Since so many Athens, Illinois men in the Civil War served in the Infantry, a look at that organization is in order:
'The average infantry regiment of 10 companies consisted of 30 line officers and 1300 men. However, by the time a new regiment reached the battlefield, it would often have less than 800 men available for combat duty. Sickness and details as cooks, teamsters, servants, and clerks accounted for the greatly reduced numbers. Actually, in many of the large battles the regimental fighting strength averaged no more than 480 men.'
In 1864 the basic daily ration for a Union soldier was (in ounces); 20 - beef, 18 - flour; 2.56 - dried beans; 1.6 - green coffee; 2.4 - sugar; .64 - salt; and, smaller amounts of pepper, yeast, powder, soap, candles and vinegar.
While campaigning, soldiers seldom obtained their full ration and many had to forage for subsistence.