18448Re: Dining facilities
- Jun 9, 2003--- In email@example.com, "Jack Hultquist" <jahultqu@a...>
Jack, your excerpts are always interesting.
Another item that impresses me is that in 186x, virtually all cooking
and heating was done with wood. For armies on the march the wood was
necessarily green and smoke terribly.
In the early days of steamboating, woodcutting parties were put
ashore every night to replenish fuel. Every night, they'd cut the
next days supply of fuel. As wood along the riverbanks became thinner
the costs of steamboating rose.
Another anecdote is of the Boonslick salt works in central Missouri.
The sons of Daniel boiled the flow from a saltwater spring to produce
salt. The hard work was supplying the wood for the fire. They
eventually went out of business from the fact that virtually every
tree in the county had been cut and burned for the salt works and it
was costing more for the gathering of the fuel than they could gain
for a bushel of salt. The spring, remanants of the works and
cauldrons are now a park.
> From Harrison B. Talbert'setc. I will tell you what we draw from the commissary daily, beef
> 1862 letters,
> Third Indiana Battery
> Otterville, Missouri, January 23, 1862
> We also have to haul our wood about a mile and do our own cooking
or bacon, hominy, beans, rice, soap, and 1 candle to a squad,
vinegar, [and] salt. We have the priviliege of drawing flour or
crackers [hardtack] which [ever] we please. We draw enough of this
to make plenty for us to eat and as long as we get plenty of this
I'll not grumble. I for got, we get plenty of sugar and coffee. Our
squad has divided off into 3 messes, me George and 3 others is in our
mess. Our cooking utensils, dishes, etc. consists of 2 camp kettles,
1 frying pan, 1 tin bucket, 2 big sheet iron dishes, a tin plate a
peice, and some sort of a smashed up tin cup a peice. Some have
spoons, and some having no k[n]ives or forks. I have a fork, knife,
and spoon altogether which I paid 1.50 for.
>it might cause us to founder ourselves [disabled by excessive eating]
> Jefferson City, Mo. May 2 ond / 62
> You needent to bother about sending us any eatibles of any kind for
as we are not use to any such nick nacks. And since we have been
here at Jeff City we have had plenty of bakers bread. We draw the
flour and get the baker to bake it on the shears.
>[in the hospital]. The reason I dident is this, I have undertook to
> Jefferson City, Cole County, Mo. May 4th / 62
> You may ask the question why I dident go to church or to see George
cook for the squad (about 20 men) and cooking and doing my duty keeps
me busy nearly all the time. I dont get but little time to write in
the day time I have to write of knights.
>it at the express office at Shelbyville about the last of next week
> Jefferson City Cole County Mo, May the 24th 1862
> I am going to express about twenty dollars home. You may look for
(the first of June). The reason I dont send more is this, the boys
hasent all paid me for cooking. [.....]. The reason I have delayed
writing so long is this, since I have been cooking I have been kept
so busy that I wrote just as few letters as I could handily make do,
just answering all that I received.
>did for additional cash?
> Was cooking part of Harrison's official duties and or something he
> The way he wrote on May 4 and May 24, 1862 it sounds as if cookingwas something in addition to his normal battery duties:
> May 4 - "cooking and doing my duty keeps me busy nearly all thetime".
> May 24 - "the boys hasent all paid me for cooking"putting up the shade over the tables.
> This June 26 letter reads as if the cook was also responsible for
> Jefferson City, Mo June the 26th /62that was over our tables and horses except the one that I put up, it
> And the wind blew nearly all our tents down, and all the shades
stood the storm.
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