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  • "The Civil War Soldier - His Personal Items"
  • Civil War Medical Museum, Frederick, MD
  • Gettysburg National Park Service Museum
  • Museum of the Confederacy

Original Civil War Complete Hardtack Biscuit (SOLD,BG)

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$185.00 $165.00
(You save $20.00)

Product Description

This is another rare piece being offered, it is an original Civil War Hardtack biscuit. It is complete and measures 3” x 2 ½”. Union and Confederate soldiers were usually issued a half pound of beans or peas, bacon, pickled beef, compressed mixed vegetables and a pound of hardtack, often there was only hardtack available.

Too hard to be eaten whole, it was sometimes broken up with a rock, bayonet, or rifle butt, placed in the cheek and softened with saliva until it was soft enough to be chewed and swallowed. It was more often soaked in water and fried in bacon grease.

Hardtack was also called "sheet iron crackers", "teeth dullers", or "worm castles", a reference to the weevils and maggots that were all too often found in the boxes of hardtack. The Confederacy often had to depend on what (or anything) that happened to be available at the time - in many instances from local sources.

In my recent book “The Civil War Soldier – His Personal Items”, I show an example and discuss the importance of this food source (see pictures). In just about every museum you will see hardtack displayed and I’ve included some of their pieces (see pictures). Actually there is a similar piece in the Museum of the Confederacy that was picked up at Gettysburg.

Original Civil War hardtack, in any condition, is almost impossible to find. This one is in excellent condition. There is a surface crack, but it doesn’t separate the cracker, and it only adds to its character. It comes in the glass-top display case pictured. It would make a nice addition to a display of a soldier’s personal effects or camp display.

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