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Plate and cup
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The daily ration for Union soldiers in camp included pork, beef, corn meal, bread, beans, peas, potatoes, coffee, salt, sugar and vinegar. The marching ration was far less generous: hard tack, salt pork, sugar, coffee and salt. Just getting the food to the rank and file was frequently a problem. As one soldier put it, "some days we live first rate, and the next we don't have half enough." The food that did make it through was often barely edible. One soldier reported that they had found "32 worms, maggots, & c" in one piece of hard tack." Another man recalled that, "all the fresh meat we had came in the hard bread...and I preferring my game cooked, used to toast my biscuits." This tin plate and cup held army rations for Jesse L. Delano of Sunderland, Massachusetts.
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