Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/170

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

166 Southern Historical Society Papers.

The interior towns suffered most, such places as Jackson, Me- ridian, Columbus and Aberdeen in Mississippi; Selma, Montgom- ery, Eufala, and Huntsville, in Alabama; Albany, Macon, Augusta, Athens, Rome and Atlanta in Georgia; Spartanburg, Greenville and Columbia, in South Carolina; Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Raleigh, Statesville and Charlotte, in North Carolina; and Danville, Lynch- burg, Petersburg and Richmond, in Virginia. In nearly all of these towns one or more druggists manufactured from stock on hand of roots, herbs, and barks, or from home supply of such medicinal plants as he could secure, tinctures and like preparations.

The supply of whiskey was not so short as that of medicines. The so-called "moonshiners" of the mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia kept their stills, (often called gum-logs) running night and day, and could find a ready sale for all they produced. So far as I can learn, no tax was placed on whiskey. In New Orleans rum was made from molasses, one dis- tillery turned out over one hundred barrels of this product every day for over a year.

Amongst the scarcest articles in a drug store in those days were paper, twine and corks. Some of the stores obtained old life-pre- servers from abandoned river boats and got a supply, thus, of hand-cut stoppers. Various fabrics were pressed together for small stoppers, and for large bottles, demijohns and jugs, different sized corn-cobs commanded the same price as xxx corks do to-day. In the museums of New York, Washington and Chicago can be seen some of the specimens of the attempts to manufacture glass bottles in Louisiana, Alabama and South Carolina.

In the interior districts and small villages the country doctors returned to the first principles and to the use of the plants of the fields and forests; and these agencies were about all they had to rely on, outside of whiskey and a little quinine, the latter frequently at $100 an ounce.

Interviewing one of our old Confederate surgeons, he said: "During the early part of the war, I was placed in charge of a rail- road hospital in a small town where it was difficult to obtain medi- cine at almost any cost, and as I had my little hospital crowded nearly all the time, both with employes of the road and wounded and sick soldiers, afflicted with various diseases and all kinds of wounds and injuries, and being also engaged in general practice, it naturally followed that my mind was severely taxed in order to