I've read old military rations lists, and vinegar was an apparently common part of a soldier's rations in both the AWI and the ACW, and I wonder why. Was it a condiment to make the soldiers' bland rations taste better, or did it have some medicinal use? Now, we hardly ever use it for modern cooking (salads, pepper juice/vinegar we use for cooked turnip/collard greens) but you don't see it in many recipes for cooked food. I saw a video of Townsend using it in a stew, I think as a flavoring. Since vinegar isn't all that pleasant straight, I wonder how it enhances foods of that era. Or maybe I'm missing something here.