Salt Works

Salt. Not something we think about much today – it’s cheaply bought and always available. But this article explains how it was once a commodity, and the importance of Florida’s salt works to the Confederacy.

During the Civil War, Florida was not only a main supplier of beef cattle to frontline Confederate troops but it was also one of the top producers of salt.

Prior to the invention of refrigerators, salt was used to preserve a variety of meats, such as pork, fish, and of course the beef cattle shipped to the frontline troops…

By 1863, the Union put a strain on the shipment of Florida’s beef cattle, and its raids severely impacted the production of salt, with the larger salt works becoming key targets. With no beef supply or salt to preserve it with, the food line for the Confederate Army was cut.

(This New Port Richey Patch is doing some neat little articles on the war. I’m keeping an eye on them!)

http://newportrichey.patch.com/articles/salt-springs-not-just-natural-beauty

1 Comment(s)

  1. Without beef, there would be nothing to preserve with salt. A little-noted aspect of the war is when Brig. Gen. William Birney and black troops invaded Florida in mid-1864, destroying cattle and other vital war materiel. His two negro regiments were accompanied by a federal agent who estimated damage at $2 million and confiscated cattle and cotton at $200,000. Details are in “Apostles of Equality: The Birneys, the Republicans and the Civil War,” by D. Laurence Rogers, published by Michigan State University Press.

    D. Laurence Rogers | Mar 9, 2012 | Reply

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