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John D. Billings, Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life, V. Life in log huts. (search)
the mess kettles. There is a familiar anecdote related of Daniel Webster: that while he was Secretary of State, the French Minister at Washington asked him whether the United States would recognize the new government of France — I think Louis Napoleon's. Assuming a very solemn tone and posture, Webster replied: Why not? The United States has recognized the Bourbons, the French Republic, the Directory, the Council of Five Hundred, the First Consul, the Emperor, Louis XVIII., Charles X., Louis Philippe, the --Enough! Enough! cried the minister, fully satisfied with the extended array of precedents cited. So in regard to using our mess kettles to boil clothes in, it might be asked Why not? Were they not used to boil our meat and Cleaning up. potatoes in, to make our bean, pea, and meat soups in, to boil our tea and coffee in, to make our apple and peach sauce in? Why not use them as wash-boilers? Well, gentle reader, while it might at first interfere somewhat with your appetite