When Francis Marion Poore arrived at the camp of military instruction at Corinth, Mississippi, in May 1861, he probably didn’t find the above idyllic scene painted by Conrad Wise Chapman.

Quartermasters issued the recruits muskets, tents, blankets, candles, camp kettles, canteens, tin plats, spoons, soap and other necessities of army life.

Company rations included pork, flour, rice, coffee, sugar, vinegar and salt.

The thousands of militia and others pouring into Corinth had to be taught military ways and how to set up and live in a camp. Many of the men probably had never had to cook for themselves before.

Albert Wymer Henley of Company K recorded in his diary that many of the men suffered bellyaches from eating their own cooking.*

(*In Jess McLean, The Official Records of the 13th Mississippi Infantry Regiment—as told by those who were there. CD-rom. 2001.)

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