CHRISTMAS SEASON ON CAMPAIGN-PART 8

CHRISTMAS SEASON ON CAMPAIGN-PART 8

Anyway we finally get issued some fat back and flour. Bill Jester carries the skillet for our mess this week so he starts to cook the fat back to get the grease to make the sleush. It is really hard to keep from just grabbing the fat back out of the pan and eating it, but it would have burned our mouths if we had tried. Bill gets the grease cooked off; pours it equally into all our plates; and we each started to mix the flour and the grease together to make long thick ropes of bread dough. Once we have the dough, Bill cuts us a cube of the fat back to gnaw on. We scarf it down pretty quick. Then we draw out the ramrods from our rifles; curl the ropes of dough called sleush around the ramrods; and hold them over the fire to cook. It ain’t but about 15 minutes and we have the sleush cooked and try to eat it without burning our mouths. With our bellies so shrunk up this little bit of food really fills us up. We go back to our tent and sit outside rubbing the grease left on our hands on the metal parts of our rifles to keep down any rust. Each of us then partially soaks a small patch of cloth with the grease from our community skillet.
Using the opening at the end of our ramrods to hold the cloth, we ram the cloths down our rifle barrels to loosen any powder and clean the inside of the barrels.

Once the chore of rifle cleaning has been done for the day, we lay around and snooze until called out to drill again.

About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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