Sutler Store

  • American Civil War
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Civilian Merchants have been “following and supplying” soldiers for centuries. Often procuring the items that a soldier needed in the field (that were not issued – or that he was NOT supposed to have), these Merchants (while some were obviously “shady” - and making a “buck” off of the poor soldier), served an important place in many Countries military history. During The American Civil War, these men were known as Sutlers. Often traveling with many wagons and tents, The Sutler provided (for a fee), everything a soldier needed. Tobacco, playing card, uniform component pieces – even food – all these were available (often at high prices). Business was brisk in the early war years. Towards the end, with South in ruins, many Northern soldiers took to foraging (by fair means and foul), to procure their needs. Southern soldiers too had Sutlers early in the war. However, they disappeared very early due to the Union Blockade. Sutler's were known for also being able to procure the many exotic weapons and knifes found among the effects of Union soldiers. Of course, alcohol was an illegal product in Camp Life. Without a doubt, a Sutler could procure it (of course the penalty for both the offending soldier and Sutler was great – if caught!).