When nations had a civil war or a war with other nations, men and women were prepared to be sent to the worst conditions: gunshots, maybe summer heat or long winter nights, all sorts of creepy crawlies, and almost nonexistent good hygiene.

Do you fancy taking long, hot showers and wearing fresh clothes? Well, too bad you can’t have that on the battlefield. So how did civil war soldiers handle hygiene? 

Camps Surrounded With Filth, Slop, and Excrement

During Civil War, it was supposed to be an official requirement that soldiers take a complete bath once or twice a month. This is not only to prevent them from smelling like fermented meat but also to prevent them from contracting hygiene-related diseases.

However, many still went a long time without cleaning themselves. Interestingly, the requirements were not as frequent as we imagine: daily washing of hands and face, washing of feet at least once per month, and a complete bath once or twice per month. Brushing teeth? Don’t even think about it.