TACWM logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Object Name COFFEE BEANS
Catalog Number 0985.13.00498
Description There are two tablespoons of unroasted coffee beans. They are now stored in an archival box, but were donated in a glass bottle originally used to hold silver nitrate (lunar caustic); the whereabouts of this bottle are unknown.
Owned James R. Werth (tentative)
Owner Regiment 4th Virginia Cavalry, Co. E
Event Surrender at Appomattox, Virginia, April 9, 1865
Provenance A ration of coffee beans (two tablespoons) for nine men, issued to Mess no. 1, Co. E, 4th Virginia Cavalry, on the retreat from Richmond to Appomattox. The beans were originally in a glass bottle, which has apparently been missing for many years.

"Two tablespoons full of untoasted coffee in a bottle. The last ration of coffee issued on the retreat from Richmond to Appomattox Court House to Mess No. 1, Co. E, 4th Virginia Cavalry. This was a ration for 9 men! On the march James R. Werth picked up a bottle containing luna caustic [silver nitrate], threw the caustic away, and put the coffee in the bottle where it is now."

"The last ration of coffee issued to mess No. 1, Company E, 4th Virginia Cavalry, on the retreat from Richmond to Appomattox. There was no time to toast it to grind it or to make it. It is unconsumed. It is therefore just as it was issued. Two table-spoons full, a ration for 12 men!"
People Werth, James Rhodes
Search Terms Appomattox Campaign
Surrender at Appomattox, Virginia, April 9, 1865
Subjects Beverages
Coffee
drinks
Food
Retreats, Military
surrenders
Rations