Historical accounts have a way of exposing--and exploding--many popular prepper beliefs and myths. This publication, in particular, impresses me partly because it is relatively recent and on my home soil in the USA. Civil War buffs, preppers, and survivalists will find this book useful and enlightening: Ersatz in the Confederacy by Mary Elizabeth Massey. It is an old book, published in 1952 by the University of South Carolina Press, but now and then a used copy shows up on Amazon.com. The author was an Associate Professor of History, Winthrop College and was a stickler for minute details about how people dealt with the appalling hardships and tribulation of the Civil War days.
Although the setting was in southern America, food was scarce. Even rats were becoming hard to find for food in some places. Common garden seeds were as rare as gold...there were serious salt shortages...
Here is an eye-opening excerpt to chew on:
"With meat practically nonexistent, fishing tackle scarce, and ammunition for hunting purposes hard to obtain, other substitutes had to be found. By the fall of 1864 things had come to such a pass that one (newspaper) editor suggested his readers resort to eating rats, frogs, fried snails, young crow, snakes, locusts, earthworms, cats and dogs... By this time many Confederates had already been eating these things. Rats had become an item in the diet of many. President Davis was quoted as saying that he saw no reason for not eating them, for he thought they would be "as good as squirrels." They were eaten in quantity by the besieged citizens of Vicksburg. On the eve of the capitulation of that city, a lady noted that rats were "hanging dressed in the market for sale...there is nothing else." They sometimes brought as much as $2.50 each. In Richmond, too, they found their way to the tables, while recipes for cooking them were circulated among the women."
Imagine that! Even squirrels were in scarce supply, along with everything else that could be hunted. It is hard to imagine that even rats became an expensive market item. $2.50 was a LOT of money for that time period. ONE RAT = ALMOST $40 in today's dollars!!!!
Aside from that bit of info, the entire book opened my eyes, and I learned a lot of new tricks about how to deal with potential future deprivations.
I found tons of valuable and practical information packed in this 233-page book. The footnotes listed at the end of the book is so detailed that it even includes recipes and other rich notations.
I ought to make a Cliff's Notes type summary of this book. It's that good.
Historical accounts have a way of exposing--and exploding--many popular prepper beliefs and myths
Crap Creek Survivor, Female
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