“I wish some of you would tell me the brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.”
– President Abraham Lincoln, when confronted about General Ulysses Grant’s excessive drinking.
Blood, gunfire, and whiskey: they are the three things that defined Civil War battlefields. In this fascinating, booze-drenched history of the war that almost tore America apart, historian Mark Will-Weber (author of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt) weaves together lighthearted stories of drunken generals and out-of-control soldiers with the gritty reality of battlefields where whiskey was the only medicine-and sometimes the only food.
Muskets and Applejack paints a full, complex picture of the surprisingly large role alcohol played in the Civil War: how it helped heal physical and emotional wounds, form friendships, and cause strife. Interspersed between stories from the battlefield are authentic recipes of soldiers’ favorite drinks-from both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.