Desperate times call for desperate measures!
Times were tough back in ye old times of the Civil War. Food was being rationed, hundreds of thousands of soldiers were dying, and coffee was a hot commodity that the Union army was guzzling faster than the Confederates and civilians could keep up with.
“Nobody can ‘soldier’ without coffee,” the New York Times wrote in an article about coffee’s importance in the Civil War. “Union troops made their coffee everywhere, and with everything: with water from canteens and puddles, brackish bays and Mississippi mud, liquid their horses would not drink.”