Salt-Makers of the Confederacy

Salt-Makers of the Confederacy


  • Salt-Makers of the Confederacy

Published Date

  • published 1940


[page 6]
location of salt works, and the places where kettles had been hastily buried for
concealment. Thirty-one of these contrabands accompanied the steamer back.

"While these movements were in operation, Acting-Master Browne,
learning from deserters that the town of St. Andrews had been occupied for
10 months by a rebel military force, steamed up in the bark Restless to within
100 yards of the town. Seeing a body of soldiers he shelled them and drove
them speedily into the woods. Then, selecting some of the weathermost
houses for a target, he soon set them in flames by his shells, and the
conflagration rapidly spreading, in a few hours 32 houses were reduced to

"Salt is one of the necessities of life. The rebel armies could not
exist without it. They immediately made efforts to repair and defend
their ruined works. Early in February 1864, the rebels had put up at
West Bay, upon the site of the ruins which he had left there in
December, greatly enlarged works, with a guard of 50 men to protect
them. There were 26 sheet-iron boilers, each one of which held 881
gallons, and 19 kettles averaging 200 gallons. These boilers and kettles
had cost nearly $147,000, and the works covered a space of half a square
mile. They had been in operation but 10 days when Lieut. W. R.
Browne fitted out a cutter, manned with 13 men under Acting-Ensign
James J. Russel, and sent them up the Gulf coast 20 miles. Here they
were to land and march inland seven miles, until they should strike the
works in West Bay, thus attacking them in the rear. At the same time
Acting-Ensign Henry Edson, with a second cutter, containing 10 men,