Salt-Makers of the Confederacy

Salt-Makers of the Confederacy


  • Salt-Makers of the Confederacy

Published Date

  • published 1940


[page 5]
"The success of this expedition incited to other similar movements.
It so chanced that the stern-wheel steamer Bloomer, under Acting-Ensign
Edwin Cressy, arrived. The steamer was of such light draught that she
could run almost anywhere over the shallow waters of the bay. Master
Browne put three officers and 48 men on board, and sent them to the
western extremity of the bay, to a place called West Bay, where they found
extensive Government salt-works, which were producing 400 bushels daily.
Here they destroyed 27 buildings, 222 boilers and kettles, 5,000 bushels of
salt, and storehouses containing three months' provisions. The estimated
value of the property destroyed was half a million of dollars.

"This little stern-wheeler which a sailor said 'could run where-ever
there was a light dew,' now steamed down the shore of the bay,
penetrating all its secluded inlets, and destroyed 198 private salt-making
establishments. Seven hundred and sixty boilers and kettles were broken to
pieces, and an immense amount of salt thrown into the lake. There was also
committed to the flames 200 buildings, 27 wagons, and five large flat-
boats. The entire damage to the enemy was deemed not less than
$3,000,000. . . .

"By some strange instinct, in these far-away regions, the slaves,
with universal acclaim, received the Union soldiers as their deliverers. No
frowns of their masters could repress their delight. With joy, which at
times passed all bounds, they availed themselves of the opportunity of
escaping from a bondage which their souls loathed. These ever-true
friends to the Union cause proved of great service in pointing out the