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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Alabama: Clarke County

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Re: Civil War Clarke Co Saltworks
Posted by: J. Gilleland-Rasheed (ID *****2368) Date: April 15, 2005 at 22:06:11
In Reply to: Civil War Clarke Co Saltworks by Jacqueline Davis of 653

Taken from: Alabama Department of Archives and History

Alabama's Saltworks
The primary salt manufacturing area in the state was located in Clarke County. Two other counties, Washington and Mobile, also had small manufacturing facilities. The Clarke County Salt Works consisted of three main areas located on the Tombigbee River. These areas were known as the Lower, Central and Upper Salt Works. The Upper Salt Works was the largest center of salt manufacturing. These three areas had a work force of 5,000 men during the years of salt production (1862-1865). Salt works were also located on the Jackson, Steve and Salt Creeks. Much of the labor force consisted of slaves, who had been impressed by the state from their owners. The labor force also included white men who were unable to serve in the Confederate Army due to medical problems. Many deaths occurred at the works due to illnesses, such as malaria, caused by the swamp lands. The slaves generally performed the heavy labor in the salt works, though some helped keep the accounts. In spite of all efforts, the Salt Commission was unable to meet the great need for salt in Alabama and the legislature made it illegal to send salt out of the state . . . . When the war came to an end, so did salt manufacturing throughout the South.

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