In 1865, after four harsh years of war both the people of the north and the south suffered from hunger. Not only the soldiers of the confederacy and union, but the civilian populations as well. Riots even broke out especially over the important preservative salt. The most famous food riot however was the bread riot. The rioters stole food for moral reasons on top of just plain starvation.
The confederate soldiers on the other hand were living off horse feed containing old hard corn on the cob, which caused them excruciating pain in the teeth and gums. Other military men were so desperate to feed their hunger they trained themselves to develop a taste for rats. In the earlier years of the war in 1862 General Lee wondered whether starvation would be more of a threat than the enemy forces.
Northern soldiers received more food per person than any other army in History of warfare. The north supplied more food even with a third of its farm work force in battle, due to mechanization.
When the civil war began, many southern agricultural leaders called upon people to show support for their soldiers by growing more corn instead of cotton. Thus bringing up a major concern with slave owners whose slaves would now have more time on their hands. As the war went on slaves and planters struggled over game in the woods of the south. The lives of everyone living in the era, no matter what race or occupation proved a struggle. As the war ended soldiers came home to the south to find their slaves living in comfort. Cotton had become the second most important cash crop in the post Bellum south. Farmers grew so much cotton they were unable to harvest it all themselves leading to the sharecropping and the growing of commercialization of farming.
Fertilizer became the most critical component…