Since our research library is on a food kick, I thought I'd share this interesting recipe from Wilbur Fisk's, "Hard Marching Everyday." While not a Berdan Sharpshooter, Fisk is arguably the most prolific and detailed diarist of the soldier's experience. In fact, this book is filled with so much incredible detail, I can't recommend it enough. I bought my copy for only $10 on Amazon. The following excerpt can be found on pg. 93.
Camp near White Oak Church, VA May 29, 1863
"My tent-mate has just brought from the fire a savory dish of 'hash' which he has prepared from hard tack and fresh beef. He has a very excellent way of making such material eminently palatable. Assuming that no one else knows how it is done, and that every one would like to know, I will explain the process:
He takes a small bag, like the one inside of our haversacks, and puts as many crackers into it as he thinks his appetite will demand. And then with a cudgel, or something else, he pounds these crackers till they are as fine as flour. He cuts up his meat as fine as his patience will allow, using his jack knife and fingers instead of a chopping knife and tray. The next thing is to get a spider and pour into it some broth or 'pot-liquor' that he saved when the cooks boiled the fresh meat, and which would otherwise have been thrown away. Into this he puts his meat too, and then pour in with it as much water as he has broth, and as a general thing a little more, for he says it would be too strong and too salt, and taste altogether too 'beefy' unless it is a little mite reduced. As soon as this is made to boil, the cracker flour is stirred in. If he has any potatoes, which he frequently doesn't, he boils and smashes them, and mixes them in too. It doesn't need to cook long, and when it is done, he has a dish good enough for anybody, -- a super-excellent one for soldiers. I have heard unimpeachable critics pronounce it bully, and as that is the most expressive word in the soldier's vernacular, it precludes the necessity for further comment.