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Random Quote from the Bookshelf

I’ve randomly drawn Rebel Cornbread and Yankee Coffee: Authentic Civil War Cooking and Camaraderie by Garry Fisher from my bookshelf. From page 29:

When in camp, Federal company cooks generally preferred boiling food to frying or broiling it, since boiling was the easiest and fastest way to prepare large quantities of food. … Just as it suffered from food and other shortages, the Confederate army also lacked an adequate supply of cooking equipment and eating utensils. The shortage became so dire that Colonel Robert V. Richardson, commanding the Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, was moved to submit the following plea to his brigade commander in October 1863

I have not a single vessle to cook one morsel of bread. My cooking has to be done as we can beg the citizens to do it. This practice is exceedingly deleterious. It leads to straggling and demoralization. For God and country’s sake, make your fair-promising but never-complying quartermaster send me skillets, ovens, pots or anything that will bake bread or fry meat…. Send me skillets 255 in number. I cannot fight any more until I get something to cook in.

So highly valued were skillets that the men, rather than risk losing a skillet from a company wagon while on the march, assigned it to an individual, who marched with the panhandle slipped down the barrel of his rifle.

Civil war stories captivate me. Just yesterday on the way to the bank to turn Noah’s loose change into dollar bills he commented on the Baker-Peter House so we stopped at the gas station and together read Abner Baker’s marker and the historic sign. For the 17 years that I’ve been in Knoxville I’ve never bothered to read that sign. Turns out Doctor Baker was possibly a Confederate but more likely neutral however his son Abner was a Confederate soldier. Doctor Baker was attending to some wounded Confederate soldiers when some Union soldier’s raided the house and shot through the barricaded bedroom door and killed Baker. His son shot the postmaster to avenge his father’s death and friends of the postmaster ambushed Abner and killed him at 22 years old.

I know the Baker-Peter House is supposedly haunted. I’ve never read about the ghost. I wonder if it’s related to the story. The sign does not mention the ghost but it does mention Hawk-eye’s Too.

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