Sgt. Frederick E. Johnson, Sr.


Feb. 2009 -- Sgt. Fred and Catherine B. Gaston Johnson, Sr., Sgt. Major Marvin Nicholson, 1st Sgt. James White, CPL
Joseph White, Pvt. Frank Kennedy, and Powder Monkey participated in  the
Battle of Forkes Road of Feb.20,  1865
on the property of the Cameron  Art Museum, Wilmington, NC.

(Attachments viewable in Acrobat Reader click here to download free reader)
   (Schedule will update periodically)

Upcoming events  in March/April

  • March 20-21  Battle Of Bentonville
  •  April  Azalea  parade, Wilmington

New business:

  • May 27-31 --Chestown ,Md., days trip including Friday school day, Sat-Sun tea party encampment, Monday usct parade(need numbers of members  who’s going) in vans to this event.

Election of new officers at next meeting



 The Army of the James Medal, commonly called the Butler Medal is ... click here for
 more details

  A Black Soldier's Creed

The determination of the corporal in the photo above was echoed in the words of Joseph E. Williams, a black man from Pennsylvania, who helped recruit freed slaves in North Carolina.  Writing from that post in 1863. Williams said:  An instinctive love for liberty is the real principle of the first N[orth] C[arolina] C[olored] V[olunteers] of General [Edward A.] Wild’s Brigade.  Is the negro not a man? Is he not capable of bearing arms?  Has he not talent?  Has he not courage? … How preposterous, therefore, how absurd it is, that people should think … no submissions too much in order to purchase such a temporary and uncertain happiness as the joys of this sort of life can give.  It is beneath the greatness of their soul to respect and elevate the downtrodders from the level of the brute creation.  Nevertheless, in spite of their prejudice, and jealousies and schemes, they are compelled to acknowledge us as men in the defense of the Republic, which is our redemption.  For this cause we will fight, for the cause of freedom.  I will draw my sword against my oppressor and the oppressors of my race.  I must avenge my debasement.  I will ask no quarter, nor will I give any.  With me there is but one question, which is life or death.  And I will sacrifice everything in order to save the gift of freedom for my race.

                     CIVIL WAR FOOD
Food during the Civil War was not very fancy. Soldiers did not get a great variety of items in their daily ration. They did not have the conveniences to preserve food like we have today. Meats were salted or smoked white other items such as fruits and vegetables were dried or canned. The soldier's diet was very simple- meat, coffee, sugar, and a dried biscuit called hardtack. Of all the items soldiers received, it was this hard bread that they remembered and joked about the most.
"'Tis the song that is uttered in camp by night and day,
     ‘Tis the wail that is mingled with each snore;
'Tis the sighing of the soul for spring chickens far away,
     ‘Oh hard crackers, come again
no more!'
'Tis the song of the soldier, weary, hungry and faint,
Hard crackers, hard crackers, come again no more;
Many days have I chewed you and uttered no complaint,
Hard crackers, hard crackers, come again no more!"
      -from a soldiers' parable called "Hard Times"

Hardtack was a simple flour biscuit issued to Union soldiers 'throughout the war. Hardtack crackers made up a large portion of a soldier's daily ration. It was square or sometimes rectangular in shape with small holes baked into it, and similar to a large soda cracker. When freshly baked, they were quite tasty and satisfying. Baked in northern factories, they usually did not get to the soldiers until months after they had been made. They were very hard by that time; so hard that soldiers called them “tooth dullers" and "sheet iron crackers". Packed into large wooden crates, the soldiers were usually allowed six to eight crackers for a three-day ration. There were a number of ways to eat them- plain or prepared with other ration items. Soldiers would crumble them into coffee or soften them in water and fry the hardtack with some bacon grease. One favorite dish was fried pork with hardtack crumbled into the mixture. Called "skllygallee", it was a common and easily prepared meal. Would you like to try some hardtack? It's easy to make and here's the recipe:

2 cups of flour
3/4 to 1 cup water
1 tbl spoon of Crisco or vegetable fat
6 pinches of salt

Mix ingredients together into a stiff batter, knead several times, and spread the dough onto a baking sheet at a thickness of 1/2 inch. Bake for one-half an hour at 400 degrees. Remove from oven, cut dough into 3-inch squares, and punch four rows of holes, four holes per row into the dough. Turn dough over, return to the oven and bake another one-half hour.

Website created by:  Christie Prentice