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Historical Archaeology

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 3–23 | Cite as

Where’s the beef? Food supply at an antebellum frontier post

  • David Colin Crass
  • Deborah L. Wallsmith
Article

Abstract

The range of sources used by the American frontier military for food supplies in the period immediately preceding the Civil War is examined. The discussion focuses on material (particularly the faunal remains) excavated from the site of Cantonment Burgwin (1852–1860), an army post located in north-central New Mexico on the western margin of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (southern Rockies). Archival data are drawn both from sources associated directly with the post as well as from sources associated with the larger Department of New Mexico military command. Although a paucity of provenience information for the faunal data hampers the inferences which can be made, it is provisionally concluded that opportunistic purchasing on the local market combined with a primary subsistence base strongly tied to the East helped insure survival of the post in the antebellum Southwest.

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Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Colin Crass
    • 1
    • 2
  • Deborah L. Wallsmith
    • 3
  1. 1.Savannah River Archaeological Research ProgramUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and AnthropologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologySouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA

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