April 3, 2011

"Beer became a prominent commodity because the German regiments from Wisconsin got shipments of fresh beer."

"The Germans spread beer-drinking into elements of the social structures."

Civil War history.

23 comments:

Lincolntf said...

Interesting article.
I certainly never knew the Badgers played football on the site of a prison camp.
Best elementary school trip ever was to George's Island, one of a few Civil War prisons stuck in the middle of Boston Harbor.
Creee-eeepy....

chickelit said...

My great great grandfather enlisted in the Civil War and was gone 3 years. While he was gone, 3 of his oldest children died of diphtheria. The oldest, a girl survived. He returned and fathered 7 more (he was a farmer and blacksmith). He's buried in Richland Center.

They were pious people and mostly frowned on beer drinking, at least excessive drinking. Richland Center was long a "dry town" and only repealed prohibition in the 1970s. According to the Wiki, there is only one dry town left in Wisconsin. link.

Calypso Facto said...

Thx, Chick. Didn't know we had any dry towns left.

And at your link: "On April 5, 2011, in the Wisconsin 2011 spring election, voters will be voting for the seventh time about changing restrictions on the sale of beer and alcohol in Sparta."

Now there's an 4/5 election with REAL consequences!

kate said...

Loved the footnote about cheese, too.

The Drill SGT said...

I think the beer part was overhyped in one respect. Clearly other states had both biggie beer drinking populations and larger troop contributions. Pennsylvania for one.

On the other hand, beer drinking was safer than drinking unboiled water in an Army camp. That BTW was another reason by the Army supplied huge amounts of coffee beans.

The Drill SGT said...

I think the beer part was overhyped in one respect. Clearly other states had both biggir beer drinking populations and larger troop contributions. Pennsylvania for one.

On the other hand, beer drinking was safer than drinking unboiled water in an Army camp. That BTW was another reason by the Army supplied huge amounts of coffee beans.

edutcher said...

The Know-Nothings equated beer with Irish whiskey, since the majority of Germans fleeing to America, like the Micks, were Catholic..

As Gene Wilder told us, the Know Nothings were, "...the salt of the earth, the common clay, you know..., morons".

Crimso said...

It's Minie (or minie), not "mini-." There was nothing mini about them unless you were comparing them to cannon balls.

Wisconsin soldiers, along with the other Westerners, were considered to be especially tough, as they were living in what was frontier land not long before. The author writes in a way that conflates brigades with regiments (which might be more understandable in today's military units) when mentioning the Iron Brigade.

It is interesting to note that your neighbors in the 1st Minnesota suffered 83% casualties in a very short period of time at Gettysburg. The reason wasn't incompetence. Check it out. It's quite a dramatic story. Even by Gettysburg standards. Or Wisconsin.

enicar333 said...

Wisconsinites like to fight over everything. Here in Racine we are now fighting over whether or not homebrewed beer can be consumed outside of ones home. Local officials and businesses are involved and Racine might lose The Great Lakes Brew Fest. If officials get their way it could affect the beer, wine and cheese at the Arts Walk. People are facing $10,000 fines and it could affect events at Fairs!! Watch for this to go viral.

http://racineuncovered.org/?p=33165#more-33165

Crimso said...

And no mention of Heg.

My great grandfather was on Arthur MacArthur's staff while MacArthur was the U.S. military attache to Japan. Along with Arthur's son, Douglas. The MacArthur's are one of only two father-son combinations to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Do you know the other pair without peeking? Hint: it's a name you'll recognize more readily than MacArthur.

chickelit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickelit said...

The MacArthur's are one of only two father-son combinations to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Do you know the other pair without peeking?

McCains I and II?

As for navel tradition, the Morrisons could have won too if James Douglas hadn't been just into the gazing part.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Teddy Roosevelt

Father and Son

Spanish American War for Father

WWII (Utah Landing) for son, though Junior also commanded a regiment in France (26th) in WWI

Sixty Grit said...

Now, all Wisconsonites spread is communism.

My great-grandfather fought those drunken krauts then, and given the opportunity, I will fight them now.

LarsPorsena said...

"..Do you know the other pair without peeking? Hint: it's a name you'll recognize more readily than MacArthur."

I had to cheat. I forgot about Teddy getting his retroactively in 2000.

Crimso said...

Drill SGT wins. Just one of the pieces of trivia I picked up researching for an article I'm writing for our local county historical society. The article is about 7 members of the 104th IL Volunteer Inf Reg being awarded the MOH for a very obscure action near here. And 7 is nowhere near the record for a single action. Know how many have won 2 (not counting the ones who were awarded the MOH by different branches of the service for the same action)?

The Drill SGT said...

14, Doubles

The highest number of awards on a % basis has to be the Victoria Cross winniers from Rorke's Drift

aka Zulu!

The Drill SGT said...

11 VC's awarded to a unit of 150 men.

perhaps it would have been higher, but VC's were not aarded posthumously at that point.

Ben G. said...

A few quick observations... the beer aspect is overplayed in my opinion. Philly was exporting beer by 1685. The Anglo-Americans along the eastern seaboard quite adept at brewing and boozing when the West was Pittsburgh. As for piety, many early Philly brewers were slave owning Quakers, so that only goes so far.

Smedley Butler was a PA native who was awarded 2 MOH. Also, the MOH was early awarded for activities that were not necessarily martial. I think that some Civil War Regiments from PA were awarded the MOH for re-enlisting in 1861-2, causing a later congressional committee to rescind some MOHs and set up more stringent rules for the issuance thereof.

former law student said...

A few quick observations... the beer aspect is overplayed in my opinion. Philly was exporting beer by 1685.

That was ale. The 48ers brought lager beer technology with them, aging beer for months at 40F. The necessity of doing so in cold cellars made lagering extremely difficult in flat, marshy places like Chicago.

Right about the Minie ball -- accent aigu over the e. Other advances in firearms for the Civil War were the (percussion) cap lock and the Gatling gun. (Naval advances included the submarine and the ironclad.)

Ben G. said...

There is a difference between ale and beer, but not all beer was or is lager. Early settlers were using many things to brew beer, including Indian corn, spruce, pumpkins, etc. Samuel Carpenter was brewing beer in Phila. Both malt and hops were imported from England until they could figure out what varieties would grow best here. Anyway, Pastorius and company were already brewing German-style beer in Germantown before 1700, and William Penn wrote about the beer brewed in Bucks County PA. In a six month period he bought over 5000 gallons of beer from Phila. brewers for himself and guests. His homebrew was for the servants, slaves and children.

A sub was also deployed during the American Rev. It failed.

former law student said...

Anyway, Pastorius and company were already brewing German-style beer in Germantown before 1700, and William Penn wrote about the beer brewed in Bucks County PA.

Those were top fermented ales, or Altbier.

Bottomfermenting lagers were developed in the 1830s, independently by Sedelmyer in Bavaria and by Dreher in Austria.