Made with flour and water (and sometimes a little salt) the hard tack biscuit was a nearly edible staple of food for the Civil War Solider. The hard biscuit travelled well and rarely spoiled on the hard forced marches and long campaigns. It took a bit of water to soften the thick biscuit that various and sundry nicknames describing how the soliders felt about the thick object.
Sheet Iron, Tooth Duller, Molar Breaker… the names kept coming and still the men found ways to eat the dull substance.
Soaking it in coffee or water helped to soften it into something the men could bite through, or if stew or chili was available it was preferable to just a drink. The doughy biscuit was helpful in filling their stomachs when little else was available for them to consume.
If you’re looking to purchase some of the crusty biscuits for a re-enactment, you can make them via a number of receipes online, or you can buy them from a company that has produced the product for over 100 years. G. H. Bent Co.