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6th New Jersey Infantry, Company C
23rd North Carolina Infantry, Company D
Civil War Reenactment Group
Federal Hardtack
Hardtack was issued to troops on both sides of the war.  Given the nicknames of, tooth dullers, sheet iron crackers, weavel rafts, and a host of many other names.  One of the nicknames "Weavel rafts" came from the fact that the hardtack after time would become infested with weavels while waiting in the wearhouses to be issues to the troops.  Hardtack was an ideal item to issue to the troops because they could make it cheep and store it for long periods of time.   Not like the crackers that you can buy from the stores today, hardtack was so hard that if you bit into it you might loose a tooth.  Some ways that hardtack may be eaten is by soaking it in coffee until it softens, frying it in bacon grease, crumbling them in your soup or stew, or breaking a piece and placing it into your mouth until it is soft enogh to chew. 
4 Cups of flour
2 Cups of water
4 Tsp. salt
1 Baking sheet pan

Mix the 4 cups of flour and the 4 tsp. of salt together into a large bowl.  Add just enough water to combine the mixture together.  You might not need the entire 2 cups of water, you want a dry mixture.  On a floured top roll out the dough until it is approx. 1/4" thick.  Cut the dough into 3" squares and  poke 4 rows of 4 holes (16 holes in all) into each square.  Pre-heat your oven to 375 Degrees F.  This recipe should make up to 10 pieces of hardtack.  Place the cut squares of dough onto the ungreesed sheet pan and place into your oven.  Bake for 30 minutes and then turn the hardtack over and bake for another 30 minutes.  After the 1 hours total baking time turn off our oven and crack the oven door open and let the hardtack remain in the oven as it cools.  Care must be taken not to burn the pieces.  The longer you allow them to bake the harder they will become.

     * Note:  Since hardtack is very hard, care must be taken
                 when eating as to not chip or break a tooth.
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