Friday, October 5, 2012

Diary of Alexander G. Downing: Friday, December 13, 1861

The Eleventh Iowa is at home now in wedge tents, with four men to a tent, and we are experiencing more changes in living. Irish potatoes have been dropped from our rations and we have no tables now at which to eat our meals. When the orderly sergeant draws the rations, the company cook calls out for every man to come and get his portion — of hardtack, bacon, sugar, salt, pepper, soap and candles. The cook makes the coffee, boils the beans and salt beef (fresh beef twice a week), and at noon calls each man to get his day's rations of bean soup and meat. The coffee he makes three times a day, each man having his own tin cup for his coffee. Each one prepares his own bacon to suit his taste, many eating it raw between two pieces of hard-tack. Every one has his own plate, knife and fork.

Our regiment received marching orders with ten days’ rations, and so we have to leave just as we were getting settled in our tent camp.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 23

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