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June 27, 2011

Civil War hardtack pieces and wrapper

Filed under: Item of the Day — Adam Harris @ 9:00 am

Civil War hardtack pieces and wrapperCivil War hardtack pieces and wrapper

Piece of hardtack with original paper wrapper, issued by the United States Army during the Civil War. Hardtack is a biscuit (or cracker) made from flour, water and salt. It was a staple of the Civil War soldier’s diet because it was inexpensive and, when properly stored, lasted for years. Hardtack, while nutritious, could be exceedingly hard and usually had to be soaked before it could be eaten. The wrapper reads “Army / Cracker / or / Hardtack 1864 / John W. Weiser / Ohio Infy”. It was given to Levi Longfellow, Principal Musician of the 6th Minnesota Regiment, Company B, by John W. Weiser, Ohio Infantry, at the close of the Civil War.

Watch the Collections Department’s podcast about hardtack to learn more.

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