(Image from Wikipedia)
An article in the April-June 2014 issue of the NGS Magazine by Claire Prechtel-Kluskens titled "Sutlers of the Civil War," was good reading as Tika and I settled into our favorite chair.
Claire gave a super two sentence explanation of just what was a sutler in the Civil War:
"Civil War sutlers were the 19th century's equivalent of the modern US Army's Post Exchange or commissary. Soldiers in the field patronized these traveling storekeepers to purchase needed goods and desired luxuries that were not provided by the US government."
The article contains a long list of "items listed on the standard sutler's invoice approved by the Office of the Quartermaster General," and the list ran easily to a hundred items running the gamut from dried apples to yeast powder with tooth brushes and tin plates in between.
Tika and I agreed upon this point: You really must read this excellent article for yourself, and especially so if your ancestor was by occupation a sutler during the Civil War.
And for being such a good girl, I gave her a Milk-Bone treat.