During the American Revolutionary war, the
Continental army had many Generals, but did you know that they had a
Baker General whose only responsibility was to bake bread?
Bread was the most important food source
for the Continental Soldier. Every day whenever bread was available,
each soldier was given an allotment of a one pound loaf of bread. The
bread was so hard that it could only be eaten after dipped in warm
water or soup.
One loaf of a bread was so hard, it
actually saved the life of a Continental soldier in battle. On January
3, 1776,during the battle of Princeton, Isaac Crandell, a private in
the Rhode Island Continental line was shot in the back by a British
soldier. The musket ball entered Crandell's knapsack and lodged
itself in a loaf a bread that Crandell was carrying in his
knapsack, knocking Crandell to the ground Without knowing it,
Crandell had probably accidently developed America's first bullet
proof vest. When Crandell got up and dusted himself off, the British
soldier ran away in fright.
In 1777, Christopher Ludwick became the
first Baker General of the Continental army.Ludwick was born in Griessen
Germany on October 17, 1720. As a child, Ludwick apprenticed under his
father to learn the skills of a Baker.
Atthe age of 17, Ludwick joined the
Austrian army. In 1737, Ludwick participated in the Austro- Turkish
war. In 1718, after the treaty of Passarowitz, Austria was in control
of northern Serbia and Belgrade. In 1737, Austrian Forces invaded
Bosnia which was part of the Turkish Ottoman empire. In 1739, the
Ottoman forces defeated the Austrian army forcing them to retreat in a
forced march back to Vienna. Ludwick barely made it back to Vienna
alive. During this march,75 men out of the100 men in Ludwick's company
died before reaching Vienna.
In 1740, Ludwick moved to England, and
joined the British Navy. Between 1740-1745. Ludwick sailed on the Duke
of Cumberland as the ship's cook and baker. In 1745, Ludwick had
enough of Navy life and quit the Britsh Navy.
In 1754, Ludwick sailed to Philadelphia
PA from England. Upon arrival, Ludwick started the first gingerbread
bakery in Philadelphia. In 1755, Ludwick married Catherine England,
and had one child from this union that later died while as a
child. Between 1755-1774, Ludwick invested in Real estate becoming a
wealthy man. In 1774, Ludwick gave 200 pounds to the PA militia to
buy guns and gunpowder.
In 1776, Ludwick joined the Continental
army under one condition, that he not be paid for his services while
in the army. Ludwick was a true patriot. His first job was to
interview Hessian prisoners taken at the battle of Saratoga since he
spoke German. Ludwick brought the Hessians bread from his bakery and
convinced many of them to defect from the British army, and join the
Later that year in 1777, Ludwick became
the first Baker General of the Continental army. At Valley Forge from
December 1777-June 1778, Ludwick made sure that each soldier had his
daily ration of Firecake bread. In 1779 at the Morristown
Winter encampment, Continental soldiers sometimes went as long as
eight days without any bread or food due to the lack of flour. Farmers
in the Delaware valley nearby charged such outrageous prices for wheat
the Continental army couldn't afford to feed everyone.
In October 1781, Ludwick was responsible
for feeding the British prisoners taken at Yorktown. Over 6000 loaves
of bread were made each day for the British prisoners.
After the war Ludwick went back to
Philadelphia to find that the British had burned all his real estate
holdings and stolen most of his goods. Ludwick was now penniless. This
didn't stop Ludwick though. With some partners, Ludwick started a new
bakery, invested in real estate again helping him to become wealthy
for a second time.
Ludwick was a very religious man. Ludwick
wore a medallion that stated " the blood of Christ cleanseth from all
sin". During the 1790's Ludwick fed the poor hungry people of
Philadelphia at the same time witnessing to them about his religion
In 1798, Ludwick married Sophia binder
after his wife Catherine died. On June 10, 1801 Ludwick died in
Philadelphia. Before Ludwick died he set up a trust under the name of
the Ludwick Foundation of over 13000 dollars so that poor people
could go to school. During the 1790's Ludwick had started a school for
former slaves so they could go to school as well. Today the trust has
grown to over 5 million dollars to help poor people go to College.
Through Ludwick's generous giving even people in the Appalachian
region have applied for grants through the Ludwick Foundation so they
can earn an education in College.