It always goes back to the vices. Human's penchant for sex and drugs is insatiable, and this was no different during the Civil War. While most historians aim to stay in their ivory towers, I will always emphatically choose to remain in the gutters. The cesspool is where we see the true desires and motivations of the actors of history. Trends that we see today can be traced back to the 1860s, from legal sex work to the use of opiates as pain killers.
There is an internet meme that I have seen several times in the past few years, which gives me a good chortle. It involves an image of several A-1 bottles and, in bold font, states:
"So in the middle of the Civil War, someone was like, 'you know what this country needs? A good steak sauce.'"
The joke is that A-1 steak sauce was invented in 1862, during the American Civil War. It was Sold in 1861 as a condiment for meat or game dishes in the United Kingdom; the makers introduced the product to Canada and later to the US, where it was marketed as a steak sauce. But that's not important. What is essential is to remember that people do not stop being people during significant historical events. They most likely seem to lean in more. Whatever lives in your brain, stomach, or veins is what defines you. As we review this time, make sure not to clutch your pearls too tight.
2:20 Native Americans and the Civil War
10:29 Sex and the Civil War
17:23 Food and the Civil War
23:20 Medicine and the Civil War
How the US Civil War Divided Indian Nations
Gender issues in the American Civil War
What Does a Soldier Eat?
History of medicine in the United States
Medicine in the American Civil War
The History of Illegal Drugs in the U.S.
How Civil War Medicine Led to America's First Opioid Crisis
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Ryan Lancaster wears many hats. Dive into his website to learn about history, sports, and more!