Camp Life during the Civil War

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Camp life during the Civil War was very primative. Housing was mostly of tents, with log insulation used in winter months. Meals were cooked outside on an open fire.

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Tent Camp
Union Army Camp in Virginia
(Source: Library of Congress)
Camps were packed with tents housing 5 or 6 men. This is a Federal, or Union, encampment at Cumberland Landing, Virginia.
Log Camps
Log Cabins at Confederate Winter Camp in Virginia
(Source: Library of Congress)
Log cabins were used in winter months to provide insulation from the cold. This picture shows Confederate winter quarters at Centreville, Virginia.
Winter Camp
Union Army Officer's Winter Log Cabin
(Source: Library of Congress)
The Union army also used log cabins in winter months. Chimneys would be built for a fire to keep warm. The picture shows an officers' winter quarters at the Army of the Potomac headquarters.


Cooking and Eating

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Civil War Cook
Cooking Food over an Open Fire
(Source: Library of Congress)
Most cooking occurred on an outdoor fire. In the early days of the war freed slaves were not allowed to carry a rifle and fight. They were often given the role of cook or other similar jobs. This picture shows an African American army cook at work.
Civil War Dinner Party
Dinner at an Army Camp
(Source: Library of Congress)
This picture shows a dinner party in front of a tent.


Books on the Civil War

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Links to other sites on the Civil War

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For a daily history lesson see
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