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Preparations for (Civil) War

(Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University)
Unidentified sergeant, U.S. Colored Troops.

This weekend is the 141st anniversary of the Battle of Forks Road, the final Union victory before the taking of Wilmington in the Civil War. The Cameron Art Museum, which now occupies that former battlefield, hosts a re-enactment this weekend, boasting the largest gathering of African-American re-enactors ever in the state. WHQR's Megan Williams joined one of them to learn more about his preparations...

By Megan V. Williams


Wilmington, NC, February 22, 2006 – Hard Tack

-2 cups of flour
-1/2 to 3/4 cup water
-1 tablespoon of Crisco or vegetable fat
-6 pinches of salt

Mix the ingredients together into a stiff batter, knead several times, and spread the dough out flat to a thickness of 1/2 inch on a non-greased cookie sheet. Bake for one-half an hour at 400 degrees. Remove from oven, cut dough into 3-inch squares, and punch four rows of holes, four holes per row into the dough. Turn dough over, return to the oven and bake another one-half hour. Turn oven off and leave the door closed. Leave the hardtack in the oven until cool.
(from the children's page at Gettysburg National Military Park)

You can find more information about this weekend's reenactment at Cameron Art Museum on their calendar: www.cameronartmuseum.com/calendar
To learn more about African-American Civil War reenactors, please visit The U.S.C.T. Living History Brigade.

Support for local arts and cultural programming comes from WHQR members, and Landfall Foundation, an organization of residents who support projects enhancing health, education and the arts in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender Counties.