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Top 9 Civil War Survival Recipes

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The Civil War was brutal. That’s all there is to it. If you’ve seen The Free State of Jones, even the first fifteen minutes of the movie bring home some of the atrocities that men – on both sides – had to endure.

While it’s true that the Union soldiers were generally better fed than the Confederate soldiers were, Neither side was eating steak and eggs, at least not with any kind of regularity. Because an army really does march on its stomach, food supplies going both directions were interrupted as often as possible.

Unfortunately, that often meant burning fields and slaughtering animals, leaving them to rot, as a regiment passed through an area, in order to keep the other side from eating. The casualties of those actions weren’t just soldiers – the families who depended upon those animals and crops to exist also starved.

How did they manage to survive? Keep reading to find out!



Because food conditions became so brutal, especially in the South, both soldiers and families had to learn how to survive with very little food. I don’t think I know a single person who hasn’t seen Gone with the Wind, and though it’s not one of my favorite movies, it does point out some valid points.

The land was destroyed and plundered. A woman who had been raised “gently” aka- spoiled, and had no skill or knowledge whatsoever, learned what she needed to in order to survive. Scarlet isn’t necessarily the greatest example of how things went down simply because she was entitled and duplicitous, but the movie did have a realistic element to it.

So what was a man to do if he was on the march and had very little time to cook, and very few ingredients to do it with? And what about the women and infirm left at home?

How did they live? The answer is: simply and with what little they had on hand.

The one advantage that both sides had was that the country was still agricultural. People, at least in the part of the country where they were fighting, weren’t dependent upon outside sources for survival. Family or estate gardens were the norm rather than the exception and fruit trees and wild berries grew in abundance.

This allowed the soldiers to grab food from along the trail and it allowed families who may have lost most of everything else to have at least enough to survive. Remember, too, that canning was a huge part of life back then, so if families managed to hide their food or were fortunate enough to remain off the marching trails, they had food stockpiled.

The marching soldiers weren’t quite so lucky, and it wasn’t always because food was scarce. There was also the fact that most of the men had no idea how to cook; they’d

Source: survivopedia.com