7. The Union issued a new form of vegetables to be eaten on the march
As Union authorities gradually came to realize the need for vegetables in the diet of their troops they adopted an innovative means of supplying them. Vegetables of all types, including greens, roots, and the edible skins of fruits were dried, compressed into cubes or cakes, and sent to the troops to be rehydrated by boiling in water. They were described as desiccated vegetables. Being troops in the field, the men irreverently called them desecrated vegetables. But they ate them, as much for the variation in their diet as for any other reason. During the last year of the Civil War the overall health of the Union Army was better than any preceding period of the conflict.