Hard Tack and Coffee
John D. Billings

Book cover image

Narrated By: Edward Lewis

Duration: 9 hours and 46 minutes

What to expect

Throughout history, from antiquity to the present, service in the armed forces of one’s country has provided an almost endless source of material to entertain and even enlighten listeners. Military life has usually been a unique and peculiar experience for most civilians exposed to it. Originally published in 1888, Hard Tack and Coffee is the fascinating account of the everyday life of a footsoldier in the US Army of one hundred years ago. John Billings describes all aspects of a soldier’s life, including living quarters, foraging, wagon trains, offenses and punishments, equipment, transportation, food, hospitals, and much more. This is a detailed, comprehensive, and highly absorbing resource on the common soldier’s life in the Civil War army.

Genre

History of the Americas

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“One of the most entertaining of all Civil War books.”

Henry Steele Commager

“Billings not only presents his own experiences but also describes what he learns from other soldiers. His account is often full of humor as he describes soldiers' rations, fights with lice, and camp songs.”