Navy beans probably did indeed feed sailors. Black eyed peas are named, horrifically, for their single black spot. Broad beans are large, black beans are black, and, yes. I get it. Beans have descriptive nomenclature, but I assumed soldier beans were carried by solders, or fed to soldiers, or perhaps given to soldiers by patriotic farmers during the American Revolution or something. I wasn’t prepared to really look at a soldier bean.
Because it has a soldier stamped on it.
A tiny little 18th century soldier. Take a closer look.
The one you remember from your fifth grade history book, a stereotypical British Grenadier, perhaps.
I am delighted by this discovery. There are hundreds of soldiers simmering on the stove right now, for a soup.