This ball of cornpone was issued to a Union prisoner at the Confederate prison in Andersonville, Georgia. Cornpone, a type of cornbread made from cornmeal dough and cooked over an open fire with oil or bacon grease, was a food staple for both armies. Andersonville was a particularly terrible place to be imprisoned. At one point, more than 33,000 men were penned in an area meant for 10,000. Thousands of soldiers died from poor conditions, such as inadequate food, filthy water, and a lack of medical care.
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