1-1/2 pounds of beef, preferably brisket

1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. each - pepper, onion powder,
garlic salt
1/4 cup each - soy sauce, Worcestershire

Slice lean boneless beef (such as brisket) into 1/8" strips, trimming fat. Cut with the grain for chewy jerky or across the grain for crumbly jerky. Lay strips on oven rack (use foil or pan underneath to catch drippings). Salt to taste. Dry in oven at lowest temperature (150 degrees), leaving door slightly ajar, for 8-12 hours. Turn several times for even drying. Taste test occasionally. For more seasoned flavor, marinate cut meat overnight in ingredients listed.

Civil War era cookbooks have no recipes for beef jerky, as far as we can find out anyway. We add this one in response to popular demand as being as close to authentic in ingredients and technique as is reasonably reproducible today. They DID have Worcestershire sauce in 1860, Lea & Perrins (tm) brand as a matter of fact, but we cannot vouch for the soy sauce.

Chicken Purlough (pronounced perlow)

Kill and dress one whole chicken.
Place in water to cover, simmer for several hours until tender. (replace water as necessary)
Remove from fire and cool.
Remove bones, fat and skin from chicken and feed to yard critters.
Use remaining broth to cook rice. Add salt, pepper and other spices to taste.
Add boned chicken when rice is partially done. You might add paprika or small red peppers to add not only taste but color.
This is a recipe handed down for many generations as almost everyone was able to maintain chickens as a farmyard food supplement. They provided eggs AND meat.
Rice was also plentiful in the south as a staple food.

Substitute for Coffee

Take sound ripe acorns, wash them while in the shell, dry them, and parch until they open. Take the shell off. Roast with a little bacon fat, and you will have a splendid cup of coffee.

CRAWDADS (or crayfish to some folks)
2-3 quarts water
Juice from 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped

2-3 dozen crawdads, gathered from nearby stream, UPSTREAM from where men have bathed, relieved themselves, or exercised the horses. Chop or twist off upper body of crawdad and throw them to company dog, as only the tail has enough meat to be worth eating.
Combine everything except crawdads in pot over fire and heat to boiling. Add crawdads and heat till it boils again, then back off from fire and cook until meat is opaque (white) all the way through. Remove and eat at once or put in cold water to eat later; if left in hot water they will get overdone and tough.

Eggs may be roasted by standing them on end in hot ashes. They may be boiled hard to carry in the pockets on forced marches.
Now after this gourmet repast, you may feel the need for something to wash it all down with. Keep this trick in mind: If you have any tea left, do not throw it away. Fill your canteens with it. It is infinitely more refreshing than almost any other drink upon a hot, weary march. If, instead of filling your canteen with fresh water, you would boil it in the morning, before starting, with enough tea to flavor it and keeping it from becoming insipid when warmed by the sun, it would be a thousand times more healthy, and the best prevention of dysentery. Water which has been boiled is freed from the bad effects it frequently has. The southern people boil their lemonade, and then allow it to cool before using it. Learn from your enemies how to protect yourselves in their climate.


6 pieces hardtack
1 c. milk
1/4 lb. salt pork
1 large onion, peeled and sliced or chopped
4 large potatoes, sliced or diced
2 c. water
2 c. corn, kernels sliced off cob (about 2 ears)
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika if available

Soak hardtack in milk. (Skim off weevils and other objectionable matter. You may want to start this the night before, depending on age of hardtack.) When they are softened, cut salt pork into cubes and brown over medium fire. Add onion and cook until soft. Add potatoes and water and cook until potatoes are soft, or at least tender. Stir in hardtack and milk, then add remaining ingredients. Stir and cook to almost boiling, and serve at once.

Probably the one, first, and most requested recipie, is for hardtack (also known as 'tack, ironplate biscuits, army bread, and other colorful names). From the 1862 US Army book of recipes, is one that is guaranteed to keep your dentist happy with bridge and upper plate work, and not to satisfy your culinary hunger. But these actually work and stay fresh for eons.
5 Cups Flour (unbleached)
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Salt
1-1 1/4 cups Water
Preheated Oven to 450
In a bowl, combine the ingredients to form a stiff, but not dry dough. The dough should be pliable, but not stick a lot to your hands.
Take this mound of dough, and flatten it out onto a greased cookee sheet (the ones with a small lip around the a real shallow pan...), and roll the dough into a flat sheet aprx. 1/2 inch thick.

Using a breadknife, divide the dough into 3x3 squares. taking a 10-penny nail, put a 3x3 matrix of holes into the surface of the dough, all the way thru, at even intervals (Village tinsmithing works sells a cutter that does all of great!).

Bake in the oven for aprx 20 Min., till lightly browned. Take out and let cool.

Do this the day before your go on the field, and your will have enough tack to fill your haversack. It will be somewhat soft on Saturday morning, but, by Sunday, you should soak it in your coffee before eating, else you will have a hard time chewing.