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In Their Own Words

March 15, 1864

Food Shortage Led to Squirrel Eating

Julia Johnson Fisher wrote in her diary of the food shortages caused by the Civil War; her husband had resorted to eating a squirrel for breakfast.

Mr. Fisher is 76 years old today. Kate Lang and all the children walked over to see us this morning and settle an affair with the negroes. Willie Bailey dined with us on rice and hominy. Our pork is gone and there’s no prospect for any meat at present. The pigs fatten too slowly to supply the demand. Mr. Fisher caught a squirrel in a trap which was served for his breakfast. Kate says they are obliged to economize closely at their table. Famine threatens to follow in the wake of the war. Fred writes that he has but one meal a day which he cooks himself and his house suffers for want of food. The Confederates fight like tigers with a yell and a whoop.”

Source: Julia Johnson Fisher, 1814-1885 Diary, 1864