Monday, May 26, 2014

Tika & Civil War Trivia

One of the first things I did upon returning from my month-long trip to the East (from the West) was to snuggle my Tika in our chair and tell her some of the wonderful stories and things I learned on this trip. She was all ears as I explained some Civil War trivia bits:

"Cush" was fried fatback (like bacon) and then hardtack biscuits crumbled (worms and all) up in the grease ("rendering the hardtack chewable and the worms crispy").  "Goober peas" were peanuts. This Southern staple originated in Brazil and then went to Africa and finally came to America with the enslaved African-Americans.

"Graybacks" were body lice; the soldiers regularly had "grayback races." Only the officers were issued toilet paper. The officers smoked cigars, the juniors smoked pipes and the foot soldiers chewed. For most of the men the war was 80% boredom and 20% sheer terror. Only 50% of the men in the Civil War could read and write. One musical instrument the men played was "bones," using two animal ribs about 7-8" long, to click together.

During the Civil War, over a million horses were killed. "Quickest way to disable an officer was to shoot his horse from beneath him." During the three days at Gettysburg, some 7,000,000 bullets were fired and 53,000 men died.

Only the fatback and crumbles really interested Tika, and worms? "I'm okay with them too!" she said.

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