Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 368
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James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
 
Page 368
 
 
Mississippi wrote to Davis that “the destitution of salt is alarming,” and the governor of Alabama, in a letter to the Secretary of War, said, “The salt famine in our land is most lamentable.” The “earthen floors of smokehouses, saturated by the dripping of bacon, were dug up and boiled” that no salty material be left unused. Sea-water was to a large extent utilized to provide for the deficiency, but a more valuable source of supply was the saline springs of southwestern Virginia. The commonwealth of Virginia embarked on the manufacture of salt and made regulations for its distribution to the public. Other States followed her example so that the salt famine was to some extent mitigated.  4
  Another serious hardship arose from the scarcity of paper. Many of the newspapers were gradually reduced in size and were finally printed on half sheets. Sometimes one sheet would be brown, another wall paper. Even the white paper was frequently coarse; and this, together with inferior type, made the news sheet itself a daily record of the waning material fortunes of the Confederacy. The Richmond Examiner said that the editorials of the journals were written on “brown paper, waste paper, backs of old letters and rejected essays, unpaid bills, bits of foolscap torn from the copy books of youth and the ledgers of the business men.” An Alabama editor used a shingle; when one editorial was set up he would wipe it out and write another. Another editor employed in a similar way his schoolboy slate. An advertisement in the Charleston Courier ran that no more orders for Miller’s Almanac for 1863 could be filled unless forty or fifty reams of printing paper could be purchased. Mrs. MacGuire could not get a blank-book in which to continue her diary and was obliged to use wrapping paper for the vivid account of her daily
 

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