Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History
Civil War Soldier’s Mess
Accession #: 195333
Credit: Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History
Dimensions / Weight
Dimensions: 4" H x 4" W x 0.17" D
Small metal box to protect matches, two piece metal lantern, metal frying pan and cup. Hardtack.
A match safe, lantern, frying pan and cup would have been part of a soldier’s equipment. Hardtack is the name given to a thick cracker made of flour, water, and sometimes salt. While it has been called by several nicknames, the Union Army of the Potomac referred to the ration as hardtack, and the name stuck. When stored properly, hardtack would last for years. Because it could be prepared cheaply and would last so long, hardtack was the most convenient food for soldiers. The army furnished hardtack by weight, but in most units the biscuits were doled out by number with a ration generally being nine or ten.
Country: United States
War: Civil War