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[226] was the molasses cakes or cookies which the sutlers vended at the rate of six for a quarter. They made a pleasant and not too rich or expensive dessert when hardtack got to be a burden. Then, one could buy sugar or molasses or flour of them, though at a higher price than the commissary charged for the same articles.

The commissary, I think I have explained, was an officer in charge of government rations. From him quartermasters obtained their supplies for the rank and file, on a written requisition given by the commander of a regiment or battery. He also sold supplies for officers' messes at cost price, and also to members of the rank and file, if they presented an order signed by a commissioned officer.

Towards the end of the war sutlers kept self-raising flour, which they sold in packages of a few pounds. This the men bought quite generally to make into fritters or pancakes. It would have pleased the celebrated four thousand dollar cook at the Parker House, in Boston, could he have seen the men cook these fritters. The mixing was a simple matter, as water was the only addition which the flour required, but the fun was in the turning. A little experience enabled a

Cooking pancakes.

man to turn them without the aid of a knife, by first giving the fry-pan a little toss upward and forward. This threw the cake out and over, to be caught again the uncooked side down — all in a half-second. But the miscalculations and mishaps experienced in performing this piece of culinary detail were numerous and amusing, many a cake being dropped into the fire, or taken by a sudden puff of wind, just as it got edgewise in the air, and whisked into the dirt.

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