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Portrayal of Private William Webb, Civil War Soldier of the 29th Connecticut Volunteers

Image of African-American soldiers, State Archives

Our next stop after that battle, it was time for us to replenish. Head to the back to get some more cartridges and to try to rest.

Now in war, there is no such thing as rest. But we wanted to.

Now, Sergeant Alexander Newton who made this profound statement about enlisting until the clanging of slave chains are heard no more; he loved fried chicken. I could understand why. Because certainly the army wanted to give you something called a ‘heart attack’.

Now, I want you to hear this. Can you imagine eating something that sounds like this [clanging, clanging]. Oh, you’re not supposed to eat anything that sounds like this. [Clanging, clanging] Oh, disgusting, horrible, terrible; didn’t want to eat it, but we had to; it was given to us.

Kitchen of Solders Rest, Alexandria, Virginia, 1865

Kitchen of "Soldier's Rest"

So, I understood why Sergeant Newton wanted the fried chicken. He wanted mashed potatoes, or string beans or whatever it was.  Not knowing if the next battle was going to be his last; he wanted everything to remind him of home.

Image of Officers of 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery, State Archives




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