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Factors Of The Civil War

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Many outside factors were believed to affect the Civil War's outcome; everything from clothing, weather conditions, weapons, and food. The factor that most affected the war's outcome was the food. The North had a great amount and variety of food. The South's food started off the same way, but it quickly deteriorated. The southern soldiers began to pillage farms to find food they wanted or the soldiers would desert and go home while they would have food. These were factors that could have been prevented.

The South's food was plentiful in the beginning. They had a significant amount of food for their camp rations, which consisted of everything from pork, bread, peas, rice, and coffee. They ate more pork because the war had decimated Southern farms ruining livestock (Engle 203). They were also issued a smaller marching ration. "Fresh fruits and vegetables rarely appeared, and then only spread scurvy when they were found." (Cruden 127) This was a huge problem for the South. There was just not a very good flow system to deliver food. The little food the soldiers got was old and rotten. Their meats would often rot too due to lack of salt. These rotten food items would make soldiers sick and because the soldiers were thin and frail, these sicknesses would sometimes kill them (Cruden 205). These were simple problems, that if avoided could have saved lives. The South had a very large desertion rate. Many soldiers would pillage farms to try and find food to eat when they were not given any. Some would finally get sick of being hungry and would just go home where they would have food.

The North's food was plentiful throughout most of the war. They had large camp rations which were similar to the South in that they had bread, peas, rice, and coffee. The North differed in that they would eat more beef than they would pork like the South


(Engle 203). The people in the north had preferred beef and the South preferred and had more pork to eat.

The North's steady supply of food was also a definite asset. They kept their soldiers fairly happy and healthy while serving. The North had a smaller desertion rate than that of the South; this was due to their better supplies (Davis 88).

After the spring of 1862 there was a scarcity of food. There were only women left to till the fields and



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