THE INFAMOUS CRACKER KNOWN AS HARDTACK
Hardtack is a biscuit (or cracker, and thus the Cracker Line’s namesake) made from flour, water and salt. It was a staple of the Civil War soldier’s diet because it was inexpensive and, when properly stored, lasted for years. Hardtack, while nutritious, could be exceedingly hard and usually had to be soaked before it could be eaten.
The standard bread ration in the Union armies was a three-inch-square cracker known as hardtack. It was shipped southward in large crates marked “B. C.,” denoting Brigade Commissary. Given the toughness of the crackers, soldiers were convinced that the letters actually stood for the date when they were baked. Worse, shipments of these crackers were usually so infiltrated with “wigglies” that the most prevalent nickname given to hardtack was “worm castles.” One soldier (perhaps with a degree of exaggeration) stated after the war: “All the fresh meat we had came in the hard bread … and I preferring my game cooked, used to toast my biscuits.”
Hardtack Crackers: 2 cups of flour ,1/2 to 3/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon of Crisco or vegetable fat, 6 pinches of salt, Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix the ingredients together into a stiff dough, knead several times, and spread the dough out flat to a thickness of 1/4 inch on a non-greased cookie sheet. Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut dough into 3-inch cracker squares. With the flat end of a bamboo skewer, punch four rows of holes, four holes per row, into each cracker. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, turn crackers over on the sheet and return to the oven and bake another 30 minutes. Cool completely. http://www.americancivilwarstory.com/civil-war-recipes.html