Civil War 150 Lecture Series: Dr. Andrew Haley to Present “The Bitter Taste of Defeat: Food and the Civil War”

News item published on: 2013-09-18 14:25:00

University Libraries at the University of Southern Mississippi will sponsor the fourth in a series of five talks relating to the American Civil War on Monday, September 23, 2013, 6-7 p.m. in the Cook Library Art Gallery (LIB 105A).

“The Bitter Taste of Defeat: Food and the Civil War,” by Andrew P. Haley, will discuss how the gastronomic record of the War Between the States is more than the sorry tale of soldiers eating bug-infested hardtack. Rather, it is the story of how the South, overcommitted to cotton and unprepared to raise the food required to fight a war, struggled to feed both its soldiers and civilians while the rapidly industrializing North took full advantage of canned milk and meat to eat its way to victory.

Andrew P. Haley is an associate professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi who studies class and culture in the United States from the Gilded Age through the 1950s. He is the James Beard award-winning author of Turning the Tables: American Restaurant Culture and the Rise of the Middle Class, 1880-1920. Haley is currently working on two projects, a short book that explores the global history of restaurant dining and a larger work that considers how children learned to eat and cook in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and what that says about modern consumer culture.

In September and October, University Libraries is sponsoring the Civil War 150 Lecture Series. The series focuses on different aspects of the Civil War including the life of the average soldier, African American writer and reformer Harriet Jacobs, food in the Civil War, singing and fiddling by soldiers, and slave insurrections in Mississippi. The talks are made possible by a grant from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, The Library of America, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information about this talk or the lecture series, contact Jennifer Brannock at or 601.266.4347.