Coffee was a staple of the Union Army. Each soldier received a daily ration of 1/10 pound of green coffee beans, which they had to roast and grind themselves.
The grinding process consisted of smashing the beans between a rock and the butt of their gun. This made for an uneven grind and destroyed more than one rifle stock. Members of the Union-affiliated Christian Commission provided a better brew at large scale, long term encampments, but they could not serve the troops on the move.
In March of 1863, Jacob Dunton, a Philadelphia pill maker patented the coffee wagon, a modified artillery caisson and gun carriage that could “march” with the army. The coffee wagon carried three 35 gallon wood fired urns that brewed up 105 gallons of fresh coffee every hour. It was pulled by a standard limber, but the ammunition chest held coffee beans and grinders instead of shot and gunpowder.
While the Union soldiers relied on the effects of caffeine, the Rebels were out of luck. They drank poor substitutes made from acorns, beans, chickory, corn, cotton seed, dandelion roots, sugarcane, parched rice, wheat, peanuts, sweet potatoes, rye or okra.
Laser cut ply and basswood parts form the wagon platform and chassis. Precisely cast Britannia metal parts include coffee urns, spigots, chimneys with vents & caps. Wooden wheels with metal hubs and axels replicate the originals. Miniature brass nails, metal tubing, a bucket with lid and colorful decal sheet add life-like authenticity.
Illustrated assembly instructions. Assembly time 5-10 hours.
Requires tools and paint.