Camp Life Feed

Handmade Confederate Playing Cards

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Handmade Confederate Playing Cards,  The Perkins Gallery, Duke University

During the fair-weather campaign season, soldiers could expect to be engaged in battle one day out of 30. Their remaining days were filled with almost interminable drilling, punctuated with spells of entertainment in the form of music, cards and other forms of gambling. -The Civil War Trust Life of the Civil War Soldier in Camp

Cards from the St. Clair Dearing Papers http://blogs.library.duke.edu/rubenstein/2012/01/17/gallery-talk-for-memories-of-the-civil-war/


The Dog Tent

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The Dog Tent:
 The smallest and least effective tent the Union used, was the Dog Tent. So named because you had to crawl in on your hands and knees like a dog. Open at both ends it afforded little protection from the elements but it was very portable, could sleep two men, and was better than nothing. It later morphed into what is now known as a Pup tent which is enclosed on all four sides.

From Wild Bill Burroughs on Tumblr


Handmade Confederate Playing Cards

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Handmade Confederate Playing Cards,  The Perkins Gallery, Duke University

During the fair-weather campaign season, soldiers could expect to be engaged in battle one day out of 30. Their remaining days were filled with almost interminable drilling, punctuated with spells of entertainment in the form of music, cards and other forms of gambling. -The Civil War Trust Life of the Civil War Soldier in Camp 

Cards from the St. Clair Dearing Papershttp://blogs.library.duke.edu/rubenstein/2012/01/17/gallery-talk-for-memories-of-the-civil-war/

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr


hardtack

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Hardtack: A staple food source for men of both sides of the Civil War. This is a 50 pound box made in Brooklyn. Bill often told the old standard Union tale of how he bit into his hard tack and and found something soft, when he went to see what it was he found it was a nail!!

From Wild Bill Burroughs on Tumblr


150-year old Confederate diary gives up its secrets to volunteer code breaker

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James Gandy, libarian for the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. displays the text of the 150-year old diary kept by Confederate Army Lt. James Malbone. Malbone wrote parts of the diary in a home-made code to keep private...

Eric Durr, New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs

From www.army.mil

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (Oct. 8, 2014) --A university professor who is also a former government code breaker, and a retired college financial aid director teamed up to transcribe and decode the secrets in a 150-year-old Confederate diary discovered in the collections of the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York.

The Military Museum is administered by the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, the state agency which oversees the New York Army and Air National Guard.

Written in 1863 and 1864, by Confederate Army Lt. James Malbone, an officer in Company B, 6th Virginia Infantry, the diary records information about Soldiers in his unit, items he's bought and sold, his African-American slaves, the faithlessness of other officers' wives, Confederate deserters, women, and military movements.

Continue reading "150-year old Confederate diary gives up its secrets to volunteer code breaker" »


Soap And The Civil War

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Until the early 1900’s, much of the soap used was made at home. Fats from cooking and butchering were saved until there was enough to make a batch of soap. This all changed in 1916 when a shortage of fats (a main ingredient in soap) occurred during World War I. As an alternative was needed, enterprising companies developed the first synthetic soaps called detergents.

Cindy Brown, collections manager for the York County Heritage Trust, said in the 1800’s women would bathe weekly, generally on a Saturday night to prepare for church the next morning. “Most people had a tub and they’d heat water over a fire to warm it for bathing, using homemade soap made with harsh lye,”

Although germs were not yet known, doctors noticed during the Civil War that soldiers who were bathed regularly and kept in clean environments had a much higher survival rate and got fewer infections. The credit for this discovery goes to a nurse who worked at the front during the Crimean War. (Florence Nightingale).

Although fine domestic and imported soaps were then available, the Civil War created such economic hardship that many southern women made their own soap well into the 20th century.

HTTP://WWW.CRANBERRYLANE.COM/SOAPMAKING.HTM#1

HTTP://WWW.EXAMINER.COM/ARTICLE/A-SHORT-HISTORY-OF-SOAP

HTTPS://WWW.ETSY.COM/LISTING/113145034/LYE-AND-LARD-SOAP-10-LBS

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr


Confederate Mule

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"I rode a mule, a large gentle one, a good traveler and gentle. My bridle was made of home tanned fox or coon hides. The bit was made in a shop near by and was what was called a curb bit. 

The saddle, home made also, consisted of two pieces of poplar - shaped so it was supposed to fit the mule's back as they lay length - ways on her. They were fastened together in front by a piece of tough oak with rivets made of iron in the shops nearby, the back part was fastened the same way by tough oak out so as to resemble any ordinary saddle.

This saddle had holes mortised, through which a leather strap fastened with a ring and this made the girth. The back had holes mortised by which to tie on the belongings of a soldier of the C.S.A. When this was covered with a heavy woolen blanket spun and woven at home by my mother and sister and colored with bark, the soldier, dressed in clothes made the same way by the same loving hands, was ready to mount and be off [for] the war. 

Neither the boy nor his equipment would make a formidable looking soldier or inspire terror, you will say. True! But the mule could travel and the boy could shoot, and either could very nearly find their own rations. These three formed the chief requisites for a soldier in Forrest's Cavalry."

- Mrs. Calvin S. Brown Papers, Z/0182.000, Mississippi Department of Archives & History

From: Civil War Talk


Civil War Soldier’s Mess-Hardtack

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Civil War Soldier’s Mess-Hardtack

How much delicious hard tack could you get in the Civil War? 

The Army doled it out by number, usually 9-10. Usually infested by weevils larva and grubs, they invented many ways to eat these “rocks”,  ”jawbreakers”, “worm castles”, "digestible leather", "angel cakes", "tooth dullers" and "ammo reserves". Ways to eat it? Carefully crumble it in your morning cup of Joe, or fry it in brown pork fat. ~S.Palmer@CivilWarParlor

First Known Use of Hardtack -1836

Photo Credit: National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center. More info on Hardtack-~ John Davis Billings, Hardtack and coffee, or, The unwritten story of army life (1887)

From The Civil War Parlor

 


Camp life humdrum for Civil War soldiers

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Waiting for spring

All is quiet on Civil War battlefields in the east as winter drags on. Rivers and streams are too deep to cross. Roads are impassable.

The nearly 7,000 men from Oneida and Herkimer counties serving in seven volunteer infantry regiments are in camps scattered across Virginia. Many complain that camp life is monotonous. The same drills every day, the same inspections every Sunday, guard duty, digging wells, chopping wood, cleaning tents.

One soldier with the 117th New York – the Fourth Oneida regiment – writes: “Our work is digging, we could have done that at home. We came to fight and end the war by extinguishing the rebellion.”

For recreation, the men read, play cards and, when it snows and the snow is just right for “packing,” there are snowball fights.

From: UTICAOD.com