Hard Tack and Coffee
By John B. Billings
First published more than 100 years ago, Hard Tack And Coffee is John Billings’ absorbing first-person account of the everyday life of a U.S. Army soldier during the Civil War. Billings attended a reunion of Civil War veterans in 1881 that brought together a group of survivors whose memories and stories of the war compelled him to write this account.
It is set in November, 1860. Lincoln has been elected as President of the United States. The Democrats split into two factions, divided over the issue of slavery. As early as October, Southern politicians decide that the state of South Carolina should withdraw from the union. Georgia, Alabama, Mississipi are among the states who seceded from the Union, creating the South Confederacy. On the 15th April, Lincoln issues a proclamation that will send 75,000 militia to suppress the rebellion for three months.