American soldiers in the 18th century had several different types of rations.
There were per man per day food rations. This would include a meat component, usually consisting of a pound of beef, three-quarters of a pound of pork, or a pound of salt fish. There would also be a bread component where they were supposed to get a pound loaf, but if that were not available they might get just flour or cornmeal instead.
To round out the daily ration they were given a pint of milk and a quart of beer.
There were per man per week rations. This would include things like peas, beans, rice, vinegar and other items that were not very popular with the soldiers.
There were per company per week rations. This would include candles, soap, and other items that the men would need that were not food.
Finally, whenever possible, the soldiers would supplement their diet with whatever items could be procured locally from villages, farmers or even the wilderness around them.
Transcript of Video:
Soldiers in the 18th Century, whether they be American, British or French, all had very similar rations. Congress in 1775 established rations for the American soldiers and that ration stayed very similar for 150 years. Let’s take a look at what was included in that ration.
There were several different types of rations. There were per man per day food rations, that each man hoped he would get, there were rations per man per week, and then there were per company per week rations. So the daily ration would include a meat component, usually a pound of beef, or three quarters of a pound of pork, or possibly a pound of salt fish. So another part of the daily ration would be the bread part. Each man was supposed to get a pound loaf of bread per day and if bread wasn’t available then they would possibly be issued just flour, and if flour wasn’t available then they might even get a substitution of corn meal. And to round out this daily ration, they were given a pint of milk and a quart of beer. The per company per week ration included candles, soap, items that the men would need that weren’t food items. The per man per week rations were items that weren’t as popular or common; peas, it might also include beans, rice, or vinegar. Whenever possible, the soldiers would also supplement their diet with whatever items they could procure locally from a local village or from farmers or even from the wilderness around them. So in the following video series we’re going to take all these ration items and we’re going to prepare them in an 18th century fashion.