render it unfit for use. The brine was usually placed on clean boards for
the drying and bleaching process. Sometimes the brine was poured in a
barrel, and after it settled, the water was dipped off the top. This was
done particularly if the salt was not for table consumption, but merely for
use in packing meat, etc.
"Still others put the thick brine in bags and hung it up to dry,
while others used fine sieves for the drying process. The salt often
contained pieces of seaweed or other foreign particles which were
The Confederates were not to remain long undisturbed in their
salt-making. The Union learned that salt was being hauled form Tampa
in great quantities, ("running the salt-blockade" it was called) and that
Tampa was sending wagon trains of salted meat to the front. The Union
Navy was then given the job of wrecking all the salt-works and by so
doing, stop this important supply of food.
As the salt-workers retreated before the sailors and marines,
wrecking parties from the ships destroyed the salt-works, wagons, live-
stock, fuel, houses, and everything connected with salt manufacture. Shells
were fired through boilers and kettles and every pot and pan was sieved by
Union bullets. Yet within a few weeks many plants rose phoenix-like from
the ashes, and the Union troops had the same job to do over again.
The large salt-works at Tampa Bay were shelled and destroyed
yet hardly had the ships put out to sea, and the weary sailors had turned
into their bunks, when the smoke of furnace fires again hung over