Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/108
Southern Historical Society Papers.
[From the Richmond, Va., News-Leader, July 27, 1903.]
HOW THE SOUTH GOT CHEMICALS DURING THE WAR.
PROFESSOR MALLETT WRITES VALUABLE PAPER SHOWING
RESOURCEFULNESS OF THE CONFEDERACY
Salt From Louisiana Proved Valuable—Smugglers Helped with Opiates.
Manufacture of Gunpowder.
It is difficult for anyone in the North who was not a participant in the Civil war to appreciate thoroughly the great sufferings that were experienced by those who lived in the Southern States at that time. The continual blockade along the water-front on the east and south, the armies on the north, the Mississippi river and the mountains on the west, made it almost impossible for the introduction of materials essential for the carrying on of a great war. The heroic struggle waged under these disadvantageous circumstances make the four years' combat one of the most remarkable wars of modern times.
A description of the efforts made in scientific directions has never been satisfactorily written, but within a few weeks, in a pleasant way, under the title of "Applied Chemistry in the South During the Civil War," Professor John W. Mallett, of the University of Virginia, spoke before the Chemical Society of Washington of some of his experiences.In beginning, he referred to the great lack of preservatives that were essential, and indeed required, for the preservation of food. Fortunately, the salt deposits in Louisiana were promptly thought of, and advantage taken of their existence for exploitation and production of that every-day essential, so that an ample stock at least of the preservative was soon available. The supplies of coffee and tea were very soon exhausted, and substitutes were introduced. For coffee, roasted beans of various kinds, sweet potatoes, and cereals, came into every-day use, and the leaves of various herbs were em-