Hardtack was a staple food in the union army during the American Civil War, but it was notoriously not the most pleasant part of a soldier's diet. The flavorless cracker-like ration went by a number of playful nicknames that alluded to the various ways in which it earned its dreadful reputation. Since hardtack would either sit in crates for long periods of time or become exposed to the elements before they ever reached a soldier's hands, these "worm castles" would sometimes become infested with weevils or other insects. This union private, at rest in a makeshift entrenchment, enjoys a brief moment of calm and a bite of hardtack. It's barely palatable and stale enough to break a tooth, but t's at least something to offset severe fatigue and hunger as well as a depleted spirit.
This charcoal drawing was created using the finest artist grade materials and paper. It is signed on the front.
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