Saltville's Historic Civil War Battles
Saltville was extremely important to the Confederacy during the
Civil War. Since salt was the primary method of preserving
food and Saltville was the South's only significant source of
salt, the Confederacy wanted to hold Saltville and the Union
wanted to capture it.
Two Civil War battles were fought in Saltville -- the first
was fought on October 2, 1864 and resulted in the defeat a Union
army of 5,200 men. The second battle on December 20, 1864,
resulted in the destruction of the Saltworks by
the Union army.
Before the war the Saltworks had operated with 1-3 salt
furnaces and between 75 and 150 salt kettles. During the
war, every southern state from Mississippi eastward had
salt furnaces or a contactor in Saltville to supply their citizens with
salt. The production of salt grew from
15,000 bushels to 4,000,000 bushels of salt during the year of
Visit the Museum to learn more about the historic battles
fought in Saltville.
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