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Corps. Badge
I Disk
II Trefoil
III Lozenge
IV Triangle
V Maltese Cross
VI St Andrew's Cross
VII Crescent & Star
VIII Six-pointed Star
IX Shield, crossed by Cannon & Anchor
X Square Bastion
XI Crescent
XII Five-pointed Star
XIV Acorn
XV Cartridge Box
XVI Crossed Cannon
XVII Arrow
XVIII Trefoil Cross
XIX Maltese Cross-like Figure
XX Star
XXII Pentagon Cross
XXIII Shield
XXIV Heart
XXV Lozenge on Square
Division Colour
I Red
II White
III Blue
IV Green

It was when Joe Hooker assumed command of the Army of the Potomac he asked that all his corps be identified.
That is why the 69th New York wear a Red Trefoil on their Kepis to signify we belong to the First Division, Second Corps.

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Contributed by Cpl Claire Morris

The humble blanket was a very important piece of equipment for the civil war soldier.  This item was issued to you from the Quartermaster Department, and would essentially be the only piece of kit to provide you with warmth. 

It’s a versatile piece of kit. 
- As a blanket it would keep you warm in your pup tent, whether you are spooning with a partner or not. 
- You could use it to make a shelter if you were without your shelter half.
- If you didn’t possess a knapsack all your personal belongings, and spare clothing could be securely rolled inside, and you could wear it looped over your shoulder  in what is called a “blanket roll”.  Most western soldiers preferred this method instead of using a knapsack.

The Adjutant General was responsible for the specifications of the Uniform and Dress of the Army of the United States during the war. In 1851, General Order Number 31 described No. 143 “Blanket- woolen, grey, with letters U.S. in black, four inches long, in the center.  (The blanket) to be seven feet long and five and a half feet wide and to weigh five pounds.  The normal Federal issue blanket contained a darker grey stripe down either side (see photo above).
When grey blankets were unavailable, an emergency issue blanket was distributed to the troops.  This was of a similar size and weight, but was a tan colour with a darker brown stripe down either side.
A blanket roll tied around your shoulders looks great if you do not wish to wear/own a knapsack, they can do a great deal to improve your ‘look’, and they should be quite handy for the Valkyries to hide the obvious!  Non-grey blankets are not really appropriate as a representation of what a standard Federal soldier would have been issued – items like this from home would have been very rare indeed.


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Cooking Over a Wood Fire

It takes a good while for a fire to get hot enough to cook over. Strange as that may sound, it is absolutely true. Under ideal circumstances, you'll cook over a fire in which nothing but well dried hardwood is being burned. It will be a fire that, when you cook breakfast, some early riser has been so thoughtful as to fuel well with good, dry hardwood early in the morning before you even though of stirring from your bed; and for dinner and supper, the fire will have been well maintained by every camp member who walked past it during the day. When you come to cook over that hardwood fire, the wood will mainly have burned down to an evenly distributed bed of hot, glowing coals from which there are only small licks of blue flame that flare up here and there fairly regularly, undistributed by a breeze. In that situation, you'll be cooking over a fire that has a concentrated, consistent heat that is just right for cooking.

In all likelihood, though, you'll most often be cooking over green (or relatively green) soft wood such as pine. Pine by itself will never give you the desired nice, even bed of coals so important to consistency in your cooking. Pine will tend to smoke much more than hardwoods, and will smoke all the more when it's somewhat green. The more green the wood, the harder it is to keep it burning consistently and well, and the harder it will be to cook over. A pine wood fire will coat your pots and pans with a fairly heavy layer of soot. But the fact is, that is the sort of fire you're more apt to have to cook over than the ideal. That being said, you need to know how to put it to work.

Site conditions and events rules will tend to dictate the way in which your fire is built. Some events cannot or will not permit you to dig a fire pit over which you would place your grill. A fire pit is the preferred method of cooking over a wood fire since it will be less affected by breezes than the a fire amount of the heat generated by the fire. That's why there are three reasons to remove the dirt for a fire pit and heap it around the fire pit itself.

In the case of green wood, piling wood all around it, primarily at the upwind side, will help keep the heat where it needs to be. It's also a good way to help expedite the drying out of the wood, even though the net result may be negligible. Still, hope springs eternal.

As is true with cooking on an electric or gas range, if you are cooking for a large number of people at one time, you might do well to use a multiple number of skillets or pots rather than using one large skillet or pot. Some things cook far better in smaller containers or in smaller quantities than do others.

An important matter to remember is that you won't have immediate access to a dishwasher of the mechanical kind until you get home. It's always prudent to put a kettle or pan or coffee pot of wash water on the fire to heat up as soon as you have taken the food off the grill. That way, the water can be heating while you eat. It makes it far easier to wash the plates and utensils.

In fact, it's a good idea to have hot water available all the time. Hot water comes in handy for washing dishes, washing your glasses (eyeglasses, that is), coffee, tea, grits, oatmeal, cream of wheat, and even for getting a running start in making soup or stew.

Cooking With Cast Iron

New cast iron cookware has a grey metallic colour. In order to prepare it for cooking, and to attain the black, relatively non-stick surface that is cast iron's hallmark, it must first be seasoned. When you season cast iron, the process results in imbedding grease into the pores of the cast iron cookware. Cast iron requires seasoning because it is its nature to rust when it comes into contact with water. Most cast iron cookware manufacturers recommend a solid vegetable shortening like Crisco instead of the lard that your grandmother once used. Unless you intend to use the cast iron cookery daily, lard is not advised. The seasoning process will take a while, so you will be well advised to begin the process in the evening. Before applying the solid vegetable shortening, warm up the cast iron pot or skillet and then rub a thin layer of shortening all over it, both inside and out. Lay the pot, pan or skillet upside down in an oven up, enabling it to absorb the shortening. It's not advisable to use a large amount of shortening, however, since cast iron can only absorb so much. Let the empty skillet, pot or pan cook for an hour in the oven before turning the heat off. Leave it in the oven until the cookware is cool to the touch. This should not be regarded as a one time proposition. It will be necessary to season the cookware regularly. Cast iron will rust if you do not season it after each use. More than that, cooking acidic foods (especially tomato sauces) will eat away to a cast iron pot's seasoned finish.

When you clean your cast iron, never use soap. Instead, use boiling water and a high quality scrub brush to clean it. Those who are un familiar with cast iron may question the sanitary aspects of the seasoning, but the combination of boiling water and a scrub brush will rid and sanitize the cookware, and the seasoning process will kill whatever crawls into it afterward. 

Cooking with cast iron is far more difficult than it might appear, particularly when the cooking is done over an open fire. Cast iron retains heat well, and for protracted periods of time. The entire skillet or pot gets very hot, and it retains heat in a way that aluminium or stainless steel cookware cannot. With no means to regulate the heat level as we have on modern ranges, other means must be used, including marking the amount of time the cast iron cookware has been over or on the open flame.. DO NOT POUR ANYTHING COLD INTO THE HOT CAST IRON OR IT WILL CAUSE THE CAST IRON TO BREAK!

Always preheat the cast iron before you put food in it. As you preheat it and prepare to cook over a wood fire, you'll find it wise and prudent to check the relative temperature of the cookware before you fling food into it. Test the cast iron with drops of water. If you sprinkle few drops of water into the cast iron cookware and the water evaporates upon contact, the cookware is too hot and will burn anything that is placed into it. If the water drops land in the cookware and does nothing, then it is not hot enough. If the water sizzles, each drop takes on a ball-like shape and rolls around the cookware almost as if it has a life of its own but the water "balls" do not immediately disappear, it is then hot enough to cook with.

Cooking With a Dutch Oven

Before you start cooking with a Dutch oven, familiarize yourself with cooking with cast iron, and cooking over an open fire. One of the most useful cooking utensils was the Dutch over, a thick, heavy, round, cast iron pot with a flat bottom handle, three legs and a cast iron lid that has a half-inch diameter lip all the way around the edge and a handle in the centre. Sizes range from 8" to 24" in diameter, and a 4" to 6" deep - a heavy but durable piece of cooking gear. The Dutch over is place in the hot coals that had been raked directly onto the hearth. The oven and lid were preheated, the oven on the coals themselves while the lid would be preheated directly on the fire. When the oven and lid were sufficiently hot, whatever was being prepared - could be poured into the oven. Then the lid would be set on top of the Dutch oven with a pair of tongs or hook. Coals would then be piled on top of the lid to add heat and to keep the heat even; thus the appellation "oven" was appropriate. The lip around the edge of the oven could prevent the coals from rolling off. Guesstimating the temperature of the coals of a fire is quite a feat. If you are using charcoal briquettes, which is highly doubtful, to make your oven bake like the oven most of us are more familiar with, most manufactures agree that a temperature of 350 degrees is reached with 6 to 8 evenly distributed briquettes placed under the over and another 14 to 16 evenly placed on the lid. If you know how many briquettes you would use to heat the oven to 350 degrees, it maybe a small help in assessing how close you'll get with the coals from a wood fire.

Cooking With Tin

Since tin is relatively thin, cooking with tin seems like a great idea for those who are in a hurry. Heat transference is very quick with tin, and putting a tin coffee pot or tin cup on the fire for some coffee (instant or otherwise) seems like a good idea. While it certainly can be done, there are several cautions that need to be observed. Don't lose sight of the fact that tin cups and pots are soldered. Solder has a relatively low melting point, soldering guns generation about the same amount of heat as a wood burning tool. If the solder that holds the handle on the cup or pot melted at a low heat when it was constructed - and it did - then it will certainly melt on a roaring fire, or even over a nice bed of hot coals unless you observe prudent practices.

If the fire's flames are high, don't put the cup or pot on the fire. Flames that can reach the handle(s) or spout will most likely melt the solder and destroy your tin ware. Always make sure that the liquid in the tin ware reaches a level at least as high as the cup or pot's handle, or spout. So long as there is plenty of fluid in the container, it will keep the temperature of the container at the same level as that attained by the liquid as it heats. Since water boils at 212 degrees F and solder melts at a slightly higher temperature, so long as the liquid is below or at boiling point, the tin ware will be safe. 

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Pork and Beans
Beef Jerky
Sweet Milk Griddle Cakes Without Eggs
Maryland Beat Biscuit
Soda Muffins
Gumbo Soup
Potato Chips
Skillet-Fried Grits
Hush Puppies
Corned Beef Hash
Union Pudding
Campfire Doughnuts
Fried Potatoes
Irish Apples
Corn Bread
Soft Tack
Griddle Cakes

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1 quart beans
1 lb. pork
Baked beans are a very simple dish, yet few cook them well. They should be put in cold water, and hung over the fire, the night before they are baked. In the morning, they should be put in a colander, and rinsed two or three times, then [put] again in the kettle with the pork you intend to bake. Cover with water, and keep scalding hot, for an hour or more. A pound of pork is quite enough for a quart of beans, and that is a large dinner for a common family. The rind of the pork should be slashed. A little pepper sprinkled among the beans, when they are laced in the bean-pot, will render them less unhealthy. They should be just covered with water, when put into the oven, and the pork should be sunk a little below the surface of the beans. Bake three or four hours. From The American Frugal Housewife by Mrs. Child, 1833.

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1-1/2 pounds of beef, preferably brisket
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. seasoning salt
½ tsp. each - pepper, onion powder,
garlic salt
¼ cup each - soy sauce, Worcestershire
Editor's note: Civil War era cookbooks have no recipes for beef jerky, as far as we can find out anyway. We add this one in response to popular demand as being as close to authentic in ingredients and technique as is reasonably reproducible today. They DID have Worcestershire sauce in 1860, Lea & Perrins ™ brand as a matter of fact, but we cannot vouch for the soy sauce.Slice lean boneless beef (such as brisket) into 1/8” strips, trimming fat. Cut with the grain for chewy jerky or across the grain for crumbly jerky.
Lay strips on oven rack (use foil or pan underneath to catch drippings). Salt to taste. Dry in a dehydrator or an oven at lowest temperature (150 degrees), leaving door slightly ajar, for 8-12 hours. Turn several times for even drying. Taste test occasionally. For more seasoned flavour, marinate cut meat overnight in ingredients listed.

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1 tsp. baking soda
1 pint milk
1 heaping teaspoon salt
1 pint flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
additional pint milk
  Dissolve a teaspoonful of soda in a pint of sweet [as opposed to sour] milk, strain it and add one heaping teaspoon of salt; sift with a pint of flour two teaspoonfuls of cream of tartar, mix the flour in a pint of sweet milk, and stir it well to get out all lumps; then mix in the milk and soda, and bake immediately; if too thin to suit, add more flour; some like thin and some thick cakes. From Civil War Cooking: The Housekeeper's Encyclopaedia by Mrs. E. F. Haskell, 1861.

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1 quart flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tbs. lard
½ tbs. butter
Note: When they call these “beat biscuits” they MEAN it. Some recipes call for beating the dough (using a rolling pin or whatever implement you like) for as much as half an hour. The object is to trap air in the dough, which expands when heated, creating a rising without yeast.  Take one quart of flour, add one teaspoonful of salt, one tablespoonful of lard, half tablespoonful of butter. Dry rub the lard and butter into the flour until well creamed; add your water gradually in mixing so as to make dough stiff, then put the dough on pastry board and beat until perfectly light and moist. Roll out the dough to thickness of third of an inch. Have your stove hot and bake quickly. To make more add twice the quantity. From What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, by Mrs. Abby Fisher. Book published 1888.

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2 lb. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
½ tsp. sugar
Note once again the use of baking soda and cream of tartar for leavening purposes. Modern readers wishing to quietly substitute an equivalent amount of baking powder will not be turned over to the Authenticity Police.
The following receipt [recipe] affords a dish of light, spongy, most quickly-made muffins: To two pounds of flour add one teaspoonful of soda, ditto cream of tartar, and half a teaspoonful of sugar; mix thoroughly, with salt to taste, and make into a stiff batter with some milk; beat well for a few minutes. Have ready a hot earthenware pan, well buttered, also rings for the purpose. Pour in the batter, nearly half an inch thick; bake a nice brown on each side; either butter them and serve hot, or allow them to cool and toast before the fire. From Civil War Recipes: Receipts from the Pages of Godey's Lady's Book, Lily May Spaulding and John Spaulding, editors. Recipe from 1862.

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Cut up a chicken or any fowl as if to fry and break the bones; lay it in a pot with just enough butter to brown it a little; when browned, pour as much water to it as will make soup for four or five persons; add a thin slice of lean bacon, an onion cut fine and some parsley. Stew it gently five or six hours; about twenty minutes before it is to be served, make a thickening by mixing a heaping tablespoonful of sassfra leaves, pounded fine, in some of the soup and adding it to the rest of the soup; a little rice is an improvement. If the fowl is small, two will be required, but one large pullet [a hen of the domestic chicken less than a year old] is sufficient.
[This is a great recipe for Living History events.]
[ Godey's - April, 1861]

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Wash and peel some potatoes, then pare them, ribbon-like, into long lengths. Put them into cold water to remove the strong potato flavour; drain them, and throw them into a pan with a little butter, and fry them a light brown. Take them out of the pan, and place them close to the fire on a sieve lined with clean writing paper to dry, before they are served up. A little salt may be sprinkled over them. 

From Civil War Recipes: Receipts from the Pages of Godey's Lady's Book, Lily May Spaulding and John Spaulding, editors. Recipe from 1865.

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1 1/3 cups grits 
(not that newfangled modern "instant" kind)
6 2/3 cups boiling water
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 slices bacon
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
Dash of pepper

Stir grits into salted boiling water and return to boil. Cover...Reduce heat and cook about 8 minutes. stir often. Cook bacon until crisp; drain, crumble and set aside. Add vegetables to drippings; cook about 2 minutes. Drain any water grits did not absorb and add vegetables, stir and cover. Cook about 5 minutes. Sprinkle bacon over top. Season with pepper. (OPTIONAL: one cup shredded cheddar cheese can be sprinkled on top if desired....cover about 2 minutes to allow it to melt.)

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1 small onion, minced or grated
1 1/2 c. cornmeal, white preferably
1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder, or 1 tsp. baking soda 
and 1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3/4 c. milk
2-3 c. lard or other shortening, enough to fill fry pan 2-3 in. deep

Mince, grate or chop onion very fine. Stir together all dry ingredients. In separate bowl crack egg and bead, add onion and stir up well, then add milk and stir some more. Pour that bowl into the dry ingredients and mix all together well. Get shortening in fry pan good and hot. Dip out one good spoonful of batter and scrape off into fat. Repeat until pan is reasonably full, but not overcrowded. Hushpuppies will first sink, then float, then turn golden brown which means they are done. Scoop out as soon as each one is finished, and repeat with remaining batter. 

Note: there are those who say that frying the puppies after the fish will sop up the fish smell from the grease in case you want to use it again for something else. Then there are those who say that if you only have one pan you should cook the hushpuppies first because they hold their heat better than the catfish does. We take no sides in this disputation.

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1/2 c. chopped corned beef
2 c. chopped boiled potatoes
1 tbs. butter
4 tbs. water
Salt if needed
Pepper to taste

The best hash is made from boiled corned beef. It should be boiled very tender, and chopped fine when entirely cold. The potatoes for hash made of corned beef are the better for being boiled in the pot liquor [liquid the corned beef was boiled in.] When taken from the pot, remove the skins from the potatoes, and when entirely cold chop them fine. To a coffee-cup of chopped meat allow four of chopped potatoes, stir the potatoes gradually into the meat, until the whole is mixed.

Do this at evening and, if warm, set the hash in a cool place. In the morning put the spider on the fire with a lump of butter as large as the bowl of a table-spoon, add a dust of pepper, and if not sufficiently salt, add a little; usually none is needed. When the butter has melted, put the hash in the spider, add four table-spoons of water, and stir the whole together. After it has become really hot, stir it from the bottom, cover a plate over it, and set the spider where it will merely stew. 

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1 c. sugar
3 tbs. flour
2 eggs
2-3 tbs. nutmeg
1 coconut, grated (about 2 cups)
5 ounces milk
1 tbs. butter
Pie crust to fit tart pans

Take one cup of white sugar, three tablespoonfuls of flour, two eggs, one grated nutmeg, and one good-sized cocoanut grated fine, two teacupfuls of new milk and a tablespoonful of good fresh butter. Bake like tarts without an upper crust.

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3 cups of flour
2 eggs
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of buttermilk
2 tablespoons shortening or lard
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Lard or bacon grease for frying

Mix above ingredients together thoroughly, leaving no lumps of flour. Knead the dough thoroughly and roll out into 3 inch pieces no more than 1/2 inch thick. Heat shortening in your skillet until melted and smoking (depth of about 1 to 1 1/2 inches). Drop the doughnut batter into the oil carefully and cook. The doughnuts will expand and should cook within seconds. If the oil is too cool they will become oily, too hot and they will burn. A little experimentation will produce a delicious treat. Roll them in sugar and cinnamon for added flavour.

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Easy stuff. Slice the potatoes about 1/4" thick. 

Throw some lard in a frying pan or skillet, coat the potatoes with corn meal. 
Let them set while the grease gets hot. 
Cook the potatoes in the pan. Add onion or salt and pepper to taste.

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Sweet apples
Irish whisky

Place a little lard in a skillet. 
Cut the apples into slices or wedges, place in the skillet with molasses and a dash or three of Irish whisky. 
Warm the apples through, or until the molasses/whisky bubbles. 
Pick the apple out with a fork and enjoy!!!
The sauce left in the skillet is perfect for dipping 

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1 1/4 cups of yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
2 Tbsps. melted lard

Combine cornmeal, flour, slat and baking powder; mix well. 
Combine buttermilk and soda in a small bowl; beat until foamy. 
Add to cornmeal mixture. Beat in eggs; stir in lard. Pour into a greased hot skillet. 

Bake in a hot oven (220 degrees Centigrade) or until lightly browned on top.

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Easy to make even better to eat
75g/3oz Butter or Margarine
50g/2oz Golden Syrup
100g/4oz Soft Brown Sugar
175g/6oz Rolled Oats

Melt the butter/margarine with the syrup, then mix in the sugar and oats. Press into a greased 8 inch shallow square tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350F or Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. While still warm cut into squares.

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200g/8oz Self Raising Flour
1tsp Baking powder
75g/3oz Mixed Dried Fruit
75g/3oz Caster Sugar
1 Large Egg
1/2 tsp Mixed Spice
100g/4oz Butter/Margarine

Add all dry ingredients to a mixing bowl. Add fruit and mix it thoroughly. Beat the egg, add to mixture and mix to a dough. Roll out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.
Use a 2 1/2 inch cutter to cut up the dough. Lightly grease the griddle/frying pan and cook them each side for about 3 mins. or until brown and crisp on the outside. Serve with butter and jam.

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1. Chief cook and bottle washer (person capable of doing many things)
2. Sheet iron crackers (hardtack)
3. sardine box (cap box)
4. bread basket (stomach)
5. greenbacks (money)
6. graybacks (Southern soldiers, lice)
7. Arkansas toothpick (large knife)
8. pepperbox (pistol)
9. Zu - Zu (Zuoave soldier)
10. fit to be tied (angry)
11. horse sense (smart, on the ball)
12. top rail #1 (first class)
13. hunkey dorey (great!)
14. greenhorn, bugger, skunk (officers)
15. snug as a bug (comfortable, cozy)
16. sawbones (surgeon)
17. skedaddle (run, scatter)
18. hornets (bullets)
19. bully (hurrah! yeah!)
20. possum (a buddy, pal)
21. blowhard (big shot)
22. fit as a fiddle (in good shape, healthy)
23. Uppity (conceited)
24. scarce as hen's teeth (rare or scarce)
25. grab a root (have dinner, potato)
26. tight, wallpapered (drunk)
27. bark juice, tar water (liquor)
28. nokum stiff, joy juice (liquor)
29. hard case (tough)
30. bluff (cheater)
31. jailbird (criminal)
32. hard knocks (beaten up)
33. been through the mill (done a lot)
34. quick-step (diarrhea)
35. played out (worn out)
36. toeing the mark (doing the job)
37. Jonah (bad luck)
38. goobers (peanuts)
39. Sunday soldiers, kid glove boys, parlor soldiers (insulting words
for soldiers)
40. fresh fish (raw recruits)
41. whipped (beaten)
Sources: "The Life of Johnny Reb" by Bell Irwin Wiley
"The Life of Billy Yank" by Bell Irwin Wiley

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Items needed

Take a piece of thin paper such as Izal toilet paper

A 6" (15cm) length of 1/2" (1.25cm) dowel

A glue stick

Wrap the top edge of the paper over the dowel, then roll the dowel towards you.

Leave the dowel in place

Fold and glue the bottom of the paper as shown above.

Remove the dowel and start again (40 needed per battle)

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