April 21 - May 5, 2012
The third installment of curator Brett Kelley's fundraising and educational initiative and an experience of a lifetime!
In the summer of 1864 as the Union army prepared to lay siege to the city of Petersburg, Virginia, the need to supply bread to the thousands of troops in the Army of the Potomac was becoming critical. Lieutenant General U.S. Grant ordered that bread ovens be constructed at City Point, Virginia. City Point was the Union Army's main supply base on the James River. In addition to building massive stocks of supplies, a railroad was built from City Point directly to the front line surrounding Petersburg. With the new bread ovens in full production, over 100,000 loaves of bread were baked daily to meet the army's needs. The process of supplying the troops was so efficient that many troops on the front lines received their bread rations while they were still warm.
Curator Brett Kelley lived the life of a Union soldier on commissary duty for 2 weeks. He used brick and stone bread ovens constructed just behind the Museum to bake bread to "feed the troops" each day. Volunteers helped in the baking process and by the end of the 2-week period, Brett had baked more than 100 loaves in one day! All bread was donated to St. Francis Soup Kitchen in Harrisburg through the Central PA Food Bank.
Follow his journey on his blog: http://feedingthearmy.wordpress.com
Thank you to all our bread sponsors!
G.H. Bent Company (20 loaves): Sold the original hardtack crackers; still in existence
General John F. Hartranft Sons of Union Veterans Camp 15
Government Bakery (10 loaves)
Lee R. Moore
Wallace & Diana Lee
Jamieson Bakery (6 loaves): Unknown if bakery was used by the Union army to feed the troops, but was in existence 1786 through 1888
Kathleen & David Smolizer
Union Mechanical Bakery (4 loaves): Brooklyn, NY bakery supposed Union troops with bread
Ron & Kate Conard
Robert Stears (2 loaves): NYC Bakery furnished bread for the Union Army)
William G. Williams
Rebecca Sheppard in honor of Samuel Sheppard