Making Salt


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, January 14, 1865

This Civil War Harper's Weekly newspaper is from the last days of the war. It features content on Sherman's march through Georgia, and other news of the war. This issue is part of our extensive collection of original Harper's newspapers. We are creating a digital archive of our collection, and making it available to you on the internet. WE hope you enjoy browsing this historical resource.

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Sherman Entering Savannah

Sherman Entering Savannah Georgia




Wilmington Expedition


Saltville, Virginia

Making Salt

Making Salt

Map Wilmington

Map of Wilmington

Sherman Captures Savannah

Battle for Savannah

General Burbridge

General Burbridge

Fort McAllister

Battle of Fort McAllister


Battle of Waynesborough Georgia

Battle of Nashville

Battle of Nashville


Prisoners of War





(Previous Page) River, and eight or nine miles north of the Virginia and East Tennessee Railroad. A branch road connects it with the latter. The salt manufactured here is of the very best quality. The works have been deemed so important by the rebels that a Richmond paper lately declared the loss of Savannah an inferior consideration.

" The valley at the head of which Saltville stands," says " Porte Crayon," " contains several hundred acres of rich meadow. It is surrounded by a chain of conical hills, from 500 to 800 feet in height, so regularly formed that, but for their extent, they might be mistaken for artificial mounds. At the distance of 230 feet below the surface is a bed of fossil salt. The salt is procured by sinking beds to the depth of the salt bed, when the water rises within 46 feet of the surface, and is raised from thence by pumps into large tanks, or reservoirs, elevated a convenient distance above the surface. The brine thus procured is a saturated solution, and for every hundred gallons yields twenty-two gallons of pure salt. The process of manufacturing it is very simple. An arched furnace is constructed, probably 150 feet in length, with the doors at one end and the chimney at the other. Two rows of heavy iron kettles, shaped like shallow bowls, are built into the top of the furnace. Large wooden pipes convey the brine from the tanks to these kettles, where the water is evaporated by boiling, while the salt crystallizes and is precipitated. During the operation a white saline vapor rises from the boilers, the inhalation of which is said to cure diseases of the lungs and throat. At regular intervals an attendant goes round and with a mammoth ladle dips out the salt, chucking it into loosely woven split baskets, which are placed in pairs over the boilers. Here it drains and drips until the dipper Las gone his round with the ladle. It is then thrown into the salt-shells, immense magazines on either side of the furnaces. The salt thus manufactured is of the purest quality, white and beautiful as the driven snow. Indeed, on seeing the men at work in the magazines, with pick and shovel, a novice would swear they were working in a snow-bank: I while the pipes and reservoirs, which at every leak become coated over with snowy concretions, sparkling like hoar-frost and icicles in the sun, serve to confirm the wintry illusion. To avoid land-carriage the brine is piped to the banks of the Holston, and manufactured on the spot. The salt is packed in barrels and is carried Westward down the river, or Eastward on the railroad. An immense coopering establishment is the characteristic adjunct of the lower salt-works."

The results of this expedition are very important. All the depots of supplies in Southwestern Virginia, foundries, mills, store-houses, and trains were destroyed. Twenty-five hundred rounds of artillery ammunition, two thousand horses, and one thousand mules were captured ; also four rebel printing presses and two editors. The presses were sent to Parson BROWNLOW as a Christmas gift. The Federal loss did not exceed two hundred killed, wounded, and missing. The rebel loss, besides killed and wounded, were nearly a thousand men captured, including twenty-four officers.


WE give on page 25 an illustration of a charge made by the Third Brigade of the First Division, Sixteenth Corps. This brave corps belonged to M'PHERSON'S old army of the Tennessee. That fact alone speaks volumes in its behalf. The charge of the Third Brigade, which resulted in the capture of a strong rebel work and several guns, was one of the most brilliant of the many brilliant achievements of General Thomas's gallant army on 15th and 16th of December, 1864.


MR. GOLDWIN SMITH writes to the Daily News a very high estimate of General Butler's powers. He has been with him at City Point, and regards him as " in all points, good and evil, the model of it revolutionary chief." "Like Danton, he has walked straight on his wild way, fearless of danger, and somewhat reckless of opinion. I do not worship revolutionary characters. I hate the element from which they spring, as I love the calm progress of regular improvement. But revolution has come, and I suspect that in its melancholy annals Butler will occupy a broader and perhaps a less odious page than is commonly supposed." He has struck a medal for the negro soldiers with "Ferro iis libertas proveniet" for the motto, and " he has made the motto," says Mr. Goldwin Smith, " a practical truth."

HOW TO LAY GHOSTS.—In a Church publication entitled "Church Work of the Guild of St. Alban's," among other curiosities we actually find a " Form of exorcising a haunted house," given not as a literary curiosity, but as something to be used now. It ends as follows: "Then let the image of our Saviour upon the cross be erected in an open part of the principal room in the house ; and let the priest sprinkle the whole house with holy water, from top even to the bottom, saying: The Lesson. St. Luke, xix. 1, 10. ' And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And behold there was a man named Zaccheus,' etc. When all these things are done, let abyssum, which is a kind of an herb, be procured, and after it is signed with the sign of the cross, let it be hung up at the four corners of the house."  

MEMORIAL TO THE LATE MR. THACKERAY.—Immediately after Mr. Thackeray's death a committee of gentlemen, with Mr. Shirley Brooks for Secretary, determined on the erection of a memorial to their friend, and obtained the sanction of the Dean of Westminster for its location in the Abbey. The exact site has now been selected, and a marble bust of the author of " Vanity Fair" will shortly be placed close behind the effigy of him whom Thackeray so honored and eulogized—Joseph Addison. The bust will be executed by Baron Marochetti, who was on terms of intimacy with Mr. Thackeray.

MOST people think there are cares enough in the world, and yet many are very industrious to increase them. One of the readiest ways of doing this is to quarrel with a neighbor. A bad bargain may vex a man for a week; and a bad debt may trouble him for a month, but a quarrel with his neighbor will keep him in hot water all the year round.

How TO DRESS FOR A PHOTOGRAPH.--A lady or gentleman, having made up her or his mind to be photographed, naturally considers, in the first place, how to be dressed so as to show off to the best advantage. This is by no means such an important matter as many might imagine. Let me offer a few words of advice touching dress. Orange color, for certain optical reasons, is, photographic-

ally, black. Blue is white ; other shades or tones of color are proportionately darker or lighter as they contain more or less of these colors. The progressive scale of photographic color commences with the lightest. The order stands thus: white, light-blue, violet, pink, mauve, dark-blue, lemon, blue-green, leather-brown, drab, cerise, magenta, yellow-green, dark-brown, purple, red, amber, maroon, orange, dead black. Complexion has to he much considered in connection with dress. Blondes can wear much lighter colors than brunettes; the latter always present better pictures in dark dresses, but neither look well in positive white. Violent contrasts of color should be especially guarded against. In photography brunettes possess a great advantage over their fairer sisters. The lovely golden tresses lose all their transparent brilliancy, and are represented black ; while the "bonny blue e'e," theme of rapture to the poet, is misery to the photographer, for it is put entirely out. The simplest and most effective way of removing the yellow color from the hair is to powder it nearly white; it is thus brought to about the same photographic tint as in nature. The same rule, of course, applies to complexions. A freckle quite invisible at a short distance is, on account of its yellow color, rendered most painfully distinct when photographed. The puff-box must be called in to the assistance of art. Here let me intrude one word of general advice. Blue, as we have seen, is the most readily affected by light, and yellow the least ; if, therefore, you would keep your complexion clear and free from tan and freckles while taking your delightful rambles at the sea-side, discard by all means the blue veil, and substitute a dark-green or yellow one in its stead. Blue tulle offers no more obstruction to the actinic rays of the sun than white. Half a yard of yellow net, though not very becoming, will be found very efficacious, and considerably cheaper than a quart of kalydor. The cause of freckles is simple enough. It is nothing more than the darkening of the salts of iron contained in the blood by the action of light. A freckled face is, therefore, an animated photograph.

LEECH'S LITTLE FRIEND.—Mr. Leech was very fond of a boy known to Mr. Dickens, an extraordinary small boy, but of great spirit, who was a midshipman in the navy. " Whenever this boy came home from a cruise," says Mr. Dickens, "he and Leech, and never any body else, used to go out in great state, and dine at the Garrick Club, and go to the play, and finish in an exemplary way with kidneys and harmony. On the first of these occasions, the officer came out so frightfully small, that, Leech told us afterward, he was filled with horror when he saw him eating his dinner at the Garrick with a large knife. On the other hand, he felt that to suggest a small knife to an officer and a gentleman would be an unpardonable affront. So, after meditating for some time, he felt that his course was to object to the club knives as enormous and gigantic; to remonstrate with the servant on their huge proportions, and with a grim dissatisfaction to demand small ones. After which he and the officer messed with great satisfaction, and agreed that things in general were running too large in England." But incidents like these are precisely what we find pictured in his pages ; and his friends, pointing to sketch after sketch, can say, "I told him that;" " This happened to himself;" "If was present when he came upon so-and-so."

LITERARY CURIOSITY.—The oldest newspaper in the world is published in Pekin. It is printed on a large sheet of silk, and, it is said, has made a weekly appearance for upward of a thousand years.

SHAKSPEARES IN BIRMINGHAM—A discovery of great interest in connection with England's greatest poet has recently been made in the offices of a firm of Birmingham solicitors. Some dozen important deeds, including conveyances, grants, leases, etc., have been discovered relating to property adjoining Shakespeare's house in Henley Street, on the east side. These deeds bear dates from 1573 to about 1660. John Shakspeare, the father of the poet, was present at the signature of several, and the name of William Shakspeare himself is repeated a few times in some of them. The deeds are in excellent preservation, and the seals are in an unusually perfect condition. We believe that the seal attached to some of these deeds is likely to lead to some very interesting discoveries, and to throw considerable light on our known Shakspearian relics.

IT may interest our soldiers to know that their average height is greater by two inches than that of recruits for the British army ; their average weight greater by eighteen pounds than that of British soldiers ; and their average circumference of chest a quarter of an inch greater than that of certain French troops.

A LUDICROUS story is told of Baron Hullock's being on a visit to Lord Dacre in Essex, and accompanying a gentleman, notorious for his absence of mind, in a walk, during which they came to the parish stocks. Having a wish to know the nature of the punishment, the chief justice begged his companion to open them so that he might try. This being done, his friend sauntered on, and totally forgot him. The imprisoned chief tried in vain to release himself, and on asking a peasant who was passing by to let him out, was laughed at, and told he " wasn't set there for nothing." He was soon set at liberty by the servants of his host; and afterward on the trial of an action for false imprisonment against a magistrate by some fellow whom he had set in the stocks, on the counsel for the defendant ridiculing the charge and declaring it was no punishment at all, his lordship leaned over and whispered, " Brother, were you ever in the stocks?" The counsel indignantly replied. "Never, my lord." "Then I have been," said the chief justice, " and I can assure you it is not the trifle you represent it."

THE following passage from St. Jerome, might well have been written of ladies of the present day: "Ah! I shall tell you who are the women that scandalize Christians. They are those who daub their cheeks with red, and their eyes with black those whose plaster faces, too white to be human, remind us of idols those who can not shed a tear without its tracing a furrow on the painted surface of their faces those whose ripe years fail to teach them that they are growing old those whose head dresses are made up of other people's hair those who chalk wrinkles into the counterfeit presentment of youth, and those who affect the demeanor of bashful maidens in the presence of troops of grandchildren."


THEIR lips are still as the lips of the dead, The gaze of their eyes is straight ahead;

The tramp, tramp, tramp of ten thousand feet Keep time to that muffled, monotonous beat

Rub-a-dub-dub rub-a-dub-dub!

Ten thousand mere ! and still they come To fight a battle for Christendom!

With cannon, and caissons, and flags unfurled, The foremost men in all the world! Rub-a-dub-dub ! rub-a-dub-dub!

The foe is intrenched on the frowning hill—A natural fortress, strengthened by skill; But vain are the walls to those who face The champions of the human race !

Rub-a-dub-dub ! rub-a-dub-dub !

"By regiment ! Forward into Line !"

Then sabres, and guns, and bayonets shine. O ye who feel your fate at last

Repeat the old prayer as your hearts beat fast ! Rub-a-dub-dub! rub-a-dub-dub!

O ye who've waited and prayed so long

That Right might have a fair fight with Wrong No more in fruitless marches shall plod, But smite the foe with the wrath of God!

Rub-a-dub-dub ! rub-a-dub-dub !

O Death! what a charge that carried the hill ! That carried, and kept, and holds it still ! The foe is broken and flying with fear, While far on their route our drummers I hear

Rub-a-dub-dub ! rub-a-dub-dub !


"AFTER all, who is there that dare truly boast of having a ' mens sana in corpore sano?' Don't all speak at once."

The above rather abrupt query came from Jenkins, the broker, and was uttered to three other gentlemen who were his companions in a carriage, which vehicle was taking them townward from a visit to the Exford Lunatic Asylum. The talk had, naturally, been upon insanity.

Insanity generally, but especially that form of it called monomania. An odd thing had occurred to these visitors at the Asylum, which gave direction and force to the current of their conversation.

As it's not long, nor much out of place, perhaps it may as well be related.

The Medical Director, who was a Quaker, and somewhat of an original himself, had been suddenly called away while doing the honors of his establishment to Messrs. Jenkins & Co.

"I am sorry to have to leave you," said he; "but"—looking round—" ah, my friend here will show you over the place." He beckoned to a tall, sad-visaged man, who stood near, with a grave smile on his face. " Friend Joseph," said the Doc-tor; "will thee take my place and show our visit-ors over the premises ?"

" With pleasure, Amos," replied Joseph. " This way if you please, friends."

For nearly an hour the visitors followed their guide, whose familiarity with the details of each patient's malady seemed to indicate that he was an employe of the establishment, while his manner, and the tone and matter of his remarks, marked him as a man of fair breeding and no little culture.

So that the gentlemen were considerably puzzled to "make him out," though unanimous in the feeling that he had given their visit much additional interest and instruction. This sentiment found a courteous expression in their thanks as they bade him good-day, the Director not having reappeared.

"Ah, you are very good!" said he, with bland dignity. Then, as if struck with a sudden idea, he continued, rapidly : " But if you really think T have been of service, you are able to repay it tenfold."

" How ? how?" exclaimed the others.

Friend Joseph looked anxiously round, as though to ascertain if they were observed, then, drawing nearer and speaking hurriedly, in a suppressed voice, "By procuring me an engagement to dance in the Ballet," said he, eagerly. " Perhaps you are not aware that I am the most wonderful dancer in the world. In fact—but this is a secret—I am made of pure India rubber from the waist down. I will show you how—"*

At this moment fortunately—for the visitors were in a pitiable state of embarrassment—the Doctor came hurrying up, whom, as soon as Joseph caught sight of, he whispered, earnestly, "Not a word to him!" and made off with very undignified haste.

In a few words the Director gave the history of the monomaniac, under whose care he had placed his guests (which history has nothing to do with the present sketch), and they departed. From this incident their talk, as they rode homeward, took form and color, and at a certain point in this talk, Jenkins, who had said but little previously, suddenly put forth the observation which opens this article, viz.:

"After all, who is there that can truly boast of a `men's sand in corpore sano?' Don't all speak at once."

This last remark was evidently ironical, inasmuch as no one evinced any haste to reply, but rather the reverse.

"The fact is, gentlemen," continued Jenkins, after giving his friends a moment to ponder his previous question—" the fact is, as somebody once said, we have all at least one `crotchet' on the brain. t There was the great Webster,' said this somebody 'he was crazy on the Constitution ; Calhoun on Nullification ;' and so forth, through all our great men. And you'll all admit that Jeff Davis and his friends are roaring mad on Secession. Even you yourselves—"

" What ! Do you mean to assert that we—that I—?"

" Of course! You're all mild monomaniacs. You, for instance, Green, are insane on balloons. Haven't you spent some hundreds—perhaps thousands—of dollars on experiments in aerial navigation ?"

" Well, and what of it? I can tell you, Jenkins—"

" Never mind telling me now. You, Black. are insane on numismatics. Didn't you give twenty-five dollars to old Solomans for a worn-out half-penny—?"

"Nonsense ! It was a Queen—"

"Mab, perhaps. No matter. White, you're crazy as a bed-bug on—on—" he hesitated.

"On what?" queried White, an eccentric old bachelor, who made himself miserable by striving to forget that he had got to die like the rest of man-kind.

"Well, then, on undertakers! Did not you once drag me half a dozen blocks out of our way to avoid passing the establishment of one? And have not you even recorded your horror of that respectable `guild' in your will?"

"I do hate an undertaker like the devil !" ex-claimed White, with a grimace ; "but that is not—"

" Yes, lint it is, though!" persisted Jenkins. " And I myself am also slightly touched."

" Ha !" cried the trio in chorus.

"And pray, what's your mania?"

"Story-telling, perhaps," said the philosophic broker; "for I am reminded of one that is quite apropos to our conversation. Or, rather, not a story,

* A fact. We mean the incident, slot the India rubber. --Narrator.

[JANUARY 14, 1865.

but a personal experience in illustration of my theory. And if you like—"

" Oh I by all means. Let us have it."

" After supper," said Jenkins. And after supper the four sat together on the broker's piazza and listened to his story, while the smoke of their cigars floated mistily up to the yellow harvest-moon.


"You none of you know Skipwick, but he has been my friend for many years—no, not friend, but intimate business acquaintance. I've made his investments for him, and all that sort of thing.

"Skipwick's father was a manufacturing chemist, and his son was brought up in the laboratory. He, the son, had quite a scientific turn, and was a good deal of a student; so much so as to injure his health; and when his father died he wound up the concern and retired with a handsome fortune. Idleness, however, did not suit him—he was a bachelor of thirty odd—and for some years he employed himself in making scientific experiments, chemical and mechanical, and dabbling in patent inventions and the like.

" Then appeared the Fox girls with their mysterious rappings, and Skipwick instantly dropped all his other irons into the fire and went iii wildly to discover and explain this mystery. Whether he succeeded or not I do not know, but being fairly astride of this hobby-horse he rode into the mists of biology, psychology, the idyllic force, table-turning, and the rest, and I, being out in the sunshine of common-sense, lost sight of him for the time.

" Every now and then, to be sure, he would emerge wearily from the fog and sun himself a little with me, but he seemed nervous and ill at ease in the commonplace daylight of practical life, and hankered after his dreamland. I never talked with him ietuch of his new hobbies, for he seemed to wish to avoid the subject, and indeed seldom came to see me except upon business, for which he showed as clear a head as ever.

"At length, one sad day my father died. and Skipwick came on the day of the funeral, and pressed my hand, and bade me be of good cheer, and smiled mysteriously, and went away.

" About a mouth afterward he entered my office, just as I was going to dinner, and said, 'I have news for you. I will walk home with you.'

" We walked up town together, I momentarily expecting him to tell me his news, but he was perfectly silent.

"' Well, Skipwick, what were you going to tell me?' I asked, at length, becoming impatient. " Not here,' answered he, gravely. `Wait till we are alone.'

"This rather alarmed me; not on my own ac-count, but because I thought some misfortune had befallen him.

You haven't sold that copper stock, I hope ?'

I asked.


"' Has your house been robbed? or your pocket picked ? or—'

" `No, no, no! Don't ask me any thing till we are at your house!'

" I looked at him. He was pale, and there was a restlessness in his eve I had never observed before. ' He is ill ; or some woman has jilted him,' I thought; and so let him alone till we were seated in my study.

" 'Now then, Skipwick !' said I, encouragingly. "`Theodore,' 'said he—he always called me by my first name, being a half Quaker (his mother was a Hickcox)—` Theodore,' said he, putting his hand on my knee, `I have seen your father.'

" I know you have, often,' said I, innocently. 'What of it?'

" `Theodore,' said he, gravely, `I saw him last night!'

"I confess that this startled me ; but I instantly recovered, and replied, ' In a dream, I suppose,' " `No, but in the spirit. I called upon him, and he answered. I asked him how it was with him, and lye said, "Well." I asked it he had a message for you, and he said, "Tell Theodore his place is ready for him!"'

"I looked at Skipwick again. His eyes still moved restlessly in t heir orbits, rind he was even paler than before. Instinctively I pushed back my chair. `Good God !' thought I, `Skipwick is mad!' In the next instant a feeling of indignation took possession of Inc. `He is not mad,' I thought; `but he is experimenting with his cursed psychology, or some other foolery, upon my feelings

` Look you, Skipwick!' said I, `you are an old acquaintance, but I'll be d—d [excuse me, gentle-men, but I was naturally excited] if your intimacy gives you a right to play off your tomfooleries upon me ! And—' But before I could say more he arose and held out his hand.

" `I am sorry to give you pain,' said he, sadly, `and I beg you will forgive me. But I had the message, and it was my duty to bear it. I thought, too, you would like to hear— Well, well, I will say no more now,' said he, interrupting himself—from the expression of my face probably; `and as to your epithet, I pass it over. You arc still in the dark; but it will be all light some day, and you will do me justice. Good-day, Theodore.'

"He went away. Poor Skipwick! His brain was evidently weakened. I made but a gloomy meal that day. A week afterward he came to me to sell some stock for him.

It is a bad time to sell,' said I.

"' I can not help it. It must be done. I have bought a house, and it must be paid for and furnished:

" ` A house ? Are you going to marry, Skip-wick ?'

" No ! It is not for myself.'

" `Ah ! And may I inquire for whom it is?' "` it is for my—for Mr. and Mrs. Cheatham.' "' Relations of yours, I suppose?'

"' No. That is spiritually'

" His `spiritual relations !'

"Lord ! Lord !

"I questioned him, and, after much difficulty discovered that Mr. and Mrs. Cheetham were two




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