The Confederate Receipt Book, published by West & Johnson in Richmond in 1863, is thought to be the only Southern recipe book printed for general distribution during the American Civil War. It contains a collection (gleaned by West & Johnson from Southern newspapers) of over 100 recipes and remedies (some of which would be considered quite dangerous today) and hints for camp life and the Southern household. Food historian Patricia Mitchell prefaces this reprinted edition with an explanatory introduction.
Among the items in the book are instructions for “Apple Pie without Apples,” “Artificial Oysters,”“Substitute for Coffee,” “To Cement Broken China or Glass,” “Cure for Chills,” and “Cure for Camp Itch.”
The cover of this reprinted edition exhibits a background pattern derived from a wallpaper of the period, in commemoration of the fact that some copies of the original 1863 printed edition used covers made of wallpaper due to wartime paper shortages. The original text has been carefully reformatted to resemble the original, while achieving the readability and clarity expected in a modern publication.
The reader will be both enlightened and entertained by this remarkable and authentic relic of Civil War history and Southern culture.