Saltville had it, The Union wanted it!
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 1864.
Visit the Museum to learn more about the historic battles fought in Saltville and to see our in museum theater!