Havresack

A soldier's havresack is where he would keep his rations that he did not eat right away. Traditionally, each soldier's mess (six men) would be issued with three days worth of rations at a time. Although this was not always possible, if it did happen, the men would cook and eat the rations for that day and carry the rest with them. (Sometimes the men would be issued with three days rations after not eating for days, and would eat everything right away, leaving themselves to starve for another two days). In the warmer months, the food would often become a churned, nearly inedible mass after three days. The havresack would also carry any other possessions the soldier wanted to keep with him, rather than in his pack. This often included what little money he had, and perhaps dice or a deck of cards. The havresack was made of linen and closed with two pewter buttons.