Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

How Coffee Fueled the Civil War
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com ^ | July 9, 2014 | JON GRINSPAN

Posted on 07/12/2014 6:45:01 AM PDT by NKP_Vet

It was the greatest coffee run in American history. The Ohio boys had been fighting since morning, trapped in the raging battle of Antietam, in September 1862. Suddenly, a 19-year-old William McKinley appeared, under heavy fire, hauling vats of hot coffee. The men held out tin cups, gulped the brew and started firing again. “It was like putting a new regiment in the fight,” their officer recalled. Three decades later, McKinley ran for president in part on this singular act of caffeinated heroism.

At the time, no one found McKinley’s act all that strange. For Union soldiers, and the lucky Confederates who could scrounge some, coffee fueled the war. Soldiers drank it before marches, after marches, on patrol, during combat. In their diaries, “coffee” appears more frequently than the words “rifle,” “cannon” or “bullet.” Ragged veterans and tired nurses agreed with one diarist: “Nobody can ‘soldier’ without coffee.”

(Excerpt) Read more at opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: antietam; coffee; ohio; thecivilwar; williammckinley
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-37 next last
I can remember going to work in a little quonset hut on the flightline in Korea 45 years ago. Since I was the lowest man on the totem pole it was my job to turn on the heat and to make the coffee in a big ole 100 cup perculator. I caught hell if the coffee was not ready by the time the captain walked in the door. I can still see him raising hell if I told him it had 5 more minutes to brew.
1 posted on 07/12/2014 6:45:01 AM PDT by NKP_Vet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: NKP_Vet

I always thought it was corn liquor.


2 posted on 07/12/2014 6:55:43 AM PDT by RC one (Militarized law enforcement is just a nice way of saying martial law enforcement.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NKP_Vet

“I can remember going to work in a little quonset hut on the flightline in Korea 45 years ago. Since I was the lowest man on the totem pole it was my job to turn on the heat and to make the coffee in a big ole 100 cup perculator. I caught hell if the coffee was not ready by the time the captain walked in the door. I can still see him raising hell if I told him it had 5 more minutes to brew.”

Crew Chiefs live off of coffee, even the ones who have converted to energy drinks. On my first trip to Afghanistan we managed to score a Kureg and had several people donate k-cups to us. Something I believe is worth a try, break up and dissolve some Lemon Head candies into a cup of black coffee. Yum.


3 posted on 07/12/2014 7:02:02 AM PDT by Antihero101607
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Darksheare

coffee Ping!


4 posted on 07/12/2014 7:05:06 AM PDT by moose07 (the truth will out ,one day.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Antihero101607

I didn’t learn until a few years ago that the lightest coffee has the most caffeine... roasting the beans dark destroys caffeine. That’s why europeans drink the dark stuff all day.. less caffeine.

I’ve always read about Louisiana folks using chicory as a coffee substitute.... does it taste like it? Buzz like it?


5 posted on 07/12/2014 7:06:04 AM PDT by txhurl (2014: Stunned Voters do Stunning Things!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: NKP_Vet

Great story - well worth reading at the link.


6 posted on 07/12/2014 7:20:40 AM PDT by Last Dakotan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NKP_Vet

Great post. Thanks.


7 posted on 07/12/2014 7:36:56 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: txhurl

Some people got hooked on the chickory. They still sell coffee with chickory in New Orleans coffeehouses, like Cafe du Monde. Personally, I think it tastes like pee.


8 posted on 07/12/2014 7:46:39 AM PDT by sportutegrl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: sportutegrl

The South turned to chicory because the Northern blockade cut off the coffee imports. Of the leading 4 chicory coffee companies that survive today, three are in Louisiana and one is in tidewater Virginia. But the U.S. chicory industry making the ingredient was destroyed by a Frenchman who set out to and did monopolize this narrow international market. He did so with assistance from young federal bureaucrats who, like so many of the young, decided to take the anti-American side. I know because one of them apologized to me later for it. I was one of the counsel trying to save the last American chicory company. Incidentally, chicory is used by makers of health food teas who believe that it has beneficial effects, although they are a small part of the market.


9 posted on 07/12/2014 8:28:29 AM PDT by AmericanVictory (Should we be more like them or they more like we used to be?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: AmericanVictory

My daddy loved this stuff. I always thought it tasted like kerosene.

http://www.reilyproducts.com/1213-Oz.-Red-Label-CC-Bag-FAC


10 posted on 07/12/2014 8:38:09 AM PDT by NKP_Vet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: sportutegrl

There’s a chicory/coffee blend I can buy (Eight O’Clock?) but
never have, I don’t take risks with coffee, I need it to get
me up and out.


11 posted on 07/12/2014 8:40:17 AM PDT by txhurl (2014: Stunned Voters do Stunning Things!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: txhurl
During the Great Euell Gibbons Craze of 196whatever, I had a biology prof who had the whole class out collecting weeds one day, because he wanted to show us all the wonderful foods that could be made using those under-appreciated native plant species.

For me, it was that pot of chicory coffee that really helped me to understand and appreciate the difference between "edible" and "palatable."

12 posted on 07/12/2014 8:57:53 AM PDT by Flatus I. Maximus (First Third-World Despotism. Overthrow Obama.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Flatus I. Maximus

Is there caffeine in chicory? That might explain its use in a pinch...


13 posted on 07/12/2014 9:06:42 AM PDT by txhurl (2014: Stunned Voters do Stunning Things!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...
Thanks NKP_Vet. If you wanna get down, down on the ground, caffeine.

14 posted on 07/12/2014 9:46:19 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: RC one
I always thought it was corn liquor.

That was the Battle of Branson Bridge. GB&U reference.

15 posted on 07/12/2014 9:58:48 AM PDT by xone
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: RC one
"I always thought it was corn liquor."

I always thought it was goober peas.

16 posted on 07/12/2014 11:05:58 AM PDT by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NKP_Vet; rockrr
Germany in WWI:

Coffee imports had became impossible by 1916. The scant stores on hand had been stretched and extenuated by the use of chicory and other supplements. A transition from coffee to coffee substitute began. The first substitute, Kaffee-ersatz, was not a bad one. It was mostly made of roasted barley and oats and the flavor was enhanced by chemicals from coal-tar. The brew had a good percentage of nutritive elements, no caffeine and was quite palatable when taken with milk and sugar--without sugar though, it was impossible. But the grain could be put to better purpose and so this led to the introduction of the substitute of a substitute. Kaffee-ersatz-ersatz was made of roasted acorns and beechnuts, with just enough roasted barley to build up a coffee flavor. It was said to be better than the first substitute but was also more expensive. Unfortunately, there weren?t enough acorns and beechnuts, much of which was being fed to pigs. Before long the excellent acorn-beechnut coffee disappeared to be replaced by a third substitute whose original ingredients were carrots and yellow turnips. A substitute for tea was not difficult. The bloom of the linden tree mixed with beech buds and a few tips of pine made an excellent "oolong." A cocoa substitute came from coal-tar and chemistry along with roasted peas and oats. Source

17 posted on 07/12/2014 11:15:07 AM PDT by x
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: txhurl
I’ve always read about Louisiana folks using chicory as a coffee substitute.... does it taste like it? Buzz like it?

I believe I can answer that question. I drink a pot of Cafe du Monde coffee every morning. I buy it by the case directly from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. I get 8-9 pots per 14oz. can but then I like it strong. I think it moderates some of the bitterness of coffee. I particularly like it as Iced Coffee.

Chicory was originally used as a coffee extender and then a coffee substitute. Other things such as toasted hickory nuts and even acorns were used as coffee became scarcer and scarcer.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

18 posted on 07/12/2014 11:25:11 AM PDT by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: moose07

I didn’t do it!


19 posted on 07/12/2014 11:33:07 AM PDT by Darksheare (I don't have a copy. one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: moose07

COFFEEE!!!

No can fumction withowt coffee!


20 posted on 07/12/2014 1:41:52 PM PDT by Monkey Face (Auto correct can go straight to he'll.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-37 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson