View Full Version : Sausage revisited

Justin Runyon
01-05-2007, 01:44 AM
It may be obvious by now, but Paul and I have been searching the globe trying to find lost threads. I'll do my best to reconstruct this one here as Paul became arthritic from typing this one up.

Originally posted by Paul Calloway:





We have already seen the great loss arising from the attempt to provide meat for the marching ration, from the existing stores of the Commissary Department. The fresh meat, especially in warm weather, however well cooked, in the course of a day or two becomes unpalatable and worthless. Salt beef, as well as fresh, is bulky and heavy from the percentage of water and inedible substance entering into its composition. It occasions great thirst. Salt pork, though for some reason greatly to be preferred to salt beef, greases everything with which it comes in contact, and sustains a loss of some three fourths when broiled on a stick, as it usually is on the march.

Fresh beef as a source of the marching ration has some advantages. It carries itself. The cattle can be driven; but this advantage is limited. Of what use are live cattle on such an expedition as Averill's, to cut the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad; or Kilpatrick's, in the rear of Lee's army, threatening <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comhttp://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/ /><st1:PlaceName w:st=Rumford</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st=" /><st1:City w:st="on">Richmond</ST1:p</st1:City>? In a forced march the herd of cattle must be some distance in the rear, and the supply of fresh beef irregular. The best cattle in Ohio, Indiana, or Illinois, after transportation in cars, with little water, food, or sleep, during several days and nights of continuous travel, and after being driven about, for two or three weeks, with scanty forage, or none at all, furnish as a whole, meager and inferior beef. To preserve the beef the cattle are slaughtered, in summer, early in the morning, and the mat immediately boiled, if conveniences will permit, to prevent its becoming fly-blown. The juices extracted in this boiling are uniformly and necessarily lost. The edible meat is much of it lost in the difficulty and haste of detaching it from the bones. It has no provision against spontaneous decay. It is not always at command when most needed; it is bulky, and yet the actual edible meat, which the soldier derives from an ox slaughtered on the march, is much less than is ordinarily supposed. The advantage of providing it on the hoof is correspondingly small.

In slaughtering, the weight is diminished by loss of blood, the removal of the tongue, heart, and liver, the viscera and offal, and legs to the knee. This reduction, called shrinkage, in good cattle fresh from the pasture, amounts to at least on third. An ox in fair condition weighing 1,500 pounds on the hoof, would lose by shrinkage 500 pounds*. The intestinal tallow would weigh 100 pounds more, the head and hid 100 pounds more, and the kidney tallow and lump fat 50 pounds more. Altogether, the dressed quarters without the kidney tallow and lump fat, weight but half the ox on foot. But the bones, gristle, tendon, connective tissue, and loss of meat in the sinuosities of the back bone and along the ribs, reduce the edible portion to the consumer to three fifths of the weight of the dressed quarters, or three tenths of the weight of the whole ox. Of this three tenths, seventy-five per cent. Is water.„s
So that an ox weighing 1,500 pounds yields to the consumer, as ordinarily served up, but about 450 pounds of edible meat with its water, or but one quarter of this, or three fortieths of the whole, of dry nutritious matter, or 112 1/2 pounds, or 6.8 per cent, of the whole weight of the live ox.

In a practical experiment, which came to my knowledge as having recently been made in New York, with an ox weighing 1,200 pounds dressed, and of course some 1,800 pounds on foot, there were found 400 pounds of edible meat, which yielded when dried to fibre some 112 pounds, a quantity amounting to 6.22 per cent of the live ox. Small as this seems, the cattle in the train of an army on the march, yield a much less return. The army rule in regard to beef-cattle is, that when the cattle weigh over 1.300 pounds on the hoof, 45 per cent. Shall be deducted for shrinkage; when below 1,300 pounds, 50 per cent. The fat, it would seem, is assumed to have totally disappeared. But much more has, in reality, disappeared. From the statement of commissary officers having charge of the commissary supplies of some of the regiments of the Potomac army from its commencement, it appears that it requires about one ox and a half to furnish the fresh beef ration to a regiment of 225 men - or about six oxen to 1,000 men. This meat was issued as dressed quarters, which were weighed. So that twenty-four quarters of beef-cattle in the condition in which they are slaughtered in that army, weigh on an average 20,000 ounces, or 1,250 pounds. Assuming the bone, tendon, and gristle to be three fourths of the whole dressed quarters, which is not far from t he fact, there would remain 312 1/2 pounds of edible meat, or 52 pounds to an ox; of which one quarter only is dry nutriment, or 13 pounds to an ox. And this is an average specimen estimated by the commissary officers from whom I have received the information, to have weighed when purchased by the Government, 1,300 pounds, on the hoof. Six of these must have weighed 7,800 pounds and would cost now, delivered at eight cents a pound $624! Seventy-eight pounds out of seventy-eight hundred! One per cent. Only!

Neither hide, bones, or tallow of any kind, as a general rule, is saved on the march. In a word the dry edible fresh beef derived from cattle on the hoof according to this estimate, costs the Government $8 a pound, or with the three pounds of water $2 a pound, or with the bone, tendon, and gristle 50 cents a pound. But a reduction so great cannot be presumed to be uniform in the Army of the Potomac, though it is known that during the last two winters the cattle got little or no forage from the time they were sent down by boat and the cars to Falmouth, and by cars to Brandy Station, till they were slaughtered. At Hilton Head the loss in flesh was less. At <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:place w:st="on">Chattanooga</ST1:place></st1:City> it was greater. Col. Eaton, in charge of the subsistence department at the post of New York, has informed me that the army ration of fresh beef at Hilton Head cost the Government 30 cents, at a time when canned meats of perfect quality, cost, delivered, but 16 cents a pound. Eight ounces of good canned meat may be assumed to be a full equivalent for the fresh beef ration with its bone, tendon, and gristle, and supplied to the individual soldier at Hilton Head. At the present prices of canned meats, of say 24 cents a pound, delivered, the ration of fresh beef at Hilton Head must cost the Government 45 cents. A pound must cost 36 cents, bone, tendon, and gristle included. The edible meat would therefore cost some three to four times as much, say $1.25 per pound, and with its water eliminated, $5 per pound.

A medical officer, whose duties called him to Chattanooga, during the months preceding the battle of Lookout Mountain, has informed me that the cattle furnished to that post were so sick and exhausted from the effects of the transportation from Louisville, and so reduced and emaciated from having had absolutely nothing to eat on the railroad and after their arrival, for weeks in succession, that some of them reeled in walking, and falling or lying down were unable to rise. It is true that the bullocks that thus fell were not eaten, but they indicate the condition of those which had been subjected to the same suffering and deprivations and were actually used as food. What these cattle on the hoof cost the Government I know not, but probably not less than the cattle supplied to the Army of the Potomac, while their value for food must have been less and the cost of the ration of fresh beef correspondingly greater.

It appeared in evidence before the Crimean Sanitary Commission that the cattle supplied to the English army were so reduced by hardships of the voyage and little or no forage, after landing, as in many cases to bee scarcely more than skin and bone. Much of the meat was so tough, that although called beef, it could not be eaten and was rejected by the men.

Now, this enormous expense - enormous if we reduce the estimate by a whole quarter, or even a third - is incurred by Government, and this fearful sacrifice of cattle made by the country, to provide indifferent and frequently deleterious fresh meat, in scanty quantity at the best, for the soldier in active service.


The Government wishes a light marching ration of fresh meat. It wants it cooked, seasoned, made thoroughly palatable to the soldier, and capable of preservation indefinitely long. Where it is made light by being relieved of its surplus water, bone, tendon, gristle, lump fat, &c., is of no moment. How it is endowed with antiseptic qualities is not material, provided they are healthful. It is not necessary that this ration be prepared in camp. It may be prepared wherever it is convenient to collect numbers of fat cattle.

To facilitate the transportation of the marching ration, it is desirable that the bulk and weight be reduced to the lowest practicable limit; and food made imperishable. The great enemy to preservation is water. It facilitates the molecular interchange upon which decay depends. The water beyond the limits of ready preservation must be expelled. The dried buffalo meat of the Indians on the Western prairies, common jerked beef and venison pemmican, Appert's dried meats, and the desiccated meats now prepared for long voyages, are illustrations of the protection against decomposition which removal of the water secures. But the drying should not be carried beyond the point which permits the ready restoration of the juices of the meat in savory condition. This may be done at temperatures from 110o to 125o . Fah. To insure its preservation, if not dried, the oxygen of the air should be excluded from it. Cans are on many accounts suited to this purpose. Perhaps the only objection to them is that they are liable to injury in long or hurried transportation, and the puncture of a can, however slight, especially where the water has not been materially diminished, is quite sure to be followed with deterioration of the meat.

What expedient is there which fulfils all these requisitions? They are all fulfilled by putting the meat in the form of


The German has reduced this manufacture to its simplest elements. He makes sausage from every edible part of the animal, including the liver and even the blood. The cleaned intestine is his costless but perfect can. Smoke, heat, dry air, salt, and fragrant herbs and spices are his antiseptics.

The healthfulness of the sausage, its quality as a relish, the variety of forms in which it may be served, and its antiseptic qualities, combine to commend it for the soldier's marching ration of meat. It is well known that when the soldier gets his pay, he repairs at once, if in camp, to the sutler to purchase sausages, and continues to enrich his fare from this source so long as his money lasts. In some regiments, no pork has been drawn for a month after pay-day.

Can the sausage system be carried so far as to include the dressed carcass of the whole ox??

Let us suppose a supply of live cattle in their individual best condition - in <st1:State w:st="on">Illinois</st1:State>, for example - and an establishment on an adequate scale, for economizing the nutritive value of the animals to be slaughtered. There should be mincing contrivances, facilities for boiling by steam, baking or roasting, digesters, evaporating pans, drying apartments, hot air, smoke pyroligneous acid, gelatine, bisulphite of lime, &c.

The mincing apparatus would reduce the meat to fineness; the steam or baking apparatus would boil, or bake, or roast it; currents of heated air would dry it; evaporating pans might perform the same office, at temperatures so low as to preserve in palatable form allthe juices of the meat; and Papin's digesters would resolve a large part of what is now utterly lost on the march - soft bone, gristle, tendon and connective tissue, into most nutritious food, to be incorporated with the minced meat or used as stock for soup.

The different kinds of meat, and the tongue, heart, brain, and concentrated soup stock might, for particular purposes, if desirable, be disposed in different sausages. But for army use, the whole might be resolved into homogenous sausaged meat.

The deficiency in sausage-cases might be supplied by sewing cotton or linen into tubes, overlapping the seams, or weaving or knitting tubes, like hose, dipping them in gelatine, and if necessary afterward, in tannin, to make a leathern sheath. Or the dried sausage material, cooked by steam, or less dried and roasted, might be compressed into cakes, and varnished with gelatine derived from the scraps of the hides.

The efficiency of dry air in removing the water, of the kreosote, of smoke and pyroligneous acid in coagulating the albumen and forming an impermeable and quite insoluble envelope, of a varnish of gelatine and solution of tannin, in making leather, are well known. The bisuphite of lime would also coagulate the albumen, and besides arrest the oxygen of teh air that would otherwise produce decomposition. I have preserved beef perfectly fresh for a period of seven years by sprinkling it with dry powdered sulphite of lime, packing it in glass vessels, and covering with a stopper of plaster of paris. At the end of this period, the beef was as fresh and bright as when it was laid down. The intestine should be saturated with a solution of bisulphite, and then thoroughly rinsed, before using.


Transcribed from the original by Paul Calloway. Thanks to Justin Runyon for retaining a copy of this document on his harddrive during the recent crash.


The Army Ration. How to Diminish It's Weight and Bulk, Secure Economy in it's Administration, Avoid Waste, and Increase the Comfort, Efficiency, and Mobility of Troops.
By: E.N. Horsford, Late Professor in <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Harvard</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">University</st1:PlaceType>, <ST1:p<st1:City w:st="on">Cambridge</st1:City>, Mass<st1:State w:st="on">. </st1:State>
<st1:State w:st="on">Published By: </st1:State>D. Van Nostrand, 192 Broadway, New<st1:State w:st="on"><ST1:p York. </ST1:p</st1:State>1864. pp 19-25.

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Justin Runyon
01-05-2007, 02:23 AM
From: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series 2 - Volume 6. <ST1:pD.C. </ST1:pGovt. Print. Off. , 1899. Pgs. 1014-1015.


<ST1:p<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comhttp://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/ /><st1:City w:st=Washington</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st=" /><st1:State w:st="on">Washington</st1:State></ST1:p, D. C.,
March 3, 1864.

Brig. Gen. W. W. ORME, Commanding Post, <st1:City w:st="on">Chicago</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">Ill.</st1:State>:
GENERAL: By authority of the Secretary of War I enclose herewith a list of articles which may be sold to prisoners of war in confinement at Camp Douglas, by some suitable person to be appointed by yourself. It is not expected that a large sutler’s store will be established, but merely a small room where supplies for a day or two may be kept on hand. None but the articles enumerated on the list can be sold, and every precaution must be taken to prevent abuse of the privilege, either by the person permitted to sell or the prisoners. No sale should be made before 8 o’clock in the morning or after half an hour before sunset. As prisoners are not permitted to have money in their possession, all sales should be made on orders on the commanding officer or officer in whose hands is deposited the money belonging to prisoners, and these orders should be paid as often as once a week, if practicable.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary- General of Prisoners.

[Similar Orders were sent to: Brig. Gen G. Marston, commanding Depot Prisoners of War, Point Lookout, Md.; Brig. Gen. H. D. Terry, commanding U. S. forces, Johnson’s Island, Ohio; Brig. Gen. A. Schoepf, commanding Fort Delaware, Del.; Lieut. Col. C. W. Marsh, acting provost-marshal.general, Department of the Missouri, Gratiot and Myrtle Streets Prisons, Saint Louis, Mo.; Maj. Stephen Cabot, commanding Fort Warren, Bos- ton Harbor, Mass.; Col. A. J. Johnson, commanding Depot Prisoners of War, Rock Island, Ill.; Col. W. P. Richardson, commanding Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio; Col. A. A. Stevens, commanding Camp Morton, Indianapolis, Ind.; Col. William Weer, commanding military prison, Alton, Ill.; Col. P. A. Porter, commanding Fort McHenry, Balti- more, Md.]

Enclosure: List of articles which sutlers may be permitted to sell to prisoners of war. Respectfully submitted for the approval of the Secretary of War, and approved.
Tobacco, cigars, pipes, snuff, steel pens, paper, envelopes, lead pencils, pen knives, postage stamps, buttons, tape, thread, sewing cotton, pins and needles, handkerchiefs, suspenders, socks, underclothes, caps, shoes, towels, looking glasses, brushes, combs, clothes brooms, pocket knives, scissors. Groceries: Crushed sugar, sirup, family soap, butter, lard, smoked beef, beef tongues, bologna sausage, corn-meal, nutmegs, pepper, mustard, table salt, salt fish, crackers, cheese, pickles, sauces, meats and fish in cans, vegetables, dried fruits, sirups, lemons, nuts, apples, matches, yeast powders. Table furniture: Crockery, glass-ware, tinware.

Colonel Third Infantry and Commissary- General of Prisoners

From: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the <ST1:pUnion </ST1:pand Confederate Armies. / Series 2 - Volume 7. <ST1:p<st1:City w:st="on">Washington</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">D.C. </st1:State></ST1:pGovt. Print. Off.,1899. Pg. 1198.


Washington, December 7, 1864.

I. Brig. Gen. Joseph Hayes, U. S. Volunteers, and Col. Stephen M. Weld, jr., Fifty sixth Massachusetts Volunteers, prisoners of war, are selected by the Government of the United States as the officers to be placed on parole, agreeable to the arrangement entirely into by Lieutenant-General Grant and Commissioner Ould to receive and distribute to the U. S. prisoners of war such articles of clothing and other necessaries herein mentioned as may be issued by the Government or contributed from other sources. Should either General Hayes or Colonel Weld be unable to perform these duties, Col. Thomas II. <st1:City w:st="on">Butler</st1:City>, Fifth Indiana Cavalry, and Lieut. Col. John A. Mans, Two hundred and second <st1:State w:st="on"><ST1:pPennsylvania</ST1:place </st1:State>Volunteers, are designated as their alternates. II. The United States Government will forward to its prisoners of war in the South the following articles: Uniform hats, uniform caps, uniform coats, uniform jackets, flannel shirts, drawers, bootees, stockings, blankets, woolen; blankets, gum; commissary stores. The friends of the U. S. prisoners of war confined in the South are permitted to forward to them, by flag-of-truce-boat or other authorized channel, the following articles: Coats, underclothes, caps, suspenders, brushes, buttons, sewing cotton, pocketknives, steel pens, postage stamps, pipes, sirups, lard, bologna sausage, pepper, ants, socks, shoes, looking-glasses, combs, tape, pins and needles, paper, lead pencils, tobacco, snuff, family soap, smoked beef corn -meal, mustard, vests, hats, handkerchiefs, towels, clothes brooms, thread, scissors, envelopes, pen- knives, cigars, crushed sugar, butter, beef tongue, nutmegs, table salt, salt fish, pickles, dried fruit, apples, crockery, meats and fish in cans, crackers, sauces, lemons, matches, glassware, cheese, vegetables, nuts, yeast powder, tinware. III. All articles for prisoners of war will be forwarded to Col. John E. Mulford, agent for exchange of prisoners of war, at <ST1:p<st1:City w:st="on">Fort Monroe</st1:City>,
</ST1:pBy order of the Secretary of War: E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant- General

From: The Courage of a Soldier, S. R. Elliott: The Atlantic monthly. / Volume 71, Issue 424: Atlantic Monthly Co., <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:pBoston</ST1:p</st1:City>. February 1893. pp. 236-249.

The art of war, although the oldest of which we have any record, and although its progressiveness as an art has been most certain and inevitable, is yet singularly primitive in its methods and its practices. The column closed in mass is scarcely much of an improvement upon the Macedonian phalanx. The mysteries of the commissariat have evolved only the meat sausage within twenty years! Anything more ineffective than the shel- ter tent could hardly have been devised by Xerxes himself...

From: Augusta <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">County</st1:PlaceName>: Henry H. Dedrick to Mary E.A. Dedrick, January the 9 1862; Source copy consulted: Henry H. Dedrick Papers, Manuscript #0332, Virginia Military Institute Archives, <ST1:p<st1:City w:st="on">Lexington</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">Virginia</st1:State></ST1:p. Published: 1862-01-09.

Jan 12.
Dear Lizza I will send you a few more lines. I wrote some of this a few days ago and I have been at work on a regular detail. We have to walk five miles morning and evening. We are making clapboards. I don't have to stand picket or do any other duty as long as I am on a regular detail.
It is very warm this morning. We are all well this morning. Mr. Lewis is better. Mr. Grass has been very sick, he has been sick two or three weeks but he is on the mend. Dear Lizza I received the you sent by Dr. Drummons yesterday and all the rest of the things which was ten apples and twenty cakes and the sausage and the hickory nuts that you put in my pants pocket. Tell mother and Amanda and Carry that I am much obliged to them for their kindness and I got the bottle of whiskey. James McDaniel give it to me but did not tell me who sent it to me, but I think you sent it to me. I was very glad to get them and also I am much obliged to you for them. I have not seen Dr. yet. I had no chance. Mr. McDaniel [unclear: said] to me last night if I wanted to send you a letter that I had better writelast night, but I didn't have no candle. I send my pants back. I will tell more the next letter as I have no time. Give my love to all. Nothing more but reamin you affectionate husband until death

Henry H. Dedrick To his Dear Wife, Good by, write soon

Justin Runyon
01-05-2007, 02:37 AM
From: Wootten Civil War Letters Submitted by Beth Zimmer; June, 2000. http://www.rootsweb.com/~msnoxube/wootten.html (http://www.rootsweb.com/~msnoxube/wootten.html)

Columbus, MS Feb 2nd 1862
Dear Emma,
In vain have I looked for a letter from you, been expecting you up, too; but as you haven't come, arrived at the conclusion that you were afraid of the measles on the cars. You might then leave Jennie for company for grandma and come yourself.
I suppose you thought the bag of meal, meat and sausage was sufficient answer to my letter, for which tell MA I am very thankful for. We enjoy the sausage very much with nice lye hominy. The first sent has not given out although I sent Billy some. I got corn, 200 lbs of meat, potatoes and peas from <ST1:pHarrison</ST1:p's plantation, having collected a little money I bought a half barrel of molasses so with the meat I am now blessed with the nessaries of life.

From: Jay Monaghan. Civil War Slang and Humor. Civil War History. 3: 125-133, 1957

The term pork cartridge was soldiers slang for pork sausage.

From: Reminisences of the Civil War; And Other Sketches. Ralph J. Smith. http://www.civilwarancestor.com/STO...s/Ebook0096.htm (http://www.civilwarancestor.com/STO...s/Ebook0096.htm)

About nine o'clock with empty stomachs and appetites made voracious by the faint smell of commissaries eminating from General Grant's camp our regiment went into the midst of the fight. All I remember for the first few minutes after was a terrible noise great smoke, incessant rattling of small arms, infernal confusion and then I realized that the whole line of the enemy was in disorderly retreat. We followed them close for fear they would carry off their commissaries but they did not appear to be as hungry as we were and dashed through the camp without the slightest halt, while we prepared for the morrow by taking possession of the stores. Our regiment, the Second Texas, raw recruits and weak from hunger as it were, behaved like veterans, and although I have seen the honor claimed in print by others, it undoubtedly played the principal roll in the capture of the brigade of General Prentice. I witnessed the General surrender his sword to Colonel Moore and saw the men lay down their arms and march to the rear under guard. In the words of Sargeant Bill, wit of our regiment, (of whom more hereafter) This day's fight was as easy as seining for suckers. When evening shades began to draw a curtain over the bloody field General Grant's forces, disorganized and beaten, could be seen like a great unordered mass, huddled under the canons of the gunboats. The spiteful crack of small arms gradually ceased and we prepared to accept a slight token of the regards presented to us by the enemy in the shape of quarter-master's stores, commissaries etc. Oh how empty we found ourselves now that we had time to think of it. Having inflated our anatomies with crackers, sausage, pigs feet, macaroni, sugar, coffee etc, we began to select such blankets, overcoats and other clothing as we felt the need of. It soon began to be rumored among us that our Commander, General Albert Sidney Johnson was dead upon the field. No man who has not been a soldier can appreciate the change this news brought in the morale of our whole army. Although still rejoicing over the result of the battle, the faces of the men showed rather the grim satisfaction of the successful gladiator than the glad exultant smile of the mirth-crowned warrior. To his death the soldiers almost universally attributed their failure to obtain victory on the next day, but now we know there were other causes...

From: A Partial Civil War Diary Believed to Have Been Written by William or Robert Hodgson . http://www.westgov.org/diary.htm (http://www.westgov.org/diary.htm)

Dec. 5<SUP>th</SUP>, 1863. Had another day in the ditches and have to go again on Monday. Commenced raining this afternoon when we quit work and went to camp. Went to a steam saw mill near where we ditched. Said to belong to Eve the carriage maker. See a large quanitity of hub blocks and hickory spokes there. John Patman arrives and brings us some sausage and mince pie. Also a letter for Prince.

From: Civil War Letters of Albert Bärenreuth; Company E, 20th <ST1:pState </ST1:pVolunteers 1861 – 1863.
Obtained from the Manuscript Archives Branch. U.S. Army Military History Institute, <ST1:p<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comhttp://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/ /><st1:PlaceName w:st=New York</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st=" /><st1:City w:st="on">Carlisle</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">PA</st1:State> </ST1:p. Gary Kappesser 7/1/01 http://gkkapp.home.infi.net/ letter...Company%20E.htm (http://gkkapp.home.infi.net/ letter...Company%20E.htm)

Camp <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Hamilton</st1:PlaceName>
February 9, 1862
The smoked sausage you sent was excellent, we ate it for breakfast in one swoop. Now I have enough writing paper to last me until we come home for good. Many thanks.
Must close now. At five o'clock we have another one of our useless parades, but I have to dress up for it. Am in good health and so are my comrades.
Your most obedient son

From: Civil War Letters of Corporal Adam Muenzenberger, 1862. Company C 26 Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers, October 1862 to November 1863. Translated by: Clara M. Lamers and William M. Lamers, 1933 . http://www.agro.agri.umn.edu/~lemedg/wis26/26pgam62.htm (http://www.agro.agri.umn.edu/~lemedg/wis26/26pgam62.htm)

Gainsville, November 16, 1862.
Precious Barbara, My Dear Wife:
I was just invited to a sausage lunch by Jacob Michel, Louis Manz, and Nicholas Frederich. We live as well here as we can. The food is good and the crackers taste - or rather must taste - good to us. We have fresh meat almost every day.
Don't give up hope, old lady, trust in the Lord. In the wish that these lines find you in the best of health as they leave me I salute you all heartily. Send my best wishes to all that ask for me and to all the relatives.
Your Ever Loving,
Adam Muenzenberger.

Justin Runyon
01-05-2007, 02:50 AM
Originally posted by Cliff Hicks

Stillwell's first battle was <ST1:pShiloh</ST1:p. It was a quiet Sunday
morning, "But this morning was strangely still....Suddenly, away
off on the right, in the direction of Shiloh Church, came a dull,
heavy 'Pum!' then another, and still another." ...An amusing
incident soon thereafter occurred. After rallying and forming at
their third position, Stillwell's attention was drawn to a rather
large wall tent at the side of the road. It was closed up and no
one around. Suddenly, there came a great "s-s-s-wish" followed
by a loud crash in the tent as a cannonball passed through the
tent. "And at the same moment of time the front flaps of the
tent were frantically thrown open, and out popped a fellow in
citizen's clothing. He had a Hebrew visage, his face was as
white as a dead man's, and his eyes were sticking out like a
crawfish's." While the sutler fled down the road at top speed,
Stillwell and his mates took time out from the combat to explore
the interior of the tent. It was stocked full of sardines,
barrels of apples, cheeses, "and lots of other truck." As
Stillwell was stuffing his haversack with a bologna, the Colonel
of the regiment rode up and said: "My son, will you please give
me a link of that sausage?" Feeling somewhat cocky, Leander
saucily answered: " Certainly, Colonel, we are closing out this
morning below cost." At that, he thrust 2 or 3 links of bologna
into the Colonel's hands who, with a trace of a smile on his
face, immediately began gnawing on one of the sausages while
stowing the others.<O:p</O:p

"Sausage was one of our favorite dishes, and as the vendors were on hand in considerable numbers early in the morning, we had sausage on the bill of fare when desired. So one morning, while our mess was eating, I found what I supposed was a cat's claw and all stopped eating at once and an examination was hurriedly made of the uneaten portion, and a cat's tooth was discovered. A report of the find was soon circulated and it was said that there were other finds of a similar character. Sausage was sold by weight, and the more bone, the heavier. Some of the boys tried to vomit, but the cat kept on its downward course, so there was a slump in the sausage market; and as far as that camp was concerned, no argument could reinstate sausage and it soon was not wanted, therefore, was not an article offered."

Hardtack Baker
03-31-2008, 07:30 PM
I've just reread the information on Sausage with great interest. We sell our steers by 1/4's and 1/2's and the actual pounds of meat, compared to animal weight, sound pretty accurate, especially when animals were driven over miles, and lose weight, without good forage. Then I got to thinking of the sausages the suttlers may have been able to transport. Sausage is a way of preserving meat and making it last. A couple of weeks ago I made a quantity of blood sausage. My Great Grandmother made it in Germany. It is a very old food which was a staple to folks for centuries. We love it and have passed the recipe down. But, the Irish, Scots (who call it haggis), and the English, along with others, have it in their tradition, too. It is of great economy to use the blood, with thickening agent to make into sausage. (black pudding) Was this used during the Civil War, to any extent, with shortages and demands, so as to be mentioned in diaries or recipes? Just wondering, because my Mom sent me a newspaper article mentioning how blood sausage saved many from starving in Germany during WWII. Did those on both sides of the War Between the States make equally good use of blood sausage? And would it be something to send off to a soldier in a box of food stuffs from home? Mine is so dense, I believe any mold could have been cut off and it still could be used! I so want to "treat" some soldiers to this. Anyone hear of a mention of it amongst German regiments? Excuse me, if I am not well read yet on the immigrant German soldiers. I'll research more. Food is such a part of our memory, and thus our identity. Thanks very much for any information or references!
'Hardtack Baker'
Marie McNamara -on the farm in Minnesota

03-31-2008, 08:05 PM
I thought haggis was a mixture of oatmeal and meat cooked in a cow's stomache, rather than a type of blood sausage. I've not had it so I could be wrong.:rolleyes:

03-31-2008, 08:19 PM
I thought haggis was a mixture of oatmeal and meat cooked in a cow's stomache, rather than a type of blood sausage. I've not had it so I could be wrong.:rolleyes:

Correct, mostly. It's actually boiled in a sheep's stomach, and consists of various ground meats, organs, oatmeal, vegetables, and spices. It can be assembled any variety of ways, the spices giving it the various finish flavors, but blood is not one of the ingredients. Blood pudding is also in the Scot's menu, but it's not at all as traditional or as common as haggis, which is really a lot better than it sounds.

Bob 125th NYSVI
03-31-2008, 08:40 PM
Sausages go all the way back to the Roman army as a staple of the soldiers food. Smoked it will stay good without refrigeration. Or cooked it will stay good for several days without refrigeration.

I think the question might be for reenactors 'what' type of sausage is appropriate. Certainly 'italian' would have been available only to a small group of soldiers (those from the small italian communtiy in the US) And the same for pepperoni. Kielbasa, again a small population here in America at the time.

I have used it as the main stay of my diet from time to time and it works real well if precooked before the event.

04-02-2008, 10:33 AM
some sausage notes for yor enjoyment-

excerpt from "From Antietum to Fort Fisher" the letters of Edward King Wightman of the 9th NY and later the 3rd NY

Nov. 12, 1862 -camp near Gates Mill, Va.
"then for eatables you may send cheese, Germanbread(schwarzbrod), German sausages(the big fellows that are eaten in slices), solid cake or gingerbread of a kind that will keep, cayenne pepper, any sort of sweetmeats that go well on crackers(in short broadmouthed bottles or tumblers), doughnuts..."

from "Some of the Boys"- the letters of Issac Jackson,
in a letter from Natches, Miss. in Dec. 1864 he requested his father send him
2 quart cans of butter, 2 of mollassas, 1 of tomatoes and 1 of sausage meat

Terry Sorchy
04-02-2008, 01:04 PM
I picked up a sausage stuffer, (thats what I call it) a few months ago. It was patented in 1859 and is shaped like a small elbow, made of steel. It is larger at the top then ends up about one inch diameter at the finish end. It has a hand plunger with a long arm, so you load the chopped meat into the top, attach the casing to the bottom and pull the lever. The casing fills, you tie the one end and can either smoke it or cook it.
I am going to be making sausages at the Boonesfield event in April.
Terry Sorchy

04-02-2008, 01:40 PM
I will bring some venison sausage to our next event in a few weeks. The big stuff that you eat in slices. Archery hunting was good last season. Maybe, my wife can prepare some cheese and bread for me to bring along also.