Sunday, August 3, 2008

Land Warrants and Rations

Land Warrants

I had noted in the last posted Cory letter that I hadn’t noticed anything about government land warrants for service during the Civil War. Patty Millich turned up the following information from the Ebensburg, Pennsylvania newspaper The Alleghanian in the May 16, 1861 issue:

"Every man who offers his services to his country in the present crisis and is mustered into the service will be entitled to Land Warrants, in addition to his regular pay, even if the war is closed in thirty days. Privates will receive 160 acres each; officers, larger tracts, in proportion to the rank they hold."

So now I know. Thanks, Patty!


The same day’s newspaper lists the following description of the composition of a day’s ration:

“What is a Ration?

For the information of numerous inquirers, we give the following list of articles constituting a ration from the army regulations:
20 oz. Fresh and Salt beef or 12 oz. Pork
18 oz. Soft Bread or Flour, or 12 oz. Hard Bread
2 2/3 oz. Beans or 1 3/5 oz. Rice
1 5/6 oz. Sugar
1 oz. Coffee, ground
¼ oz. Candies
2/3 oz. Soap
½ oz. Salt

This must answer for the subsistence of a soldier during the day and properly husbanded, it is enough.”

I've read several accounts that dispute this last statement, but the reporter couldn't be expected to know that at the beginning of the war.

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