242 Southern Historical Society Papers.
bread, weighing nearly two pounds each, issued to a soldier on the eve of a march down the Weldon railroad, or across the country to head a cavalry raid, was a positive burden and nuisance. Not hav- ing knapsacks and haversacks that would turn snow or sleet, it would get wet, then musty and unfit to eat. I have seen soldiers leaving camp with one loaf in the knapsack and one in the haversack, whilst the third one was spitted on a fixed bayonet, ready for use when wanted. Salt meat, when issued, was generally used raw as more economical. One pound of beef, poor, skinny, onion-flavored stuff, was poor rations, but we made out on it. We utilized the butcher pens to the fullest extent. The head, feet, liver, hoofs, sweetbreads and even the melt were eagerly sought for, and bought if not pur- loined, and the possessor envied his happy lot. The feet were boiled to pieces, picked clear of bones, strained through a rough, impro- vised sieve, then seasoned, mixed with flour and fried with tallow. We thought " cow hoofs " were a delicacy indeed. On several oc- casions extract of beef in large twelve-pound cans was issued as rations. One spoonful three times a day was issued. We found it pleasant and wholesome, added to flour paste and cooked.
The hardest piece of rations we were subjected to was a kind of meat called Nassau bacon (Nausea would have been better). It came through the blockade, and we believed it was made from the hog of the tropics and cured in the brine of the ocean. More likely it was discarded ship's pork or salt junk;" some called it salt horse. It was of a peculiar scaly color, spotted like a half-well case of smallpox, full of a rancid odor and utterly devoid of grease. If hung up it would double its length. It could not be eaten raw and imparted a stinking smell when boiled. It had one redeeming quality elasticity. You could put a piece in your mouth and chew it for a long time, and the longer you chewed the bigger it got. Then, by a desperate effort, you would gulp it down, " out of sight, out of mind."
We ransacked old fields for beans that had fallen out of the pods in harvesting, and frequently, after a hard shower, a good mess could be gathered. Poke-weed was used as "greens; " in fact, anything green and palatable was eagerly sought for.
In the summer of 1864 our division took position in the trenches at Petersburg near the lead works. The 49th Virginia Regiment of Mahone's Brigade (our division) was made up in the city. In a few days thereafter we were agreeably surprised by receiving a large lot of vegetables, compliments of the 49th Virginia to our brigade. It