Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing.

Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing.

July 26, 2012

Diary of Alexander G. Downing; Company E, Eleventh Iowa Infantry

Saturday, 26th—Nothing of importance. Much of our time in camp is taken up with the question of rations. During this hot weather the regular army rations are drawn, but the men use very little of the salt bacon. But the bacon being issued, the company cook takes care of it and now has a wagon load of it stacked up beside his tent, anyone being permitted to go and help himself to it. At noon the company cook prepares the bean soup and cooks the pickled beef, after which he calls out for every man to come and get his portion. All the other rations are issued every five days, each man carrying his portion in his haversack. We haven had no Irish potatoes issued for eight months now, but fresh beef we draw, sometimes twice a week, and it is cooked for us by the company cook. The rations are all of good quality with the exception of crackers, which at times are a little worm-eaten.

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