig it out.
        >
        >
        > A great quote and it was from the memoirs of Jarvis Hanks in "Soldiers of
        > 1814: American Enlisted Men's Memoirs of the Niagara Campaign". pg 23
        >
        > The full quote is as follows.
        >
        > "I now devoured raw pork with greediness and was obliged to sleep, sometimes
        > on hay in a barn, and sometimes on the 'soft side of a pine board', as we
        > used to say."
        >
        > R. Parkinson
        > 41st
      • ebclemson <ebclemson@webtv.net>
        ... Scott, the only records I have found where bedsacks were issued in the U.States Army was in regards to Hospital stores. I can t find my papers on this
        Message 3 of 22 , Jan 1, 2003
          --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, Raymond Hobbs <ray.hobbs@s...> wrote:
          > Scott et al.
          > I recall reading the journal of one US soldier who said that after a few
          > months of campaign he had gotten used to sleeping on the soft side of a
          > pine board! Don't have the reference at hand but I'll dig it out.
          > Anyway, this suggests that on campaign, the lads dossed down on anything
          > remotely comfortable.
          > Ray Hobbs
          > 41st
          >
          > Scott Jeznach wrote:
          >
          > I haven't seen any mention of soldiers in the US army being issued bed
          > sacks/ticks as individuals which they might take with them on campaign.
          > I must admit that this isfar from my area of expertise. Can anyone shed
          > more light on this?
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

          Scott, the only records I have found where bedsacks were issued in the U.States Army was in regards to Hospital stores. I can't find my papers on this right now, but believe that sheets and bed sacks were issued to garrison hospitals.

          Dave B.
        • nappingcrow <nappingcrow@hotmail.com>
          ... the U.States Army was in regards to Hospital stores. I can t find my papers on this right now, but believe that sheets and bed sacks were issued to
          Message 4 of 22 , Jan 1, 2003
            > Scott, the only records I have found where bedsacks were issued in
            the U.States Army was in regards to Hospital stores. I can't find
            my papers on this right now, but believe that sheets and bed sacks
            were issued to garrison hospitals.
            >
            > Dave B.

            In "These Relics of Barbarism: A History of Furniture in Barracks and
            Guardhouses of the United States Army, 1800-1880" the author (D. A.
            Clary) quotes Henry Dearborn (April 28th, 1801) as follows:
            "One truss of straw weighing thirty-six pounds, is allowed for each
            palliass for two men," and states that this appeared in the 1808
            regulations.

            I realize this isn't a receipt or orderly book, but wouldn't this
            seem to imply that bedsacks or bed-ticks were generally expected in
            winter quarters when the campaigning had settled down?

            Thanks,
            Brian S.
          • David S. Mallinak
            ... For use of straw in the Rev war period. It was part of the Von Stueben procedures in the American Rev War army to have the pioneers to mark out the camp
            Message 5 of 22 , Jan 1, 2003
              > The use of straw during campaigns in the field is probably
              > "rarely happened" occurrence. It's something that just became
              > traditional with reenactors since the Civil War Centennial and
              > Rev War Bicentennial.

              For use of straw in the Rev war period. It was part of the Von Stueben
              procedures in the American Rev War army to have the pioneers to mark out
              the camp and drop off tool to cut the grass. The troops doing the cutting
              for bedding. Von Stueben also recommends that if the Army is going to be in
              the same place for several days, that on sunny days, that the camp tents be
              taken down, to air out/turn over the straw/bedding.

              The use of straw (defined as dried field grasses) would depend on the time
              of year and the state of the field in which the army was camping.

              HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

              Your humble and obedient servant,
              David S Mallinak
            • ebclemson <ebclemson@webtv.net>
              ... Brian, I already quoted the regulation allowing a truss of straw in one of my previous notes. That information came out of my original 1813 regulations.
              Message 6 of 22 , Jan 1, 2003
                --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "nappingcrow <nappingcrow@h...>" <nappingcrow@h...> wrote:
                > > Scott, the only records I have found where bedsacks were issued in
                > the U.States Army was in regards to Hospital stores. I can't find
                > my papers on this right now, but believe that sheets and bed sacks
                > were issued to garrison hospitals.
                > >
                > > Dave B.
                >
                > In "These Relics of Barbarism: A History of Furniture in Barracks and
                > Guardhouses of the United States Army, 1800-1880" the author (D. A.
                > Clary) quotes Henry Dearborn (April 28th, 1801) as follows:
                > "One truss of straw weighing thirty-six pounds, is allowed for each
                > palliass for two men," and states that this appeared in the 1808
                > regulations.
                >
                > I realize this isn't a receipt or orderly book, but wouldn't this
                > seem to imply that bedsacks or bed-ticks were generally expected in
                > winter quarters when the campaigning had settled down?
                >
                > Thanks,
                > Brian S.

                Brian,

                I already quoted the regulation allowing a "truss of straw" in one of my previous notes. That information came out of my original 1813 regulations.

                What does "Pilliass" mean?

                No, I do not believe that the issue of straw indicates that bedsacks were necessarily issued. Barracks appears to had bed sacks issued to, but again, I have never seen bed sacks issued to individual soldiers. It appears that in garrisons, and "barracks" that bedsacks were purchased or made by company tailors and probably staid with that location, and not with the soldiers.

                In my previous post, I quoted the regulations on inspecting the straw while the army is moving and in camp. Straw was issued, but this does not imply that every man was running around with his own little bedsack.

                My wife has come across first hand accounts of Officers wives writing about traveling with the army. At least two of them indicated they slept on bear skins. Apparently, even American officers did not always use bedsacks on a march.


                Adiu, Dave Bennett. 1st U.States Infy.
              • Mark Dickerson
                In modern terms dried field grasses would be hay. Straw is the left over stems of harvested wheat, rye, beans, etc. Mark D ... The use of straw (defined as
                Message 7 of 22 , Jan 1, 2003
                  In modern terms "dried field grasses" would be hay. Straw is the left over stems of harvested wheat, rye, beans, etc.
                  Mark D
                  ----- Original Message -----

                  The use of straw (defined as dried field grasses) would depend on the time
                  of year and the state of the field in which the army was camping.




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • nappingcrow <nappingcrow@hotmail.com>
                  Hi Dave, Palliasses (From French word for straw, variants palliasse, paillasse, etc.) were sacks or mattresses filled with straw, and seem to have a history in
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jan 2, 2003
                    Hi Dave,

                    Palliasses (From French word for straw, variants palliasse,
                    paillasse, etc.) were sacks or mattresses filled with straw, and seem
                    to have a history in the British army predating the American
                    Revolution, and also seem to have been inherited by the American
                    army.

                    I didn't mean to imply I thought bedsacks were issued/used on the
                    march, but rather that I was wondering whether they were expected in
                    winter quarters - when the army had theoretically settled down in
                    huts. (My use of "huts" here following Clary's, and different from
                    the more permanent "barracks".) As quoted, they'd have been used for
                    two men rather than one to each.

                    I also have a copy of the 1813 regulations, and they omit the
                    word "palliass" which was used in 1808. Whether this is because they
                    weren't used, or because they were assumed/implied as routine items I
                    do not know. I haven't seen a first hand account of them, so I'm
                    curious about what others think.

                    I haven't seen much on what campaign life was like for officer's
                    wives in the American army of the time - when's your wife going to
                    publish? :-)

                    If you can track down a copy of "These Relics of Barbarism" it's
                    worth it.

                    Thanks, and Happy New Year
                    Brian S.
                  • Brian Howard
                    A note from the Southern theatre. In an order book of the 5th Va militia dated May, 1814 to Nov, 1814, the use of boards for tent floors was preferred over
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jan 2, 2003
                      A note from the Southern theatre. In an order book of
                      the 5th Va militia dated May, 1814 to Nov, 1814, the
                      use of boards for tent floors was preferred over
                      straw. Straw cost company funds and the boards lasted
                      much longer than the staw. This was for the units
                      camped around the Norfolk and Portsmouth area of
                      Virginia.

                      Brian
                      2nd Va Regiment, 1813-1815

                      --- Raymond Hobbs <ray.hobbs@...> wrote:
                      > Scott et al.
                      > I recall reading the journal of one US soldier who
                      > said that after a few
                      > months of campaign he had gotten used to sleeping on
                      > the soft side of a
                      > pine board! Don't have the reference at hand but
                      > I'll dig it out.
                      > Anyway, this suggests that on campaign, the lads
                      > dossed down on anything
                      > remotely comfortable.
                      > Ray Hobbs
                      > 41st
                      >
                      > Scott Jeznach wrote:
                      >
                      > I haven't seen any mention of soldiers in the US
                      > army being issued bed
                      > sacks/ticks as individuals which they might take
                      > with them on campaign.
                      > I must admit that this isfar from my area of
                      > expertise. Can anyone shed
                      > more light on this?
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                      > removed]
                      >
                      >


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                    • ebclemson <ebclemson@webtv.net>
                      ... Hi Brian, Great information thanks. Yes, I ll track down the book you mentioned. I saw that Feltoe had also mentioned Palliasses in British issues. I ve
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jan 2, 2003
                        --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "nappingcrow <nappingcrow@h...>" <nappingcrow@h...> wrote:

                        Hi Brian,

                        Great information thanks. Yes, I'll track down the book you mentioned. I saw that Feltoe had also mentioned "Palliasses" in British issues.

                        I've seen "huts" used more than "barracks".... I may be wrong here, but from the American records I've read...it appears huts were single story and barracks were two story? But, Hay <g>.....I'm guessing.

                        This has been a great thread on HAY and STRAW. Every thing you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask.

                        By the way, "MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES"....is a great period phrase. Col. Jacob Kingsbury, 1st Infantry used this in a letter before the War.

                        As far as the accounts of women ...1) Lydia's Bacon's account is good one. Her husband was in the 4th U.States Infantry.
                        2) My wife publish? Actually, she has but not this particular subject though she has given presentations on this subject.

                        3) Norman Caldwell wrote some very fine
                        articles on Civilians during the war era.

                        Dave B.


                        > Hi Dave,
                        >
                        > Palliasses (From French word for straw, variants palliasse,
                        > paillasse, etc.) were sacks or mattresses filled with straw, and seem
                        > to have a history in the British army predating the American
                        > Revolution, and also seem to have been inherited by the American
                        > army.
                        >
                        > I didn't mean to imply I thought bedsacks were issued/used on the
                        > march, but rather that I was wondering whether they were expected in
                        > winter quarters - when the army had theoretically settled down in
                        > huts. (My use of "huts" here following Clary's, and different from
                        > the more permanent "barracks".) As quoted, they'd have been used for
                        > two men rather than one to each.
                        >
                        > I also have a copy of the 1813 regulations, and they omit the
                        > word "palliass" which was used in 1808. Whether this is because they
                        > weren't used, or because they were assumed/implied as routine items I
                        > do not know. I haven't seen a first hand account of them, so I'm
                        > curious about what others think.
                        >
                        > I haven't seen much on what campaign life was like for officer's
                        > wives in the American army of the time - when's your wife going to
                        > publish? :-)
                        >
                        > If you can track down a copy of "These Relics of Barbarism" it's
                        > worth it.
                        >
                        > Thanks, and Happy New Year
                        > Brian S.
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