tv The Civil War Role of Civil War Animals CSPAN August 10, 2021 2:17pm-3:04pm EDT
during the civil war, animals served in a variety of roles from transporting supplies to acting as regimental mascots. next, brad stone talks about general lee's hen, jeff davis, the marching pig, goats on boats and doug the camel. the national museum of civil war medicine hosted this program. they provided the video. hi there. i'm brad stone with the national museum of civil war medicine. and i'm here today to talk about the role that animals played during the civil war. they affected nearly every major aspect. war. and i'm really fortunate to be doing it today at this wonderful farm south mountain creamery in middletown, maryland.
the farm is historic and it is surrounded by a number of really important historic civil war sites in this area. if you go a few miles to the east in historic frederick, you will see the national museum of civil war medicine which is an excellent place to go. if you would like to have a fun way of learning about how medical advances made in the civil war impact us in a beneficial way, nearby that, is the battlefield, an important battle in the civil war. now, if you go a bit west from this farm, you will see the battlefield of ant tum. not far beyond that is harper's ferry. another prime historic site in the united states. so all of this is in this area. if you're visiting these places, the farm here at south mountain creamery is a great place to
stop by. you've got great dairy and other food products here that you can enjoy here or bring home. >> would you like to tell us about the history of this farm and about what people can see and experience when they come here? >> it is part of a family farm operation. i'm part of the second generation that owns the operation with my wife abbey, her brother ben and his wife kate. the four of us own both the farm operation as well as south mountain creamery which is maryland's first on the farm grade a milk plant. we process our own milk from our own cows. we glass bottle it, we playing yogurts, ice creams, lots of other dairy products in the store as well as meats and eggs and things we produce on the
farm. so folks can come out. they can try some of these farm fresh goods. they can actually visit with our cows and our calves. at certain times. year, we open up the calf farm for folks to help bottle feed the baby calves. it is a good family fun operation. something our family is pretty proud of. we work hard at it. >> it is a great farm. tony, we were talking before about the fact this farm is on historic land. correct? >> that's correct. i believe this is part of the civil war easement so it is preserved and will never be developed. and we've been, this is actually our home place. so our family has been farming here for really the last, since 1981. that's like, what? 30 years? something like that. so yeah. we're pretty happy with it. >> now, this farm is part of the area in which the battle of south mountain took place.
it is an important battle of the civil war. it is the first battle in which major union and confederate forces are clashing after robert e. lee in maryland in september of 1862. now, the battle of south mountain will have a number of famous historic figures in it, including two future u.s. presidents. rutherford b. hayes and william mckinley who will both be fighting for the union. the battle will set up the battle of antitum. it remains the bloodiest day in u.s. history. i'm really happy to be doing this presentation with these animals behind us. my talk will focus on animals on farms like the and in other
ways, really played a critical part in almost every major aspect of the civil war. when we talk about animals in the civil war, they performed a number of important functions that i'm going to talk about today. one is as a source of food. another is a source of important materials needed during a war. and they're also a very important way of transporting goods during the civil war. finally, mascots and they play an important role of boosting men's morale when they're in the field. i'm going to start out talking about animals and the important role they played as a source of food. we're on a farm. as you can see the cattle behind us. animals were the major sources of protein and other important
things like calcium and sort of basic staples that allow the armies to survive. as napoleon once said, an army moves, marches on its stomach. and an army cannot exist unless they are adequately fed. that's what farms like this did. a lot of people have the conception when the civil war started, the confederacy was an agricultural powerhouse. where the north was largely just an industrial powerhouse. now, it is true that the confederacy has a lot of agricultural capacity. there are places like the shenandoah valley that are serving as bread baskets to the confederate armies for much of the war. the truth is that the union is not only an industrial powerhouse. it is also an agricultural powerhouse as well. indeed, by the time of the civil war, the union in many ways is
outproducing the confederacy. both in terms of agricultural crops and in livestock. why? well, first of all, the union, the north is larger. it has more of these farms all over its territory. but the other thing is, that the union, the north, is by the time of the civil war, taking a much more effective, advanced approach to agriculture than the south. the south still depends largely on manual labor and much of that, unfortunately, falls on enslaved people. the north, however, is using new agricultural practices, including much more mechanization. and they're able to produce more off the same acreage. so by the time of the civil war, you have a north that is both an
agricultural and industrial colossus and they're able to combine those two strengths to accomplish things that are very beneficial to the north during the civil war. including surrounding one of the big challenges that both sides face. how do you get agricultural products, meat or milk or eggs, from farms like these to the front lines without those goods becoming spoiled? you have to remember, during the civil war. they don't have the time of refrigeration or freezing procedures we do today. so how do you get those kinds of food stuffs to the front lines? the major way at that time was through canning. canning had been developed during the napoleonic wars in an experimental way. by the time of the civil war, particularly in the north, the industry had the wherewithal to
make massive quantities of candled foods. and as the war goes on, the north's capacity to produce great quantities of this canned food not only increase, but they're also able to increase the diversity of products. everything from beef, vegetables, fruit, even some seafoods. perhaps one of the most crucial things the north is able to provide is this. this is condensed milk. now, we think of condensed milk today as mainly something to use in recipes. but during the civil war, this is one of the most favorite things that a union soldier could find in his field ration. this was developed by the borden company in the 1850s. as the war goes on, the union will put increasing orders for this product. why? because it was usually the thing that many northern soldiers
preferred to drink from. just straight out of the can. it is a great drinking source for them. far better than any of the polluted water sources near their camps or battlefield. you drink this and you know it is pure. beyond that it has other great features. it is an excellent source of nutrition. it provides calcium, it provides protein. it contains about 1,300 calories from this one container which is something you really need as a soldier on the march or in a battle. the other great thing about it is that it is small and easy to take with you. in addition to being a great source of nutrition, it is also sweetened so it contains sugar and it gives you kind of a boost when you drink it. in some ways, it is even an early form of energy drink. so union soldiers really valued
this. and confederate soldiers did, too, when they were able to capture it off of captured union supply wagons. the problem with the confederacy is that is the only way they could get this or many other canned foods. they didn't have the industry nor the infrastructure to provide canned foods of this type. the fact that the confederacy didn't have this kind of supply of canned foods meant they were not able to consistently supply their armies with the foods they needed. the confederate army had increasing problems supplying their armies as the war went on. particularly as confederate farmlands, livestock and other things were either captured or destroyed by union troops. so that in turn caused conditions near starvation or
actual starvation among many southern armies. the fact the confederate armies couldn't get the food supplies they needed was a major factor and the desertion rates that were starting to occur in those armies, particularly toward the end of the war. indeed, it might be said that the union's ability to merge its industrial and agricultural might and supply its armies as opposed to the confederate failure to do so was one of the major decisive factors in the outcome of the war. we talked about food. animals also play an immensely important role in supplying some of the primary materials that were needed during the war. to start out with, wool. wool comes from sheep. wool was used in many, many things that were essential to the army including uniforms. the uniform i'm wearing today
was made out of wool. and most uniforms worn by both sides were from wool. wool was used in other things like blankets, gloves. now, here again, the union was able to couple its industrial might, its agricultural might, to dramatically outproduce the confederacy in terms of woollen goods. in fact, the union produced 17 times more woollen and cotton textiles than the confederacy over the course of the war. now, another basic material needed during the war was leather. and that comes from animal hides. that was used for all sorts of things during the civil war. my belt is made out of leather. my holster is made out of leather, my cap box is made out of leather. things like saddles, reins, all sorts of critical things are made out of leather.
perhaps the most important, my boots are made out of leather. boots and shoes were virtually all made out of leather during the civil war. you could not put shoes on your armies unless you used leather. once more, the union is able to use its industrial and agricultural might to far outpace the confederacy. in fact, the union during the course of the civil war produced 30 times more leather during the leather goods than confederacy. now, another important thing the armies needed was the ability to see at night. the civil war was fought before the advent of electricity. so to see at night you had to depend largely on candles or lanterns. now, candles were virtually all made from animal byproducts. there was tallow candles. they were made from animal fat.
there was also, if you want a higher quality cancel, beeswax which is a by-product of bees. the most popular cancel at the time of the civil war was made out of something called spermakareli which came from whales. if you used a lamp, chances are that would contain whale oil. a by-product of whales. against the north has the advantage. the north had a long established whaling fleet which went around the world and harvested whales. now, since i'm with the national museum of civil war medicine, i have to mention animals also provided some essential medical supplies. perhaps the most famous would be sutures. that's what you used to stitch
up wounds. the most favored suit you are of the civil war was this. this is silk thread which comes from silk worms. silk thread is an excellent material to suture wounds. it is so good that it is still used today. but the confederacy had a problem with silk thread. at the time of the civil war it had to be imported from the far east. that's no problem for the north. but it's a big problem for the south because of the union naval blockade. and by the time of the civil war's mid point, the confederacy is running out of silk thread. they have to come up with a substitute. so eventually they did. and they decided to use this instead. this is horse hair. now, horse hair doesn't look like it would be a great suture. but there is a back story to this. the civil war is the last major
war before the discovery of germ theory. the understanding that germs cause the spread of disease. what that meant is that when surgeons did operations during the civil war, very often, they didn't wash their hands. they didn't wash their equipment. they didn't make sure anything was germ-free. and that includes their suture material. so very often when they're done so long people up, very often it could be contaminated and could infect the patient. the confederate surgeons who were thinking about using horse hair realized there's a problem with it. in its natural state, horse hair is too stiff. not pliable enough to tie into a good knot. so they had to figure out a way to make it more softer, pliable, easily tied. they come up with a solution. they boil it. by boiling it, it makes it
softer, more pliable, but it does something else they don't realize. it sterilizes it. it kills off all the germs. and what they will later find out is that the confederate surgeons who used this boiled horse hair suiture end up end up having far fewer infections among their patients than surgeons using the silk sutures. to keep your mind at ease, i mentioned silk sutures are used today, they are. but today since we know about germ theory, they're sterilized and perfectly safe. i do want to mention that these horse hair sutures are also used today in some surgical procedures. as you can see, animals supplied a lot of the basic materials that both armies depended on. now, we talked about food and
we've talked about these important materials. the other question is, how did all of these supplies get to the front lines? well, it is true that during the civil war, trains being used in a major way as never before to supply all sorts of things. but still, the main burden of supplying forces in the field during the civil war will fall on animals. and mainly, what we call equines, horses and mules. now, these animals play an incredibly important part in making sure the armies run. i'm going to use two examples. a small one and a larger one. a small one is a union artillery battery. that consists of just six cannons. in order the transport those cannons, the men and all the materials for their operations
in the battle, that will require 72 horses. now, a larger example. i'm going to talk about sherman's march to the sea. that is known as kind of a bare bones operation. it didn't have a large supply chain. historians talk about the fact it was basically performed by men foraging supplies they needed from farms and plantations as they went on the march. even that bare bones operation took a tremendous number of equines. it required over 36,000 mules and 32,000 horses to transport the materials needed for that campaign. i'm talking about supply wagons, artillery, and ambulances, and then when you factor in other animals used in that campaign, other equines, horses, and
cavalry, horses for officers, when you combine all of that, it is about 72,000 equines. so to focus in on horses for a second, most people when they think of horses during the civil war think about their use as cavalry. cavalry is an incredibly important weapon during the civil war. both sides use it. to surprise their enemy. there are some epic cavalry battles during the civil war like those fought during the battle of gettysburg. the largest cavalry battle during the civil war will be at brandy station. that will involve over 18,500 horsemen. it remains the largest cavalry battle ever fought on the north american continent. as important as the cavalry was as a mean of attacking the
animals, what often goes overlooked is the cavalry played a critical intelligence gathering role during the civil war. this is at a time we don't have spy satellites, spy planes, electronic means of eavesdropping on your enemy. so commanders during the civil war would very often depend very heavily on dispatching their cavalry to find out what was going on behind enemy lines. they would send their cavalry to probe. find out what kind of troop movements were going on amongst the enemy. what their strengths, what their weak knows were. then these cavalry units would come back to the commanders. report on what they had seen. and that was a way for civil war commanders to try on gauge what to do in terms of the enemy. in terms of tactics and strategy. now, one of the unsung heroes of the civil war was the mule. what is a mule? a mule is the hybrid when you
breed a male donkey and a female horse. what you get is a remarkable animal. they're primarily known as pack animals, animals can carry supplies, you can also ride them. i have in many cases, and i think they're just as good as a horse. a mule has some added features. it is a very sure footed animal. it can often operate in terrain and under conditions that horses don't do as well in and it can carry a lot of material. and they were the mainstay of many a supply line during the civil war. even after the civil war, our army has depended heavily on mules in many situations. so much so that that is why they're the mascot of the u.s. military academy west point. now, because of both armies'
dependency on equines, as the war went on, they made more and more of an effort to take care of these animals. particularly the union. now, the union and the confederacy took a much different approach with regard to these animals. the union took a more centralized approach. they would purchase these animals for their armies. whereas in the confederacy, it was the soldier who would have to procure their own horse or mule very often. that also meant the union took a much more centralized approach to the care of these animals. by 1863, the union has developed a veterinarian corps where they have veterinary officers dispatched to cavalry units to make sure the needs of these animals are being looked after including their veterinary needs. the confederacy took a very
decentralized approach with regard to the care and feeding of the animals. that largely fell to the individual soldier. as the war goes on, the confederacy has a tougher and tougher time meeting the needs of its animals. particularly things like adequate food. despite the best efforts of both sides during the civil war, the war takes a terrible toll on equines. it is estimated that about 1.2 million equines died during the civil war. it is a very sobering statistic. it is just another insight into the devastation of this war. now, i'm going to talk about mascots. mascots played a key function during the civil war in terms of helping to keep up morale and instill a fighting spirit in the men. i'm going to talk about two times of mascots. one is called functional mass
sxots the others are pure mascots. so functional mascots provide a service but over time developed more and more to be considered as mascots. perhaps the best example are goats in the navy. goats had been on navy shipments for a long, long time. since continue ception of the united states navy. they were there during the civil war. why? well, goats are great sources of food. particularly milk which you can turn into butter or cheese. now, you might say why not use a cow? well, a goat is a lot smaller. it can fit much more easily aboard the ship. they're also very sure footed. they don't fall on the deck and roll around. they also don't get sea sick. and unlike many sailors, goats are actually excellent swimmers. the other thing about goats is their upkeep is very easy.
you can feed them garbage and they'll do just fine. so for all these reasons, goats are really treasured aboard navy ships for a long, long time. by the time of the civil war, the union navy in particular is establishing ways of better supplying their ships with nutrition foods. so the need for live animals aboard shipments is starting to diminish. but goats will remain on navy ships long after they are needed for their use as a source of food. in fact, they'll stay on navy ships as mascots well into the 20th century. and that's why the goat is the official mascot of the u.s. naval academy. now, another set of functional animals are cats and small dogs that were used aboard ships as what would be called ratters.
they would go after rats, mice and other vermin. and they were very effect yifl at tracking them down. they could get into small, hard to reach places and vaef them from doing damage to rope lines, canvas, and of course, the food supply aboard the ship. so they were very valued animals. one of the more famous cats was a black cat that served aboard the union shipment the monitor involved in that epic battle of iron clads. the monitor a few months after that sank off the coast of north carolina. and there was a story that the black cat that was aboard that ship either had jumped into a gun barrel and went down with the ship, or jumped on to a rescue ship and was saved. that debate never got solved until perhaps a few years ago when the ship was raised and brought in for restoration work.
a few months ago, work started on the gun barrel of the ship. the question was would the skeletal remains be found in that gun barrel? i'm happy to report it was not. so i'm happy to report the cat probably lived to fight another day. but the role of cats and dogs would continue long after the age of sail and well into the 20th century, you had dogs and cats aboard navy ships serving as mascots. now, two of the most famous functional mascots were almost iconic. they were the horse of robert e. lee and the horse of ulysses s grant. so lee's horse traveller was magnificent quarter horse. much loved by the men. after the war when lee left to assume the presidency of what is now known as washington and lee
college. he took traveller with him. when they both sides, traveller was eventually buried on the campus not far from where the lee family was also buried. so general grant's horse was cincinnati. and he was a descendant of some of the greatest race horses at the time. he was renowned for his courage in battle and he was admired by people like abraham lincoln who wanted to ride him every time he visited grant in the field. cincinnati is the horse that is depicted in almost every statue where grant is mounted on horseback. including the statue that lies in front of our capital building in washington, d.c. now, i'm going to talk about mascots that were pretty much just animals that were appreciated for their
companionship. they have played a very important function again in boosting morale. a lot of these men were far from home and we love our pets and they appreciated having animals that could provide companionship. in some instances, inspire them. so one animal, i'll start out with, is sally the hen. sally belonged to robert e. lee. she escaped from a shipment of poultry that was being sent to the confederate army in 1862. unfortunately for her, she ran into lee's tent. they hit it off and almost every day there after, she would lay an egg under lee's bed. this relationship went on until unfortunately, the battle of the wilderness when there was a misunderstanding and nelly unfortunately ended up on the menu. lee was very upset about that. there were other animals used as mascots as well.
one of the most popular were dogs. dogs are man's best friend. although these cows right here might challenge that, dogs were very often used as mascots for regiments. one of the most famous dogs was sally the dog. sally was the mascot of the pennsylvania 11th infantry. she went everywhere with them. she paraded with them including in front of president lincoln. she went into battle with them. she fought with them at the battle of gettysburg. and there she went missing for a number of days. when they found her, she was guarding the bodies of the dead and wounded comrades. she continued to fight with them until she died in a battle in 1864. they risked their lives to save her, to bring her body back, to be buried with proper military honors bust they immortalized her in 1890 when they built a
monument on the battlefield of gettysburg. and there at the base of the monument is a life size bronze sculpture of sally. it is a very touching tribute to the sacrifices made by dogs during the civil war. domestic e used as mascots. one of the more famous was dick the sheep. dick was the mascot of the second rhode island regiment, and disc could do all sorts of tricks, and he traveled extensively with the unit. unfortunately, when they were deployed in washington, d.c., they found out that there had been no provisions made for food supply, so they had to sell dick in order to buy the food they needed. it was a very sad fate, but fortunately most mascots didn't suffer that. another mascot that met a
happier fate was jeff davis the pig that was adopted by a connecticut regiment. now, he was named after jefferson davis, the president of the confederacy. it was not meant as a compliment to jefferson davis to be compared to a pig, but jeff davis, the pig, was very popular among the troops, and he could do a number of things. he could march with them on his hind legs. he could smoke a pipe. he could run obstacle courses, and he served with them extensively, including when they did occupation duty and the newly captured city of new orleans. but when it came time for them to go into combat, they made the very humane decision to send jeff davis back to a farm in new haven, connecticut so he could live out the rest of his days in peace. another animal that had a
similar fortunate fate was bruin the bear. he belonged to the 12th wisconsin infantry, and he was a tame bear. he would march with them. he would board trains with them, and he went with them on an extensive series of assignments. they ended up in ft. leavenworth, kansas, and then they got an order that they would have to take a gruel and dangerous march to texas. again, they made the humane decision to leave him with an arrangement in ft. leavenworth, kansas, that he cou live out the remainder of his days in peace. now, a more common thing that very often happened is that units would adopt a mascot that was the official state mascot, and that's what happened with the 26th wisconsin infantry. they had a badger as their mascot. why a badger?
well, at the time wisconsin was known for its miners, and what better animal to represent the miners than a badger because they can burrow deeply and they are fierce and tenacious fighters. they thought picking a badger as their mascot that would inspire the troops to be fierce and tenacious as well. now a more unusual mascot was doug the camel. doug belonged to the confederate union, the 43rd mississippi. doug represents a little known fact about the u.s. military, and that is in the years leading up to the civil war, america was expanding ever westward, the army was facing an increasing problem as to how to supply their far-flung forts and settlements. these were often over vast distances and tough terrain, stuff that even horses and mules had difficulty with, so the then
secretary of war, a guy by the name of jefferson davies, and, yes, it's the same jefferson davies that just a few years later would be the president of the confederacy, came up with the idea of importing camels from the middle east to see if they could be used to supply these far-flung forts and settlements. it was called the texas experiment. the idea was to create sort of an american camel corps. the experiment had its problems. although those who were well-trained and experienced when camels found them to be great animals to work, others who were less trained and less experienced had had difficulties with them. now these problems along with the beginning of the civil war caused an end to the program, and, unfortunately, most of these camels were just set loose to fend for themselves. now it is reported that some of the offspring from these camels
that were set loose, were still seen roaming the southwest. up until the 1940s, but a few of the camels were still used by forces in the north and the south and doug was the most famous. again, he was the mascot of the 43rd mississippi infantry, and he was used to transport some supplies, but it was mainly a mascot. unfortunately, it was a rather big target, and he was killed by union sharpshooters at vicksburg. the men felt terrible about it. they buried him with full military honors, and there still remains a monument in honor of doug and the services he provided to that unit. perhaps the most famous mascot of all was old abe, an american bald eagle. can't get much more american than that. he was bought from an indian tribe by the wisconsin 8th infant rushers and he was renowned for his courage.
he was named after president lincoln as a token of esteem for president lincoln, and he followed the unit everywhere, including into battle, and he was known for when the battle was raging flying up above and giving out a war-like scream that would inspire the men. now, old abe was shot twice during the war but survived and returned to wisconsin as a hero. not only in wisconsin but throughout the north, and he was given the honor of living out the rest of his days in the wisconsin state capitol. now he died in the 1880s but his legacy lived far beyond that, because in the 20th century when the u.s. army decided to create an airborne division, they took the likeness of abe and used it as the insignia for that division which today is known as the 101st airborne division
which is also known as the screaming eagles in honor of old abe. now i talked a lot about all the ways that animals were used during the civil war, but i would like to conclude with one that doesn't really get that much attention, but it's kind of a fascinating thing to think about, elephants. could have been used in the civil war but were not. some historians think that they should have been. now what's ironic about this is the term for going into battle during the civil war was going to see the elephant, but, of course, there were no elephants during the civil war, and there could have been, however, had president lincoln taken up the kind offer made by the king of siam. siam is what we call thailand today. the king of siam had offered lincoln the use of elephants to show his support for the union
cause. now, lincoln didn't think much of the idea, and he politely declined, but some people think he was too rash in doing that. elephants had been used for centuries by armies. they are an excellent way of transporting supplies. they are massive animals that can carry lots of supplies and can do it often over difficult terrain and other conditions that, you know, horses and mules might not be able to, but they are also a very effective offensive weapon. they are enormous animals. they have massive tusks and seeing them charge upon you is very intimidating. the other thing is the skin is very, very thick and made them impervious to a lot of weapons. it's believed the sidearms or small weapons used during the civil war would not have penetrated their skips, particularly if the elephants were outfitted with armor which, again, is something that elephants had been equipped with
for centuries by armies. now by the time of the civil war, armies like those in siam and other places would usually have men atop these elephants with rifles or rapid fire weapons or even small artillery which kind of made the elephants like an early form of tank, so some people think that had the union army been equipped with these armored elephant unit, that might have had a terrible impact on the confederate army. one recent historian wrote in the publication "the national interest" a very interesting story with the scenario of having an armored elephant unit of the type i described at gettysburg, and what would have happened if an armored elephant unit had been deployed at gettysburg, his belief is it would have crushed lee's army to
the point that they would have had to surrender, and that the war might have been shortened by two years. now, would this have happened? we'll never know, but it's a fascinating thing to think about. we're concluding this presentation on animals and the civil war here at the battlefield, and i'm joined here by my two mascot friends liz and winnie, and this is an important battlefield as i mentioned before. it's the battle that actually saved weesy in 1864. i'm here right next to a cavalry flag, and both sides had cavalry deployed here at manarkasie. i'm going to talk about the cavalry action that doesn't get much attention but i think makes for a good final story, and that is the charge of the mule brigade. it occurred in october of 1863
at battle of the wahathchie, on the border of georgia and tennessee and one night 200 union mules were tethered together when nearby gunfire started, you know, exploding around them t.shocked them to the point where they broke loose of their at the timers and stampeded. fortunately for the union, they stampeded in the direction of confederate forces under wade hampton. these confederate forces saw all these what they thought were horses charging them. they thought it was a union cavalry charge. they panicked and ultimately they retreated. now some historians dispute how much of that stampede caused the eventual defeat of the confederates, but it did play a factor, and the story goes that the following day when ulysses
s. grant was informed of this accidental victory via the mowl stampede, he said he was going to promote the mules to horses, so in conclusion, i hope i've done a good job at giving you an overview of the many ways that animals played a big role in the civil war, whether it be as a food supply, as a source of raw materials, as a way of transporting goods and as mascots as you can see. animals continued to make big contributions to our military, everything from horses and mules during afghanistan as noted in the film "12 strong." we still use dogs, of course to help protect our soldiers and to sniff out bombs. we use bees to help detect explosives, and we even use animals such as doll phipps and
seals to help protect our coastal defenses and for other military uses, so animals have made throughout american history a tremendous contribution to our armed forces. they continue to do so and they probably will for the foreseeable future. so thank you very much for watching this. i encourage you to go to the national museum of civil war medicine which is also in frederick, maryland, and better yet, get a membership to it so you can really enjoy all that it has to offer. once again, thank you very, very much. ♪♪
next on american history tv, the nas museum of civil war medicine hosts an online discussion about john heckman known as the tattooed historian about civil war soldiers' nutrition and hygiene. he describes what type of food would have been in the rations, how they might have cooked it, and their access to items like toothpaste and toilet paper. the national museum of civil war medicine provided this video. >> so thank you all for tuning in with us. we are here with the tattooed historian himself, john he canman, my great friend, and i just want to get in a little bit, too, before we dive into the topic that we're covering today which is hygiene and nutrition in civil war soldiers. can you tell us a little bit about who you