Civil War Heritage of Emmitsburg

To educate, to interpret and to preserve

As the First Corps marched into Emmitsburg, citizens gave the men fresh milk, bread, pies, and cakes. A drummer boy named Bardeen purchased a fair amount of green peas at a price of ten cents at Emmitsburg’s General Store that was located across the street from the Farmers Inn.


Photograph Battles and Leaders, "Rations of the Stalk"

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 Civil War Rations

Confederate Ration Union Ration

Each Confederate enlisted soldier:

  • 1/2 lb. bacon or beef--daily.

  • 1 1/2 lbs. flour or corn meal--daily, or 1 lb. hard bread.

For one hundred men:

  • 8 qts. of pease or 10 lbs. of rice.

  • 4 qts. of vinegar.

  • 1 1/2 lbs. tallow candles.

  • 4 lbs. soap.

  • 2 qts. salt.

  • 6 lbs. sugar.



Each Union enlisted soldier:

  • 12 oz of pork or bacon

  • 1 lb. 4oz of fresh or salt beef

  • 1 lb. 6 oz of soft bread or flour

  • 1 lb. of hard bread or 1ib. 4 oz cornmeal.

For every one hundred men:

  • 1 peck of beans or peas

  • 10 lb. of rice or hominy

  • 10 lb. of green coffee

  • 8 lb. of roasted and ground coffee, or 1 lb. 8 oz of tea

  • 15 lb. of sugar

  • 1 lb. 4 oz of candles

  • 4 lb. of soap

  • 1 qt. of molasses

Army Hardtack Recipe

  • 4 cups flour (preferably whole wheat)
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • Water (about 2 cups)
  • Pre-heat oven to 375° F
  • Makes about 10 pieces

After cutting the squares, press a pattern of four rows of four holes into each square, using a nail or other such object. Do not punch through the dough. 

In addition to or as substitutes for other items, desiccated vegetables, dried fruit, pickles or pickled cabbage might be issued

Marching ration:

  • 1 lb. of hard bread

  • ¾ lb. of salt pork or 1 ¼ lb. of fresh meat

  • Plus sugar, coffee, and salt

Each soldier was to carry is rations in his haversack. The three haversacks on the left from top to bottom: A Confederate haversack that has been treated with linseed oil, a type of waterproofing used in the Civil War. The second haversack is a painted cotton duck haversack known today as the Bayley Haversack. The bottom haversack is a standard issued Federal haversack made of canvas as used by Union troops and included a removable inner bag made of duct cloth.

The middle row of the picture is the tin plates used by soldier to eat their meals from as well as a tin boiler, copper dipping cup, a bone spoon, and a fork, knife and spoon combination set.

The right hand row is two style of canteens and are by no means the standard as several styles were issued. The tan-brown colored canteen is a Federal smooth-side canteen while the lower canteen is made from tin and is a style that men of the Confederate army were issued. Tin was cheap and easily accessible material that tinsmiths fashioned into canteens.