“Strong Enough To Float An Iron Wedge”

How coffee helped win the Civil War

In the waning daylight of the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, a tremendous cheer suddenly resounded from the 23rd Ohio Volunteers arrayed across a cornfield in Sharpsburg, Maryland. The tired men could see the figure of their 19-year-old-commissary sergeant driving his mule team through shot and shell to their front lines bearing barrels of hot coffee and food. Every man in that regiment received a cup of hot java—and a second wind—courtesy of young William McKinley, who would later become the 25th president of the U.S. Read more »