Okay, I know that in New Orleans they used chicory root for coffee, but this is just ridiculous. This is evidence the blockade was definitely working.
MEMPHIS DAILY APPEAL [MEMPHIS, TN], November 10, 1861
Coffee.—In these war times it is quite an object to make economical investments in this article, but aside from this, the coffee that you can make from this recipe will be found far superior to the very best you can get anywhere, either North or South, and those who give it a fair trial will be unwilling to go back even to the best Java.
Take sweet potatoes and after peeling them, cut them up into small pieces about the size of the joint in your little finger, dry them either in the sun or by the fire, (sun dried probably the best,) and then parch and grind the same as coffee. Take two-thirds of this to one-third of coffee to a making.
Try it, not particularly for the economy, but for its superiority over any coffee you ever tasted.