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Hardtack and Coffee (Classic Reprint)

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Hardtack and Coffee (Classic Reprint)

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    Available in PDF Format | Hardtack and Coffee (Classic Reprint).pdf | English
    John Davis Billings (Author)
Excerpt from Hardtack and Coffee

During the summer of 1881 I was a sojourner for a few weeks at a popular hotel in the White Mountains. Among the two hundred or more guests who were enjoying its retirement and good cheer were from twelve to twenty lads, varying in age from ten to fifteen years. When tea had been disposed of, and darkness had put an end to their daily romp and hurrah without, they were wont to take in charge a gentleman from Chicago, formerly a gallant soldier in the Army of the Cumberland, and in a quiet corner of the spacious hotel parlor, or a remote part of the piazza, would listen with eager attention as he related chapters of his personal experience in the Civil War.

Less than two days elapsed before they pried out of the writer the acknowledgment that he too had served Uncle Sam: and immediately followed up this bit of information by requesting me to alternate evenings with the veteran from the West in entertaining them with stories of the war as I saw it. I assented to the plan readily enough, and a more interested or interesting audience of its size could not be desired than that knot of boys who clustered around us on alternate nights, while we related to them in an offhand way many facts regarded as too commonplace for the general histories of the war.

This trifling piece of personal experience led to the preparation of these sketches, and will largely account for the didactic manner in which they are written. They are far from complete.

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