Diets of Civil War Soldiers Essay sample

Write my Nutrition essayDue to the specifics of their work, soldiers in civil war required a lot of energy. But their routine food was far from extremely nourishing or invigorating. Commissary Departments supplied products to their Union and Confederate soldiers who further cooked it or ate uncooked. Only generals and officers had a cook; other soldiers prepared their meals in groups they called “messes”. They cooked the simplest food over an open fire and completely depended on the products supplied by the Commissary.
A routine diet of a soldier consisted of cornmeal, hardtack, salted meat, and canned products. All of them were well-preserved, which was the first requirement for food in the field. And of course, products were cheap because feeding an army is a generous investment. Letters from Civil War soldiers contain mentions of bacon, but soldiers were unlikely to eat bacon as we know it. The “bacon” rather meant salt pork that was the major source of protein in the army. Union soldiers sometimes could buy fresh meat, fruit or vegetables if there were any local farmers; Confederates mostly relied on gifts from population to diversify their meals.
Vegetarianism was not an option for a soldier because men needed as much energy as they could have. Union soldiers could occasionally afford buying fruit or vegetables from local farmers, and Confederates sometimes ate berries they picked in the woods. Corn, beans, peas, and rice were a common food for them. Fruit were a generous gift to soldiers; they were the only way to prevent Scurvy in the war times. As for drinks, Union soldiers regularly received coffee. Confederate soldiers often did with chicory and other coffee substitutes.