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However, to find a plow credited to the account of John Meeker ..somewhat of a surprise." ---"An Elizabethtown Tavern and its Ledger," Elmer T. 453-454) Food in wartime is often a precious commodity.
Despite its strategic location, the garrison at Fort Donelson ran out of provisions... 3) Bartering instead of cash Bartering (trading) goods and services in lieu of monetary payment was common in pre-iundustrial times.
HISTORICAL USA RETAIL FOOD PRICES: SOURCES, SURVEYS & DATA [1600-1860] The Value of a Dollar: Colonial Era to the Civil War, prices extracted from advertisements, newspapers, commodities listings, and personal inventories.  Sears Roebuck and Company Catalog, mail order groceries  "New Facts on the Increased Cost of Living," New York Times, March 27, 1910 (p. [1913-1923] Average retail food prices for 51 cities, Monthly Labor Review, March 1923  Food for the Worker/Frances Stern & Gertrude Spitz [1928 & 1929] Average retail food prices for 51 cities, Monthly Labor Review, December 1929  Thanksgiving food prices  Good Cooking Made Easy/Haseltine & Dow [1980-present] Average retail food prices --by product and region Colonial American tavern (publik house, ordinary) prices were set by law.
Earliest prices are expressed in pence/colonial scrip. Food was generally included with the price of room.
The effects of these losses were felt as far east as Macon, Georgia, where beef prices went from ten to twenty cents a pound in a few days... 32-33) "When food became unaffordable for many Southerns, the Confederate government stepped in and tried to place price controls on various commodities in the hope of keeping prices down. It was especially viable during periods of hardship and war.
The scarcity of provisions for the arm and the price for food in the marketplace caused concern throughout the South." ---Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War, Andrew F. However, farmers hoarded staples rather than sell them at the artificially lower prices, resulting in less food on the open market. A farmer could barter grain and vegetables for a horse; a merchant could accept flour for tools, a cobbler could exchange a new pair of shoes for a winter coat.