‘I do not expect I shall want to drink coffee after I leave the Army’

Happy National Coffee Day!

Via the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, in his war-time diary, Charles A. Wetherbee of the 34th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment describes how men in his unit consumed coffee and how important “strong black coffee” came to be in the U.S. Army.

“We draw more coffee, bread, and pork than we can use… We make very strong black coffee and drink about a quart apiece without sugar or cream.

We have gotten accustomed to it and like it that way. I do not expect I shall want to drink coffee after I leave the army, as I will not be able to get it strong enough.”

“Campaign sketches. The coffee call.” Print by Homer Winslow shows Army of the Potomac soldiers waiting for coffee at a campfire in an encampment. LOC https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2013650297/

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