Civil War hardtack, ca. 1864

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Hardtack – a hard and dry cracker – was a staple food item for soldiers. Soldiers sometimes put the hardtack in coffee to soften it and to remove possible insects. This piece has weevil carcasses inside.

Granville Sparrow of Portland, who enlisted as a sergeant in Co. A of the 17th Maine Infantry and who mustered out in 1865 as a captain, saved this piece of hardtack among his Civil War memorabilia.

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About This Item

  • Title: Civil War hardtack, ca. 1864
  • Creation Date: circa 1864
  • Subject Date: circa 1864
  • Media: Flour, water
  • Dimensions: 5.2 cm x 8 cm x 1.5 cm
  • Local Code: 1998.453.31
  • Collection: Capt. Granville F. Sparrow Civil War collection
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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