CRRL History: Civil War Food
Annotation:This book contains some interesting tidbits! The first grocery store chain, the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (later known generally as the A & P), opened for business in 1864. Learn how cookbooks from the 1860s differed from those of today: instructions were given for cooking both in a fireplace and on a stove. Instead of telling how long to cook a dish, recipes provided descriptions for doneness such as "fry until golden brown" or "simmer the water to half a pint."
Annotation:This collection of recipes "includes information on Union and confederate army rations, cooking on both homefronts, and substitutions used during the war by Southern cooks"
Annotation:Part of the Cooking throughout American history Series, this book briefly describes some of the foods eaten in the North and South before and after the Civil War and the impact of the war on what foods were available and how they were prepared. Also available as an eBook.
Annotation:Packed with recipes, shopping lists, and other domestic jottings, the notebook opened an intimate window onto an earlier way of life. The food shortages even affected the Lee family while General Lee was away. Correspondence between the Lees states that Mrs. Lee and her family lived on 1/4 lb. of bacon and 1/2 pt. of meal per day.
Annotation:"...looks at what soldiers ate during the Civil War, where they got it, how they prepared it, and what they thought of it. Leavened with first-person accounts of finding and preparing food, A Taste for War includes more than two hundred recipes drawn from soldiers' letters and diaries and from the few cookery guides furnished them by their governments. The recipes are adapted with instructions for modern preparation that allow readers to recreate the distinctive flavors and aromas of the Civil War."
Annotation:Read transcripts of recipes and accounts from the original manuscript cookbook that the Haw Branch Plantation women kept for six generations.
Annotation:"Desert Storm Recalls Civil War Food Woes" -- This 1991 article recounts the hardships encountered on both sides. Creative substitutions helped them cope with food scarcity.
Annotation:Cooking issues from the Union perspective. Includes an adapted recipe for beef stew that was served to the army.
Annotation:This interactive cookbook contains over 550 authentic Civil War recipes. View a variety of sections: breakfast, breads, desserts, drinks, poultry, meats, game, soups, sauces, or seafood.
Annotation:This is the online version of Confederate Receipt Book: A Compilation of over One Hundred Receipts Adapted to the Times. Richmond, Va.: West & Johnston, 1863. In addition to discovering recipes for pumpkin bread, peas puddings, learn how to make apple pie without apples and artificial oysters.
Annotation:An interesting article that discusses substitutes for coffee, how the war brought on famine, salt shortages, and women rioting for flour.
Annotation:The Camden County Historical Society's program on Civil War-era foods--mostly from a Northern perspective--gives some interesting insights into the dishes of the day.
Annotation:A Virginia Girl in the Civil War, 1861-1865: Being a Record of the Actual Experiences of the Wife of a Confederate Officer. Read her descriptions of the food during this time.
A Shared List by CRRL_VirginiaJohnson
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This list accompanies an article on our Web site, Hardtack, Artificial Oysters, and Goober Peas: Making Do on the March and in the Civil War Kitchen, by CRRL Staff member Jane Kosa, who also prepared the original version of this list.
K-12 Study Guide