Throughout history, from antiquity to the present, service in the armed forces of one’s country has provided an almost endless source of material to entertain and even enlighten listeners. Military life has usually been a unique and peculiar experience for most civilians exposed to it. Originally published in 1888, Hard Tack and Coffee is the fascinating account of the everyday life of a footsoldier in the US Army of one hundred years ago. John Billings describes all aspects of a soldier’s life, including living quarters, foraging, wagon trains, offenses and punishments, equipment, transportation, food, hospitals, and much more. This is a detailed, comprehensive, and highly absorbing resource on the common soldier’s life in the Civil War army.