View Full Version : Salt
07-22-2009, 10:33 AM
Had someone ask me about the fuss over salt and why they actually had locking chests to store the stuff back in the day. I started explaining and then remembered this book:
I still like going up there and going to the museum. The old salt pots are impressive.
Piney Flats, TN
07-22-2009, 11:23 AM
The salt in Saltville had been mostly mined out. However, there are enough minerals still available for another industry:
They are currently looking into expanding production to include shrimp and blue crabs.
Piney Flats, TN
07-22-2009, 02:48 PM
The loss of the salt and lead works in SW Virginia during December of 1864 was a big blow.
Piney Flats, TN
The Daily Dispatch: January 4, 1865.
Stoneman's raid — a List of Munchausens.
Stoneman has arrived at Nashville, and gives a regular Munchausen account of his raid into Southwestern Virginia. The following is the story:
The forces consisted of General Burbridge's troops and General Gillem's East Tennessee troops, all under command of Major-General Stoneman. They left Knoxville on the 18th. The movement was unknown to the rebels, who were not discovered until after three days.
At Kingsport, General Jones's command was attacked, consisting of about five hundred of Morgan's old command. The forces were killed scattered, or captured. Next, the rebel forces of Vaughn were discovered at Papertown, near Bristol, trying to effect a junction with Breckinridge, at Saltville.
Our forces pursued him to Marion, where an engagement occurred, resulting in a loss to the rebels of all their force and artillery, except about two hundred men, who retreated towards Lynchburg, Virginia. Breckinridge's command had followed General Stoneman with the forces of Galtuer; Crosby and Withers, and the balance of Duke's command, who had been on the frontier of Kentucky, waiting to co-operate with the cavalry.
General Stoneman attacked the force at Marion and drove them over the mountains into North Carolina. His command then attacked the salt works, which were defended by about seven hundred men, who were either captured or dispersed. The loss by this raid to the rebels is immense.
All the railroad bridges from New river to the Tennessee line are destroyed. Thirteen railroad trains, with locomotives; several trains and extra cars, without engines; were captured and destroyed. All the depots of supplies in Southwestern Virginia, depots, foundries, mills, factories, storehouses, wagon and ambulance trains, and turnpike bridges, were destroyed. In addition, we captured two thousand and five hundred rounds of artillery ammunition, two thousand pack saddles, and a large amount of harness, and a great quantity of small arms, two thousand horses and one thousand mules.
Among the captures were also two rebel editors and four secession printing presses. The latter were sent to Parson Brownlow as a Christmas gift. Severe loss to the rebels was the destruction of the salt works, at Saltville, and the lead works, at Leadville; both were rendered valueless. Our losses were very small, not exceeding two thousand killed, wounded and missing.
Among the killed was Colonel Bogle, of the Eleventh Kentucky cavalry. Our captured rebel prisoners amount to twenty-four officers and eight hundred and forty-five men.
East Tennessee is now free from any body of rebels, and Kentucky is not infested by Confederates, General Stoneman had possession of the rebel telegraph line, and held it for eighteen hours, during which time he discovered all their plans and movements.
07-22-2009, 09:44 PM
As the war wears on in the Deep South, I've found a few references to civilians being issued salt by confederate authorities, with consideration given to widows especially.
Any idea how much salt?
I've got one reference at the end of the war indicating that the bag could be carried across the saddle with the rider--that gives a ballpark for that particular instance.
07-22-2009, 11:01 PM
Among the captures were also two rebel editors and four secession printing presses. The latter were sent to Parson Brownlow as a Christmas gift.
freedom of the press not one of the union values?
07-23-2009, 06:43 AM
Miz A. Queenie,
I have some references where the Legislature in Richmond asked for serious accounting of how much meat (pork and beef) was sent to SW Virginia to be preserved and how much was actually processed and how much was allowed to spoil. There also was legislation on not allowing the slaughter of various livestock under a certain age. I have seen stuff on trying to keep the price of salt reasonable as it was thought that the Saline was falsely inflating the prices, but I don't think I read anything about the gubment directly giving salt to citizens. I'll do some checking though.
Piney Flats, TN
07-23-2009, 07:04 AM
Plenty of references of the gubment becoming directly involved in salt production and fixing of prices on farm produce and such in an attempt to curb the run away inflation in the CSA. I'll keep checking on the widow stuff.
Piney Flats, TN
Wednesday morning...Oct. 2, 1861.
--We are glad to learn that the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad Company have made preparations for transporting salt from the works on their road, at Saltville → . Smythe co., as rapidly as it can be manufactured; and that notice of the quantities it will transport per week has been given to the owners of the Salines. Within a week or two past this road has brought down very large quantities of the article from the Salines, as well as four thousand bushels of New Orleans salt. Whether this action of the railroad will relieve the market and put the price down to reasonable figures, will depend upon the success of speculators in getting control of it, and holding it in [ quantitities ] to make it scarce during the packing season.
In order to prevent this sharp practice of the speculators, it might be well for individuals, or clubs of individuals, to send orders direct to the manufacturers at ← Saltville → , Smythe county, Va., accompanied by checks on any of the banks of Richmond, Petersburg, Lynchburg, or Norfolk, for the purchase money. The name of the manufacturing firm is Buchanan, Stuart & Co. We believe the price at ← Saltville is seventy-five cents a bushel, together with the cost of the barrel or sack it may be shipped in, which is added.
This firm itself holds a monopoly of the business, and have put their price too high; the usual price at the Salines having heretofore been fifty cents. We believe, however, that seventy-five cents will satisfy them, as it certainly should do, being, if we are correctly informed, from four to six times the cost of the article. On the principle, however, of "Live and let live," the public may be willing to stand seventy-five cents as a war price. By sending orders direct to the Salines, the public will immediately be able to discover whether the manufacturers are willing to supply the article to consumers rather than to speculators, and whether the railroads are as ready to bring it down to the public as to large dealers. If the manufacturers will fill these small orders, and if the railroads will bring down the salt thus ordered, in preference to the car loads and train loads sent down to speculators; we think the monopoly will be crushed, and the price of salt reduced to a fair figure. We see no other mode of checking the speculation going on in this necessary of life, and we suggest its trial in time for the people to procure their supplies before the hog-killing season.
Tuesday morning...Feb. 24, 1863.
House of Delegates.
Mr. McCemant submitted the following resolution, which was agreed to:
Resolved. That the Committee on Military Affairs be instructed to inquire into and to report to this House the number of beef castle killed and salted at Saltville for the use of the State troops, the number of pounds salted who was the Commissary or agent employed in that business, whether any, and if any how much thereof, is spoiled and unfit for use, the amount of loss the State has sustained thereby; and that the committee have power to send for persons and papers.
General Assembly of Virginia.
Friday,February 27, 1863.
A further communication was received from His Excellency, enclosing a letter from Dr. J. J. Motormen, State Agent for the distribution of salt, in which he assumes that by the first day of April there will be in successful operation at the works in Washington and Smythe counties not less than twenty-three hundred salt kettles, which will be capable of turning out, on an average, five bushels per day each for three hundred days in the year, which will give an aggregate of upwards of 30,000 bushels per-annum, and, after deducting the amount of salt already contracted for by certain States of the Confederacy, will still leave over 2,000,000 bushels, for the wants of Virginia and the Confederate Government, which will be amply sufficient for all needful supplies, if proper facilities be afforded for its transportation; and to this subject he calls the attention of the Legislature. The message and documents were referred to the Committee on Salt.
The Daily Dispatch: September 18, 1863.
Friday morning...September 18, 1863.
The following resolutions of inquiry were offered: By Mr. Tomlin: Of providing by law for an agency for furnishing cotton and cotton cards to citizens at cost. By Mr. Chalmers: Of imposing an additional tax on all lands purchased since the beginning of the war and during the continuance of the war. By the same: Of repealing so much of the existing law as prohibits the planting of more than 80,000 hills of tobacco by one individual. By Mr. Haymond, of Braxton: Of requiring producers to dispose of their surplus produce at prices not exceeding the prices adopted by the commissioners for the Confederate States. By Mr. McCue: Of changing the interior of the present Capitol so as to provide more comfortably for the uses of the General Assembly and the Confederate Congress, and of building a structure suitable for the purpose on or near the site of the bell house for the accommodation of all State officers now in the Capitol building. By Mr. Rixey: Of selling all the State's stock in the various railroads and banks, in accordance with the recommendation of the Governor.--By Mr. Saunders: Of increasing the compensation of tobacco inspectors. by Mr. Winston: Of exempting one able-bodied male slave from the operations of the act for the public defence. By Mr. Hutcheson: Of fixing prices of all articles of farm produce at 100 per cent. above the prices of April1st, 1861. By Mr. Hendrick: Of compelling the agents of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad at Saltville to give receipts for salt shipped at that point. By Mr. Kenney: Of exempting from the provisions of the fence law all counties overrun by the enemy. By Mr. Cowan: Of empowering the Superintendent of the Salt Works to impress free negroes. By Mr. Johnson: Of requiring all companies, individuals and firms to make the proper returns, looking to a general absorption of all profits wherewith to pay Virginia's quota of the public debt. By Mr. Harris: Of removing all the salt within the control of the State from the salt works in Smythe and Washington counties.
07-23-2009, 07:39 AM
OK, I found this:
Adj't Gen's office, Va.,
Notice to Claimants for Military Service.--Col. Henry Hill, Paymaster General of the State, is appointed by the Governor to take charge of and settle all claims against the State or Confederate States for military service, or supplies furnished, without expense to the claimants; and will forthwith establish an office at Richmond for that purpose.
All claims of soldiers of Virginia who have been or may be discharged from, or disabled in, the service of either the State or Confederate States; all widows and orphans of such soldiers who may have been killed or died in service; also, all soldiers now in service having special claims (other than of pay and clothing) against either the State or Confederate States Government, who from their peculiar position cannot attend in person, may send their claims to Col. Hill, at Richmond, for collection, free of cost.
All persons sending claims will be careful to give the full particulars — name, company, regiment, brigade — date of claims should be all stated, and a power of attorney properly authenticated, authorizing Col. Hill to collect and receipt for the same, that the may act with promptitude and dispatch.
The intervention of paid agents for claimants will in no case be permitted, it being the object of the Governor to protect parties against them.
Wm. H. Richardson, A. G.
Widows could make claims for things such as salt and provisions. In 1865, there are numerous cases of women being convicted of making false claims for salt. Nothing on perzactly how much they were provided. I'm guessing they had some sort of rationing system based on number of children and/or some other sort of being able to demonstrate need.
Piney Flats, TN
07-23-2009, 08:32 AM
freedom of the press not one of the union values?
I'm sure that any pro-Union presses in Southern states were shown the same consideration, as well.
07-23-2009, 08:42 AM
Wasn't gonna say it Bernie, but in 1861, right after secession, several newspapers in Richmond with pro-Union editors were shut down and the editors were give free room and board in Castle Thunder until they either signed an allegiance to the CSA or were shipped north. Then, after a certain date in April 1865, those same newspapers rose from the ashes and began publishing again. Go figure.
Piney Flats, TN
07-24-2009, 09:46 AM
Back to salt.
Piney Flats, TN
Friday morning...May 6, 1864
Report of the Committee on the salt supply.
Some important and interesting facts are educed from an examination of the report of the committee appointed by the House at its last session to inquire and report as to the best mode to be adopted in procuring a supply of salt. This committee, after collecting information and examining the evidence educed by analytical investigation and actual experimental results, recommend the mining of salt as a means of supply to be for preferable and as possessing many advantages over the ordinary mode at present adopted. From the result of an analysis of a sample of salt taken from what is known as the Findlay well, in Washington county, it was ascertained that 82 per cent. was pure salt. The other qualities consisted of sulphate of lime, sulpha. soda, chloride magnesium, and earthy matter 18 per cent. It will thus be seen that the salt rock in its original state is very well adapted for curing meats, or can be used in salting stock without the trouble and expense of purifying it. Many of the reasons assigned are on the score of economy of labor, transportation, &c., all of which, it would seem, makes the mining process far preferable to the mode of boiling the brine. One of the greatest obstacles which presents itself in the present mode of manufacture is the scarcity of wood and difficulty of transportation over the Saltville Branch Railroad. Nearly all of the difficulties will be obviated by a resort to mining. A mine, if opened, could not be destroyed by the enemy, and damages could be repaired in as little time as it would take to do the injury. The only difficulty which presents itself to the mining operation is that the property in which the mines are situated in Washington or Smythe counties belong to individuals who have leased it for the term of ten years; but this lease does not confer any right to the lessees to take salt by mining, while it excludes the owners from any right of entry to work the mines themselves, thus presenting a complete barrier to any private parties without the concurrence of the owners and lessees. The committee concur in the opinion that if the Government should find it necessary, that power already exists under the impressment act to take temporary possession of and use the mines for the benefit of the army; but, to avoid all difficulty, they think it well, and recommend some legislative act which will amplify the powers in this particular case, and thus remove all obstacles in the way of a speedy and plentiful supply of salt.
07-24-2009, 11:20 AM
But then near the end, the CSA gubment had to set prices so that the stuff, when they could even get it, wasn't totally beyond the means of anyone but the rich.
Piney Flats, TN
Tuesday morning...March 28, 1865.
Schedule of prices.
A schedule of prices agreed upon by the Commissioners of the State of Virginia for the ensuing months of April and May is published by the Secretary of War. We give below the prices fixed for the most important articles:
Wheat — Red and white, per bushel, $25.50.
Flour — Fine, $123 per barrel; superfine, $125; extra, $126; family, $128.
Corn, $20 per bushel. Corn meal, $21. Rye, $29. Oats, $15. Wheat bran, $3. Shorts, $4. Brownstuff, $5. Shipstuff, $8.
Bacon, hog round, $4 per pound. Salt pork, $3.25. Fresh pork, $2.75. Lard, $4
Horses and mules, first class, $1,200.
Wool, washed, $10 per pound; unwashed, $8.
Peas, $30 per bushel. Beans, $30.
Irish potatoes, $20 per bushel; sweet potatoes, $20. Onions, $50. Peaches, $20; peaches, unpealed, $15. Dried apples, $15.
Hay, baled, per one hundred pounds, $7; unbaled, $6. Oats, baled, $11; unbaled, $10. Fodder, baled, $10; unbaled, $7. Shucks, baled, $7; unbaled, $6
Wheat straw, baled, $3; unbaled, $2.
Pasturage, inferior, per month, $5; superior, $6; first-rate, $7; good, near cities, $8; superior, near cities, $9; first-rate, near cities, $10.
Salt, $10 per bushel. Soap, $8 per pound. Candles, $7.
Vinegar, per gallon, $5. Whiskey, $25. Molasses, $15. Apple and Peach Brandy, $15.
Sugar, $5 per pound. Rice, $1. Coffee, $10. Tea, $15.
Iron, bloom, per ton, $760; smiths, $1,100; railroad, $450; pig, from $328 to $400.
Leather, harness, per pound, $8; sole, $7; upper, $9.20.
Beef cattle, from $50 to $70 per one hundred pounds. Salt beef, $2 per pound. Sheep, per head, $70.
Cotton Shirtings, $2.50; $3. Sheetings, $3.50. Osnaburgs, , per yard, $3.50 to $3.80.--Cut Cloth, per yard, $4.
Army Shoes, per pair, $25. Shoe Thread, per pound, $6. Wool Socks, per pair, $5.
Top Fodder, baled, $2; unbaled, $1. Wheat Chaff, baled, $7; unbaled, $6.
Sorghum Molasses, $15 per gallon.
Pasturage for sheep, $1 to $1.50 per head.
Baling long forage, per one hundred pounds, $1. Shelling and bagging corn, 20 cents per bushel.
Hauling, 2 cents per cwt. per mile. [!]
Hauling grain, per bushel, per mile, $15. [! !]
Hire of two-horse team, when found by owner, $30 per diem; when found by Government, $15. --For four-horse team, found by owner, $50; found by Government, $25. Six-horse team, $70 and $35.
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.3 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.