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[63]

Bread and coffee for the cavalryman The mess-house for cavalry ordered to Washington.--In the field the cavalrymen were glad when they could get the regular rations — bacon and hard bread. During the winter, in permanent camp, they occasionally enjoyed the luxury of soft bread. But they were kept so constantly employed, reconnoitering the enemy's position, watching the fords of the Rappahannock, and engaged in almost constant skirmishing, even in severe winter weather while the infantry was being made comfortable in winter-quarters, that this mess-house was regarded as a sort of Mecca by the troopers sent to Washington to be organized and remounted. Soft bread was not the only luxury here, and when they rejoined their commands their comrades would listen with bated breath to their thrilling stories of soup and eggs and other Lucullan delicacies. There was an army saying that it takes a good trooper to appreciate a good meal.

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