Hatteras Inlet, 1862: Bad water, bad pork

On this day in 1862: Private D.L. Day, Co. B, 25th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, writes in his diary at Hatteras Inlet:

“A schooner came alongside today and left us rations of steamed pork, hardtack and condensed sea water. This was a very timely arrival as we have been very short of water for two or three days and pretty much everything else. Rattlesnake pork will taste pretty good again after a few days fast. Condensed sea water is rather a disagreeable beverage, but still is a little ahead of no water at all. I think, however, it might be made palatable by adding about nine parts whiskey to one of water.

“This water and pork is all manufactured here on the spot. They have a sort of rendering establishment where they make it, but I cannot believe that the pork would take a premium in any fair in the country unless it was for meanness. … “

2 thoughts on “Hatteras Inlet, 1862: Bad water, bad pork”

  1. Thanks, Mark. It’s one of scores of vivid journal entries and letters excerpted in Robert E. Denney’s addictively readable “The Civil War Years: A Day-By-Day Chronicle of the Life of a Nation” (1992).

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