Cherokee Civil War Boiled Peanuts

by Randall Lewis Butler
(Carrollton, Georgia United States)

First off, remember this recipe is from my great-great-granddaddy who fought in the Civil War in the Cherokee division of the Confederate Army. He was full-blooded Eastern band Cherokee Indian. His name was Thomas Hobson Hawkins senior and went by the name of Hob. This is his recipe the exact way he told me when I was 5. I still use his recipe today.

Start off with a 55-gallon steel drum thoroughly cleaned and washed. First, put approximately two to four bags of raw peanuts in large bags, fill up two to three-quarters of the pot or more with water till the peanuts begin to float.

His recipe calls for a 5-pound block of salt which will then have to be ground down. The modern conversion will be approximately 2 to 5 boxes of rock salt depending on your taste.

To the mixture, now place approximately 8 to 10 meaty ham hocks in the pot. This adds a meaty flavor to the boiled peanuts. I'm not sure exactly what else it does, but it helps to work to tenderize them and give them a good flavor.

Now to mix. Use an old-fashioned clean wooden paddle boat paddle to thoroughly stir until the mixture is mixed. This will all need to be placed beforehand on an outside pit fire. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, periodically checking water approximately every 2 to 3 hours. It will need to boil for approximately 36 to 48 hours. Start checking the flavor of the brine and peanuts after approximately 24 hours. Once it's gotten to the desired flavor and tenderness, extinguish the fire and allow the pot to soak for 6 to 12 hours.

This should yield enough peanuts to feed a battalion, which from my understanding he worked as a cook for in the war, maybe too large of a recipe, LOL but that's exactly word for word how he explained it to me. They were poor back then and didn't always have enough meat to feed all the soldiers so also you see they didn't have a lot of food money or supplies so they had to come up with food the best ways they could to survive.

This recipe is excellent and has an excellent flavor. Sometimes when my great-great-granddaddy could not find ham hocks he would substitute, as he said, a deer neck roast. Both ways I have tried are excellent and taste wonderful. He died when I was approximately 9 years old.

I still love and miss the man. He taught me a lot.

Comments for Cherokee Civil War Boiled Peanuts

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Sep 11, 2018
Civil War Boiled Peanuts Recipe
by: Boiled Peanut World

Thank you for sharing this recipe, and story about Hob. He sounds like an amazing man, and the recipe sounds delicious.

Nov 30, 2018
by: Bodie

I liked old Hob's story, too.

Apr 14, 2019
I appreciate and thank y'all for all the nice comments about my great great grandfather.
by: Randall Butler

Thank you, I really appreciate the comments and it keeps his memory alive knowing that his recipe is out there and people are enjoying it. He lived to be the ripe old age of 116 years old when he died.

I got to know him when I was real young. He'd like to talk and tell stories that I didn't really remember a lot of, or understand them, but my great-grandfather hop Junior memorized a lot of his stories and what I couldn't remember, he related to me. They're all listed in our family history book, a lot of his stories and recipes. I thank y'all and may God bless each and everyone of you.

Jun 28, 2019
Great history
by: Cliff

Thanks for sharing, love hearing about stuff like this passed down from generation to generation... thank you! (And Hob!)

Jul 28, 2020
by: Lindsay

That’s really cool of you to share this special family recipe and the man behind it, thanks!

Sep 28, 2020
Great idea
by: Anonymous

I've never considered adding ham hocks but I can see how it would add a nice flavor.

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