A hard square cracker made of salt, flour, and water, that represented one of the major staples for both Northern and Southern soldiers. This hard bread in the form of crackers measured about 3 inches square by 1/2 inch thick was issued--9 or 10 constituting a ration.
Every soldier on field service was issued a haversack or "bread bag" in which he carried his rations and eating utensils on the march. It was worn over the right soldier and rested on the left hip, with a tin cup usually buckled to the strap. The haversack was used to carry field or "marching rations" such as hard bread, salt pork, or fresh meat, sugar, and coffee. Items like tobacco, paper and pencil and a housewife were also carried in the haversack.
Many soldiers carried an item known as a housewife in their knapsacks. The housewife contained scraps of material, thread, buttons, and a needle that was useful for mending tears or lost buttons that came with wear and tear on their uniforms.
Did You Know?
Union Brevet Brigadier General Frederick Winthrop was Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop's sixth great-grandson. Winthrop was mortally wounded at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865. (Petersburg National Battlefield)