24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry
24th Michigan of the Iron Brigade

Furthering our Knowledge

What is Switchel?
Men and women worked hard outside during this time period.  They faced the heat and humidity just as we do, but they didn't have sports drinks like we do today to rehydrate them, or did they?  In fact they did!  Switchel, or also known as Hay Time Switchel, was the Gatorade, if you will, of the day.  The women would mix up batches and take it to the men while they worked in the hot fields.  There are many recipes that can be found online.  Try different recipes.  If you are anything like me reading the ingredients may turn you off, but you may be pleasantly surprised.  You could enjoy a very old summer beverage with your family this summer.

Switchel has been consumed in America since the 1600's.  Hay Time Switchel became the name in about the 1800's because the men were harvesting the hay and they would consume it then.  They may take a concentrate with them and add cool spring waters while working.

Hope you enjoy this little piece of history this summer.
Would you like your group to know more about the Civil War?
As a non-profit organization we are happy to share our knowledge and information with you.   We have done presentations in classrooms, associations and various groups.  If you are interested in learning more about the Civil War please feel free to contact us via email; you can email any board member to help. (Find our email addresses on the About Us page.)

If you would like us to come onsite for a presentation it would help us to know:
  • if guns are allowed (so we know if it is permissible to bring historic reproduction or actual artifacts onsite) and the age range of the group being spoken to   
  • how long would you like someone to speak 
  • day of the week you would like the presentation to take place   
We often are asked what is our fee our answer is we don't charge one.  We are a non-profit group so if you feel so inclined to make a donation to our 501 (C) 3 organization we would be very grateful.
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