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Hardtack & Coffee or The Unwritten Story of Army Life Paperback – August 1, 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
Billings tells his story as a humanist and has a real eye for detail. His descriptions (and the illustrations) are invaluable.
This book is not for someone with only a passing interest in the American Civil War; one must know something of the era to appreciate it. It is a must-read for a true fanatic.
Robert A. Hall
Author: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
LOL. You have no idea. I'm a Union reenactor and although we try to live as authentically as we can for a few days a month, it gets old fast. People bring meat in coolers, a few beers, an oil lamp for light, even cots to sleep in!
The truth of the matter is, and what I really found myself asking by the end of this beautiful account, written by an actual soldier, was:
-Could I survive on 4 4x4" squares of bread made of nothing but water and flour, so hard that they could break your teeth and were invincible to softening even by soaking in hot coffee for an hour or more?
-Could I eat meat that was half rancid, "stunk like hell", and was infested with "worms" because that's all there was for the next four days
-Make coffee out of chicory root. Why, you ask? Because coffee was the cocaine of the CW soldier. Its all they had to keep them marching mile after mile.
-March up to 30 (or more) miles a day in shoes (brogans) that would make your feet bleed after the first 20 miles, carrying 30 lbs of awkward equipment, all in a full suit of itchy wool. PS. Your lucky if you even had decent shoes, or shoes at all!
-Go to the bathroom with no toilet paper and no leaves available (yes, use your imagination as to what they did, and remember they didn't realize that you needed to wash it off your hands to keep from getting sick.). Microbes were yet to be discovered.
-Drink muddy water that would turn your bowels into liquid wax (remember, your still marching on a dusty road in Virginia and it could be 90 degrees outside while all this is going on inside you).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very factual account of Civil War history. I learned a lot more about the Civil War and army life during that period. Read morePublished 3 hours ago by Jeffery L. Kyle
Hardtack is a detailed look at army life in the Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War. Even more specifically it is from an artillery soldier although he does mention... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Fireman721
indulge your latent historian! I'm re-reading this book which I'd read in hardcopy years ago. The author's account of life in the union army is enlightening. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Kindle Customer
A detailed look into the day-to-day life and the equip map of the average civil war soldier. Type of Civil War Story not often told. Read morePublished 11 days ago by M. Giroir
When l read about some historical event or period, l want to understand how the average person lived and experienced it.
In this way, this is a great read.
I was pleasantly surprised with the down to earth details of the common life of the Civil War soldiers. Read morePublished 12 days ago by russ