Civil War Era food

Sep 8, 2014 by

Civil War Era food

This article was written by Samuel Phineas Upham

Generally speaking, history shows that soldiers from the North ate better than soldiers from the South. Cuisine varied greatly during the Civil War, and was based largely in part to your social class. Plantation Owners ate worse than Union factory owners, but better than slaves. Especially as the war went on.

Today, we establish a pretty firm three-meal-a-day policy. This was not always the case during the civil War. While the War was devastating the countryside, there were also advances that were making it possible to preserve foods. Canning and distribution both fundamentally altered the state of food production and consumption during the Civil War era. Canned pork with beans was an especially popular dish during this time. It was filling and tasty for soldiers, and it was easy to transport in bulk quantities.

Slaves were the interesting anomaly during this time. Much of their cuisine survives the test of time, and is still eaten in the South. This is despite a general lack of information about it. It’s likely that food writers of the time didn’t think to write about cuisine they considered to be “low.” Slaves were allowed to grow their own crops, but they were the only ones trying new things with the vegetables in the area. Slaves would also routinely trap rabbits and deer for killing, mostly because meat was not otherwise plentiful unless it was Christmas. Some slaves were also issued rations on a monthly basis, so they were responsible for preparing and rationing their own meals, although their meat-weak diet left them more prone to disease.

Samuel Phineas Upham

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Samuel Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his Samuel Phineas Upham website.

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