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.”
“Cavalry Soldier Loading a Rifle” by Winslow Homer, circa 1864. Black chalk and white crayon on gray-green laid paper. Donated to the Smithsonian in 1912 by Charles Savage Homer, Jr..
At the time the sketch was made, Homer was a relatively unknown 28-year-old artist filing war art from the camps of the Army of the Potomac for Harper’s Weekly.
Assention 1912-12-99, via Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Recto: A soldier in Civil War uniform, stands in the foreground, feet spread, holding a rifle placed diagonally across his body in his left hand, using a long rod in his right hand to tamp gun powder down the barrel of the rifle.