American Citizen (Canton, Miss.), Nov. 23, 1861.

During the Civil War, families on the home front and the Confederate forces suffered from food shortages.  Coffee was often particularly difficult to obtain.  Many substitutes for the popular beverage were offered in newspaper articles and magazines.  A wide variety of roasted plants and vegetables were tried as substitutes for coffee.  The American Citizen, November 23, 1861, suggested drying peeled sweet potatoes cut in small pieces and then grinding them the same as coffee beans.  The dried, ground sweet potato and coffee mixture was suggested not only for its economy, but also for its superior flavor.