Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/110
Southern Historical Society Papers.
readily obtainable, and after some experiments it was found that the wood from the cottonwood tree yielded the most satisfactory material.
The manufacture of fulminate of mercury for percussion caps was carried on to a limited extent, and the copper for the caps was obtained from the turpentine stills, which were all collected from North Carolina and used for that purpose.
There were four principal medicines required, namely, quinine, morphine, ether and chloroform. These were procured, so far as possible, by smuggling, either through the lines or by blockade runners, and numerous substitutes were introduced. For instance, for quinine bitter barks were used wherever possible, especially dogwood, and the dread malaria was by this means held practically in check. Morphine was almost entirely brought in by means of the blockade runners.At the beginning of the war there were no large metallurgical works in the South, with the single exception of the iron foundries at New Orleans and Richmond. The early capture of New Orleans left in Richmond the only large available foundry, and the Tredegar Iron Works became the principal source for articles made of iron. For ores, recourse was had to the deposits from the South, and it was necessity that led to the exploiting of the deposits of iron in Alabama and elsewhere along the Appalachian Mountain range; indeed, a primitive blast furnace was erected where the city of Birmingham now stands. Copper was had to a limited extent from the Ducktown Works in Tennessee, but more largely from the stills, as previously mentioned, that had been used in the manufacture of turpentine. Lead and zinc were only to be had in limited quantities, and were obtained chiefly from mines in Virginia.