Civil War Cookin’: Is This A Tradition?

Fresh bread…yummy!

In 2016, I shared some Civil War-related stories about food during the week of Thanksgiving. I found some more stories for 2017, and Chris Mackowski dubbed that year’s features “second helpings.”

Now, it’s the week of Thanksgiving, and I’m excited to share that there are a few more Civil War stories about food that I’ll get to share. At first, I wasn’t sure if we’d have a “third helping,” but through this year I kept stumbling across wonderful human-interest stories and recipes about Civil War foods and started stockpiling these accounts just for this week.

We hope this lighter history adds to your holiday spirit. Today, we’ll look back on the stories in the holiday series during the last two years. Let us know in a comment if you have a favorite and join us at the table this week for more stories and discussion about historical foods.

2016: Civil War Cookin’

An Introduction

Cornbread – All American

Don’t You Want Some Pie?

Learning To Make Bread

Don’t Cry…It’s Just An Onion

A Soldier’s Thanksgiving

What To Do With Leftovers (According to Major Pendleton)

2017: Civil War Cookin’

Second Helpings?

“Hard Tack Come Again No More”

Army Beans

Jefferson Davis Pie

Turkey For Dinner?

Want A Doughnut?

It’s Just A Cook Book Review

Come “cook” and “dine” with us this week as we sample some stories and fare from the 1860’s…

6 Responses to Civil War Cookin’: Is This A Tradition?

  1. This year, in preparation for my family’s Thanksgiving reunion, I’m going to follow Sarah’s recipe for hardtack contained in her 2017 Thanksgiving Day tribute to that most-hated Civil War staple and bring it to serve as the first course. Maybe I’ll mail some to my absentee daughter in Austin, TX. It will be minus the worms that my great grandfather complained about removing from his hardtack rations when he wrote home while on campaign. I’m probably not as skilled a chef as Sarah, and I have no doubt what comes out of the oven– even without the works– still will make my wife, siblings, daughter, in-laws, nephews, nieces, and extended family members thankful for the turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce etc etc. to follow. Hopefully my experiment will not lead to my removal from my sister’s Thanksgiving guest list.

    1. You mentioned cornbread stuffing–a Southern favorite & my personal favorite as well. But–didn’t those Yankee boys miss oyster stuffing or some of the other “stuff” used to fill up an empty turkey? Any thoughts? I have been laughing out here in California every time the KFC commercial for chicken & waffles comes on the television. Last time we drove through, I asked how that was selling out here. The nice lady behind the window said that it was selling a surprising amount, with repeat custimers asking for more. I may be a Yankee girl, but I do love me some southern cooking for the holidays!

      1. Well we live in a cultural bubble up here in New England and I haven’t been to KFC in years. So until today I never knew the storied history of chicken and waffles as a combo. I went to Wikipedia ( and found out more than I care to know. I think I’ll stick with turkey and stuffing… don’t care whether it’s cornbread, oyster or plain ol’ off-the-shelf panko breadcrumbs. I wonder if hardtack (the commodity that triggered this conversation) makes good stuffing? Maybe next year I’ll give it a try…

      2. Hey Meg, great question and idea! I’ve already got stuffing and the oysters, sage, etc. on the schedule for discussion.

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