Wars

One Nation, Under (the Influence of) Alcohol An Inside Look at Alcohol's Role in the Civil War

One Nation, Under (the Influence of) Alcohol An Inside Look at Alcohol's Role in the Civil War

Bloody battles, lionhearted leaders, valiant victories, and lamentable losses-the history of the Civil War has been told time and again. Yet, one monumental component of the Civil War has gone untold… until now.

Delving deep into rare Civil War memoirs and letters, today's guest, an “alco-historian,” is Mark Will-Weber, author of the book Muskets & Applejack: Spirits, Soldiers, and the Civil War. He discusses stories of the “whiskey war” to life by showing alcohol's potency on and off the battlefield. From who drank what to how major turning points of the war happened “under the influence,” Mark sheds a unique, unconventional light on one of America's most historic moments-and the imbibing that took place by both the Confederacy and the Union.

We discuss many things, including:

  • Officers too intoxicated with lager and whiskey to direct their troops
  • Enterprising soldiers finagling remarkable ways to acquire liquor
  • Raiders getting bogged down sampling stores of applejack
  • What famous Civil War leaders like Lincoln, Grant, Davis, and Lee drank-or didn't
  • Of course, the burning question-which side drank more?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Muskets and Applejack

Mark's Facebook Page

Mark on Twitter