Veterans Day Through Lens of Food
“[W]e don’t get our rations as we ought to. All the rations that are condemned by the white troops are sent to our regiment,” writes Benjamin Williams, a nineteen-year-old African American private from Philadelphia in the Union Army. Let's take a look at Veterans Day through the words of a US Civil War soldier. Writing from jail on Morris Island in South Carolina Williams goes on to say, “You ought to see the hard tack [rock hard biscuits/crackers] that we have to eat. They are moldy and musty and full of worms, and not fit for a dog to eat,” he wrote on July 8, 1864. Union soldiers on the front lines survived in part on hardtack and in part on foraging and creative cooking ideas.