Thursday, August 14, 2014

The last episode of the CNN's series, THE SIXTIES, premiered tonight, August 14, 2014. It was entitled SEX, DRUGS AND ROCK 'N ROLL.Here's what I got out of it...
Ken BABBS "Stagnant materialism"; Peter Cohen "Coyote"; ON THE ROAD; Douglas Brinkley; WORK FOR THE CORPORATION; "Go roll your bones alone." Kerouac; "You're square."; coffee houses; beatniks; folk singers; Joan Baez; folk revival; Greenwich Village Movement; Dylan 1963 Medger Evers; "Took Beat energy and linked it to folk culture."; "Bob Dylan was in this white hot moment."; THE SCENE MOVES WEST; "Everybody moved to Laurel Canyon."; Lookout Mountain, Graham Nash; FIRST AD: Jos. A. Bank...; San Fran, Kesey, Stanford; LSD patient is asked, "Is it a beautiful experience?" He replies,"YES!"; Kesey in La Honda; BABBS UNSETTLING AMERICA "Blowing peoples' minds"; "Making the Squares pay notice of the Underground."; Kerouac drinking a tall boy Bud; "Torch had been passed."; Kesey messianic; THE ACID TEST; the Warlocks/ THE GRATEFUL DEAD; Tom Wolfe; the third time Garcia is seen; Counterculture in California is born.; Reagan,"Just being complete fools."; SECOND AD: St. Croix Virgin Islands, Microsoft, Quicken Loans, Transamerica, CNN promos: Harry Reasoner of CBS News; "It offers some kind of hope."; "It's like you were in one big happy family."; "You couldn't understand if you hadn't gotten high."; DIGGERS FREE STORE; 5th time they show Garcia and they let him talk,"NOBODY WANTS TO HURT ANYBODY."; "Here to celebrate LIFE!"; "They had a monster war."; Grace Slick; SUMMER OF LOVE; Group sainthood; Harry Reasoner,"This is not a new idea and it has never worked."; "HIPPIE" is a fabrication: "Question the paradigm of materialism."; "You own this big metal box."; "What joy is there in life?";  ECSTASY; fascist cops; WAR BETWEEN GENERATIONS; "Never trust anybody over 30."; "He wants to stop human growth!"; "If it's necessary to bring in the National Guard, I'll bring in whatever force is necessary."; THIRD AD: Infiniti, NOVEMBER MAN, Citi Bank, CNN Sixties Promo, Talking diabetes meter; BKG Boxing, CNN promo; "intense preoccupation with pursuit of pleasure"; 8 MILES HIGH; Ginsberg & Leary; Leary,"TURN ON WITH YOUR CHILDREN WHEN YOU ARE READY."; super peaceful family atmosphere; express themselves creatively, Dylan, Kesey, Leary, Garcia, GIANT LOVE-IN; Joplin at Monterey Pop singing ARITON'S BIG MAMA THORNTON'S "Ball & Chain"; "MONTEREY HIT LIKE LIGHTNING!"; "Get on board! We're leaving town!"; Mama Cass watching Janis perform at Monterey.; Michelle Phillips, 9:35 P.M. EDT; Love & peace and Monterey Police Chief bought flowers for the police force and said,"Don't arrest anybody."; GRASS!!! Mo' & mo' gettin' ZONKED; LIVING IN THE STONED AGE; "...changed their mind about premarital sex..."; "If you want to make love to somebody you should."; "THE PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC IS BUNK."; The ruling theme was, NO RULES.; NEXT AD:, AARP, U.S. Virgin Islands, Quicken Loans, (ed. note: something dot com) Beautyrest, CNN promos; William F. Buckley; "Kerouac never wanted to be a prophet but fame destroys people in America."; Kerouac, "I believe in order and piety."; treat hippies like they were animals; "largest hippie colony in the world"; HASH-BERRY; hippies try to get away to communes; BABBS sez, "People could just help themselves."; Bethel, N.Y.; WOODSTOCK; "Woodstock was an opportunity for people to find out they were not alone."; MAX YASGER; "Word got out and everybody and his brother came out..."; IRRESISTIBLE RIVER OF CHANGE; FREEDOM by Ritchie Havens; Cocker, Baez, Hendrix; LIKE A MEETING OF ALL THE TRIBES.; WAVY GRAVY; Cronkite; Frank Reynolds; Woodstock merchants were stunned by the politeness.; QUESTLOVE,"Woodstock marked the end of it."; NEXT AD: CNN SIXTIES, Plaza Ford, Verizon FIOS, CNN; Michael Lang; ALTAMONT; Graham Nash; HELLS ANGELS; Grace Slick, "There was a lot of speed and alcohol. That's a deadly combo for bikers."; Garcia; Manson; mystical hippie clan; SVENGALI; Vincent Bugliosi, " was mass orgies and LSD trips..."; "After the Manson murders, nobody picked up hippie hitchhikers."; drained idealism; really rotten people in the HAIGHT; "There have been generation gaps before..."; Kesey and his kids; BABBS,"Mercy is better..."; "Most carefree period of my life.", said Peter Cohen "Coyote".

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

ANDREW ELLICOTT'S INSTRUMENTS PHOTOGRAPHED WHILE IN STORAGE AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY IN WASHINGTON, D.C. This is Ellicott's small zenith sector that he used to build an astonomical observatory in present-day Houston County Alabama in August of 1799. It is now in storage in the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Here's a link describing this instrument.

This is a link to a chart of Ellicott's observations of 4 stars  using the small zenith sector at his observatory on the Chattahoochee in present-day Houston County Alabama in July and August of 1799.

Need to get info on this instrument. I was told that it was Ellicott's. It looks like a refracting telescope.


Need to get info on this instrument. I was told that it was Ellicott's. It looks like a quadrant with a telescope and plumb line.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThis is the base of the small Zenith Sector which was used to mount and level it on a tree stump for astronomical observations.

This is a magnetic compass made for Ellicott by Benjamin Rittenhouse. It was probably not used on the Southern Boundary Survey but a venier compass made by Rittenhouse was used on the survey. Here's a link explaining this instrument.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThis is Benjamin Rittenhouse's
mark on the magnetic compass he made for Andrew Ellicott.
The curator allowed me to remove the top off of Ellicott's compass. She will never know how much I appreciate that privilege.
I wrote the text for this historic marker which is located south of Dothan on the northbound lane of U.S. Highway 231.
The painter of this mural, Bill Smith, used Ellicott's transit as a model for this 1968 work. The transit is now in storage at the Smithsonian and the Maryland Department of Transportation has also stored the mural. This is the same transit Ellicott used in present-day Houston County, Alabama in August of 1799. Here's link that explains it.

by Robert Register

Le Bouf
August 1st, 1794
"My Dear Sally,
...We live here like a parcel of Monks, or Hermits, and have not a woman of any complexion among us-our linnen is dirty, our faces, and hands brown, and to complete the picture, our beards are generally long-
O sweet Woman!
without thee man is a Brute,
& society a blank:
thou shapest man into a valuable being, and directeth his ambition to useful pursuits.
Can that man be possessed of rational sensibility who adoreth not a woman?
I am Dear Sally your
Affectionate Husband."
[Andrew Ellicott]

In our present age in which political expediency and twisted syntax replace legal proof and Biblical morality, it's almost refreshing to hear the old axiom, "There's nothin' new under the sun."

As one contemplates the following story, the self-evident truth of this old maxim applies once more to the unwavering foibles of the condition that goes by the title, "Human Nature."

As we contemplate more than 200 years of American dominion over this land we call "home",
we can find comfort in knowing that our ancestors had ample opportunity to witness the shortcomings of their leaders. So it was with the 1811 court martial of General James Wilkinson, Commanding General of the U.S. Army and, arguably, the most greedy, deceitful and devious rascal to ever walk across the stage of West Alabama history.

General Wilkinson's career in West Alabama was brief, but consequential. Under orders of President Thomas Jefferson, Wilkinson traveled during the summer of 1802 to the ruins of the old Spanish Fort Confederation near present-day Epes in Sumter County. By October he had produced a treaty that proved that in the future his powers of salesmanship would never be equalled by any slick selling cars or trailers on Skyland Blvd.

The ink on the yellowed paper of the treaty sez it all:

"...the said Choctaw Nation, for, and in consideration of one dollar, to them in hand paid, by the said United States, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, do hereby release to the said United States, and quit claim forever, to all that tract of land..."

In other words, with language lifted from an Alabama used car sale before the title law, Wilkinson picked up one-and-a-half-million acres in present-day Southwest Alabama, "in consideration of one dollar."Almost nine years later, on April 10th, 1811, General Wilkinson took the offensive in one of the greatest feuds between men who shaped Alabama history. His legal arguments bore strange fruit in a federal courtroom in Frederick, Maryland. General Wilkinson, commander of the U.S. Army for seventeen years (1796-1813) was on trial for being the notorious secret agent "Number 13" for the King of Spain. Wilkinson, who would later claim Mobile for the U.S. from Spain in 1813, had spent more than two decades taking Spanish money in exchange for privileged information and now he was about to be convicted of treason. Options were of the essence so Wilkinson played "his ace in the hole."

Wilkinson's hidden ace was Thomas Freeman, Surveyor General of Mississippi Territory and the namesake of the Freeman Line passing east to west through Montevallo which separates North & South Alabama to this day.

The entire case for the government hinged on the testimony of Major Andrew Ellicott, the former commissioner for the United States during the first American survey of Alabama soil in 1799. During the survey of this first Southern Boundary of the U.S., Ellicott had intercepted a letter which proved Wilkinson was on the take.

Freeman, the man who established the Huntsville Meridian upon which every North Alabama property line is now based (including the lines which keep my neighbors off uv me here in Tuscaloosa as I type),
had a grudge to pick with Ellicott. Ellicott had fired Freeman during the U.S. Southern Boundary survey so the court martial was an opportunity for Freeman to get some payback.

Freeman testified that during the entire 1796-1800 survey of the first southern boundary of the United States, Andrew Ellicott and his son, Andrew Jr., employed
"a prostitute of the lowest grade" to share their camp cot during their trip through the wilderness. This testimony produced "the utter demolition of the character of the eminent astronomer."

It didn't matter that Ellicott could prove that Wilkinson was on the take. All the jury heard were salacious tales of the government's chief prosecution witness having "a beastly, criminal and disgraceful intercourse with a harlot."What follows are excerpts from Thomas Freeman's sworn deposition:

Question: Did you know a woman called Betsy who sat at Mr. Ellicott's table?
What station did she appear to occupy in Mr. Ellicott's family, and what was her known character?

Answer: I did know the woman called Betsy who sat at Mr. Ellicott's table. She appeared to occupy the position of washerwoman to the party. Her known character was that of a prostitute,
and of the lowest grade.

Question: Did you observe and particular familiarity and attentions, in the intercourses of the said prostitute, with Ellicott and his son, and what was the age of the boy? Be particular in time, place and circumstances.

Answer: I did observe frequent, particular familiarities and attentions in the intercourse of Ellicott and his son and said prostitute. I cannot now, from recollection, be very particular in
time, place and circumstance. The boy appeared to be nearly full grown, of about nineteen years of age. I recollect that Ellicott introduced the woman, Betsy, to Governor Gayoso, on his first visit to the barge after we landed at Natchez [February 24, 1797: ed.];
and, as far as their conduct (Ellicott & son) came within my observation afterward, they continued to pay mutual friendly and familiar attentions to her.
It was said and generally believed that extraordinary trio:
father, son and washerwoman,
slept in the same bed at the same time-
I did not see,
but I believed it.
I was even pressed by the old sinner, Ellicott, to take part of his bed with himself and the washerwoman, for the night.

Question: Was it not your opinion and that of all the other gentlemen of the party, that Ellicott, the father, and son held criminal intercourse with the said harlot, Betsy.

Answer: It was my opinion, and I understand it to be the opinion of every gentleman of both parties, American and Spanish, that the Ellicott's, both father and son,held, and continued a beastly, criminal and disgraceful intercourse, with the said harlot Betsy.

J.F.H. Claiborne in his 1880 history of Mississippi makes this statement about Thomas Freeman's testimony:

"As Mr. Ellicott, in his journal and official correspondence traduced many worthy persons living and dead, and did not hesitate to break open private letters, surreptitiously obtained, and represents himself as pure and immaculate, it is but justice to show what manner of man he was. This can be seen by reference to the deposition of Major Thomas Freeman before the court-martial at Frederick, convened September 1, 1811, for the trial of Major-General James Wilkinson. The witness was a man of the highest character, then and until his death holding a responsible position under government, and he charges Ellicott, under oath, with untruthfulness and official corruption, and with conduct personally and most degrading, indecent and beastly."

So the next time you look at an Alabama property deed or drive down by the Florida line, the demarcation between the Anglo-Saxon civilization of the U.S. and the Latin civilization of Florida in 1799, think about Betsy- Mr. Ellicott's washerwoman. She was probably the first woman from the United States to see the 381 miles of impenetrable wilderness between the Mississippi and the Chattahoochee Rivers. By cleaning Ellicott's linen, Betsy added a civilizing touch to the survey party, but her place in history is assured because Betsy was the first of a legion of American "ladies of the evening" who followed the almighty dollar down the Mississippi River to the rowdier sections of Natchez, New Orleans, Mobile and Pensacola.

She survived the Ellicotts, Indian attacks, a voyage around the peninsula of Florida, a trip up the St. Mary's River to Okefenokee Swamp
& when her story was used in court,
she allowed Major General James Wilkinson, a clever scoundrel whose reputation is rivaled only by Benedict Arnold,
to get away with 23 years of espionage.








[ed. note: The following article is related to Ellicott's Survey of the First U.S. Southern Boundary (1796-1800) because Panton, Leslie and Company, the forerunner of John Forbes and Company, financed the outfitting of the Spanish Boundary Commission which accompanied Ellicott on the survey and confirmed his observations. James Innerarity would have met Ellicott at Panton, Leslie and Co. headquarters in Pensacola in 1799 but his younger brother John Innerarity had not yet arrived.)
 The Long Road To the American Acquisition of St. Andrews Bay


A title search for any deed to any piece of property in the Panama City area is a strange mosaic of clues to a long story that goes back over two centuries and includes international intrigue, complex individual and international interests, the long delayed settlement of St. Andrews Bay, the preservation of Florida’s public domain and the sovereignty of the United States. The oldest deeds in the Panama City area only go back to 1835 yet Spain turned the land over to the U.S. in 1821 so why did it take Florida’s land hungry pioneers fourteen years to gain title to some of the best unsettled land on the shores of one of the most important and beautiful harbors in all of frontier Florida?


When the federal government tried to settle the Spanish land claims in Florida, they discovered that St. Andrews Bay was part of the largest Spanish land grant in all Florida history which claimed the entire seacoast and all the bayshore from present-day Apalachicola west to East Pass at present-day Destin. The United States always delayed land sales until all Spanish land grants had been legally recorded or invalidated. This particular Spanish land grant was issued in 1818 by the Captain-General of Cuba to the John Forbes & Co., a mercantile firm of Scottish Indian traders based in Pensacola and Mobile who had received a permit from the Spanish to conduct a monopoly on trade with the Southeastern Indians. This huge land grant was compensation for the company’s services to the Spanish government of West Florida and for the losses it incurred during the 1814 British invasion of West Florida during the War of 1812. Until the litigation concerning this Spanish land grant was settled, none of present day Bay County’s land could be placed in the public domain and be offered for sale to Florida’s frontiersmen.

A drawing of the John Forbes and Co. warehouse on the waterfront in Pensacola. 
A photograph of the John Forbes & Co. complex on the waterfront in Pensacola 

 John Forbes & Co. deserved some sort of compensation because the Spanish government welcomed the British army and navy into West Florida and allowed them to establish British martial law in Pensacola under which John Forbes and Co. suffered greatly. 

The name, John Forbes & Co., was adopted by the old company of Panton, Leslie & Co., in 1804 when it reorganized after the death of the original Scottish partners, William Panton of Pensacola, Thomas Forbes of the Bahamas and John Leslie of London. The Spanish government confirmed all of the privileges of the old company to the new one. The new principal partners, John Forbes, James Innerarity and John Innerarity were tied to the old partners by kinship but were decidedly more pro-American than the original partners. It is not that the new partners necessarily changed their political allegiances but more importantly, American rule appeared to be inevitable and certainly promised to be better for their business if they were able to sell the land they had acquired from the Indians with the approval of the Spanish government.

James Innerarity, head of Forbes & Co. in Mobile, negotiator of the Forbes Purchase east of the Apalachicola and first American mayor of the City of Mobile
John Innerarity, head of Forbes & Co. in Pensacola

 In the spring of 1814, the British navy and marines arrived off the coast of Northwest Florida and in preparation for the invasion and conquest of New Orleans attempted to incite a general slave and Indian uprising similar to the one that had previously gripped Haiti. This proposed slave insurrection along the Gulf Coast was designed to incite terror in the general populace, to target the women and children of the settlers for slaughter and to engage American forces which would otherwise be used in defense of New Orleans.

The British chose to build the fort that would support this war effort at the John Forbes and Co. store on the east bank of the Apalachicola River at Prospect Bluff located about thirty miles north of the present day town of Apalachicola. Even though all of the partners of John Forbes and Co. had been born in Great Britain, they did not welcome the British invasion of their adopted homeland and the British military men considered the John Forbes and Co. partners to be American spies.

A map of the Forbes Purchase showing the location of the Prospect Bluff store on the 1.25 million acres the company received from the Creek Indians in 1804 to clear the Indians' debt to the company.

The Brits picked John Forbes and Co. clean during their one year stay in Northwest Florida. The company’s slaves taken by the British created the greatest monetary loss for the firm but the British also took John Forbes & Co. cattle, horses, mules and gunpowder. The company store at Prospect Bluff was closed and replaced by a fort to protect the Indians and Negroes recruited to the British cause.

When John Forbes retired from the company and moved to Cuba in 1818, he used the move as an opportunity to appeal to a Spanish government superior to the one in Pensacola for the losses the company experienced in West Florida at the hands of the British during the War of 1812. Forbes successfully convinced the Captain-General of Cuba, Don Jose Cienfuegos, to invoke an 1815 royal ordnance meant to increase the population of Puerto Rico to justify giving John Forbes and Co. title to all the land between the Choctawhatchee and the Apalachicola Rivers south of a line running from the mouth of the Choctawhatchee east to the point where Sweetwater Creek enters the Apalachicola River. This grant included over 1.5 million acres of land and encompassed all of present-day Bay County along with the entire seacoast between present-day Apalachicola and Destin.

When you look at I.G. Searcy’s 1829 Florida map, the first American map of the Florida Territory, the entire Washington County portion of the map around St. Andrews Bay is labeled “Innerarity’s Claim”.  This was the Spanish land grant of John Forbes and Co. and the Innerarity brothers of Mobile and Pensacola were in 1829 the controlling partners of John Forbes and Co. These Scottish brothers had taken over John Forbes and Co. after Forbes retirement in 1818 and his subsequent death in 1823.

In the early years of the Florida Territory, land ownership controversies like “Innerarity’s Claim” were the most pressing problems facing the government. On May 22, 1822, Congress created a Board of Commissioners on Land Claims for Florida which validated Spanish land grants of less than 1000 acres. Wealth in Florida was defined by land ownership so administration of the land claims commission as well as the offices associated with the public land system became the road to prosperity for many of the recently arrived Americans who owed their appointments to these offices to their association with Florida’s first territorial governor, General Andrew Jackson. The land claims commission could not rule on a grant as large as “Innerarity’s Claim” so in 1828, Congress passed a law allowing claimants of grants this large to file suit against the United States in the Superior Court of the district where the disputed land was located. With this law, the stage was set for a showdown between the Inneraritys and Andrew Jackson’s cronies who had used Old Hickory’s influence to gain their positions in Florida’s courts and land offices.
Richard Keith Call

 Even though he was a partner with James Innerarity in the purchase of property on Santa Rosa Island, lawyer Richard Keith Call was the last person Innerarity needed to see representing the United States when his case came before Judge Henry M. Brackenridge’s Pensacola courtroom in the fall of 1830. Call had been appointed by President Jackson to assist government attorneys in these larger Spanish grant lawsuits. Through service as Florida’s delegate to Congress, two terms as the Florida Territorial governor and as Receiver of Public Monies at the public land office in Tallahassee, Call had become an expert on Spanish land grants and was convinced that all of the Spanish land grants issued in the last days of the regime were frauds. Besides being suspicious, in his commercial role as a land speculator, Call understood that preserving land in the public domain would mean that in the long run it would be cheaper to buy the property at the public land office than from private owners.  In preparing for the case in 1829, Call received a federal commission that paid him to sail to Havana in pursuit of original documents pertaining to the case.

Call was the fifth government official sent to Cuba since 1821 to retrieve Spanish archives of Florida which had been taken out of the country in violation of the 2nd article of the Adams-Onis Treaty in which the U.S. acquired Florida from Spain. This February 22, 1819 treaty required that all documents relating to property were to be left in the possession of “officers of the United States.” For whatever reason, Spanish officials began exporting Florida archives to Havana immediately after the treaty was confirmed and had no intention of turning over one paper to an American official yet holders of Spanish land grants in Florida were constantly presenting original and copied documents from Cuba in Florida courtrooms to support their cases. Men like R.K. Call were convinced that the holders of Spanish land grants were cheating the U.S. government out of land that was rightfully its own and were able to present original and verified supporting documents in Florida courts because they bribed the Spanish officials in Havana in order to get them.

Because Call requested only the documents he needed for his land grant cases and did not demand all of the Florida archives illegally held in Havana be returned to the United States, he was successful in getting original documents and verified copies for the first time after four previous attempts failed to acquire a single piece of paper.

With the documents he desired, Call returned to Pensacola and when the court heard the case, he produced the original document where he showed Judge Brackenridge that the actual date of the land grant had been altered in order to make it conform with the provision in the treaty that made it illegal to make land grants in Florida after January 24, 1818. On the date on the original document a line had been drawn through “March” and the word “January” written above it. So by a matter of days, the company lost the land grant that compensated it for all its wartime losses. This was a catastrophic defeat for John Forbes & Co. but a triumphant defense of the public domain of the United States. Indian title to the land had already been extinguished in 1823 by the American Treaty of Moultrie Creek with the Seminoles so in 1831, Robert Butler, the Surveyor-General of Florida, ordered surveys of the townships surrounding St. Andrews Bay to begin and by 1834, the land of present-day Bay County was being purchased at the Tallahassee land office. For the first time in American History, citizens who had been living on the shores of St. Andrews Bay for decades as squatters were able to exercise their pre-emption rights to the land they had improved and purchase their property for about two bucks an acre.

John Forbes and Co. was more successful with their lawsuit against the U.S. pertaining to their Spanish land grant east of the Apalachicola. They lost their suit in the Superior Court of Middle Florida but appealed that decision to the Supreme Court of the United States. In his last case as Chief Justice, John Marshall overturned the lower court’s decision and found for that the company’s title to the 1.2 million acres between the Apalachicola River and the St. Marks River to be perfectly legal. In 1835, the Apalachicola Land Co. was formed to promote land sales and the legacy of this old company comes down to us to this day when we look north from the bridge that spans the mouth of the Apalachicola River and see that the first three streets we find in the town of Apalachicola are Forbes Street, Leslie Street and Panton Street, the names of the three founders of the firm that would become John Forbes and Company. If R. K. Call had not found the fraudulent date on the original Forbes grant to the land between the Apalachicola and the Choctawhatchee, the main streets of Panama City might also have been named for the original founders of John Forbes and Co. 
Forbes Street in present day downtown Apalachicola Leslie Steet in present day downtown Apalachicola Panton Street (sign misspelled) in present day downtown Apalachicola
A model of the Forbes and Co. warehouse in present day Pensacola

Raise your glass to the hard working people
Lets drink to the uncounted heads
Lets think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead

Lets drink to the hard working people
Lets drink to the lowly of birth
Raise your glass to the good and the evil
Lets drink to the salt of the earth
(M. Jagger/ K. Richards) 


The story of the Civil War in Florida is one long drawn out drama characterized by deprivation and tragedy. Less than a month after secession and two months before the war even started, the New York Times reported massive inflation in Florida and that the price of slaves had dropped by one half in the past six months. Small town businesses were already closing and poor people were going hungry. 

On Friday, April 19, 1861, only one week after the first shell was fired on Ft. Sumter, President Abraham Lincoln issued a "Proclamation of Blockade Against Southern Ports". By June, the blockade had already begun at Apalachicola and September saw the first naval action of the Civil War occur in Pensacola harbor. From the very beginning of this awful war, anyone who thought they could sail out of St. Andrews Bay in their sloop or schooner in hopes of going fishing or engaging in the coastal trade was in for a rude awakening. The Civil War came to Northwest Florida coast right from the very get-go.

You know there's a lot of truth to that old expression,"You don't know what you got 'til it's gone."

How many times have you heard someone exclaim, "I can't imagine living down here in the summer without AC!" Well, imagine living down here without refrigeration as well. There was one main way to preserve food in 1861 and that was with salt and President Lincoln's naval blockade had an immediate impact on salt. The people of Florida at the time of the Civil War probably used more salt per capita than any group of people who have ever walked on the face of the earth. No one worried about extracting it from seawater. That was too much trouble. Hell, you could get a 200 pound sack for just about nothing on the docks at Apalach. It came over as ballast from the European ships loading cotton. You may not have been keeping up with the news in 1862 but suddenly you noticed something truly strange and unusual. There was no salt.

It got really, really bad in a world without salt. No one realized how valuable and vital salt was until it was gone.Salt served as preservative, disinfectant, seasoning and fertilizer. When it got to be hog killing time in the autumn of 1862, there was no reason to kill the hogs because you couldn't cure the meat. The Confederacy started making wooden soles for canvas shoes because without salt no one could tan leather. Livestock suffered. Without salt, the Confederate army couldn't make disinfectant to clean the wounds of the injured.

Suddenly a new industry designed to extract salt from sea water popped up on the shallow, secluded shores of St. Andrews Bay. By 1862, hundreds of salt works dotted the landscape from Phillips Inlet all the way to California Bayou in East Bay. The Confederate government exempted salt workers from conscription so St. Andrews Bay suddenly had a huge influx of draft dodgers and in a world at war even the draft dodger had to prove he was "worth his salt." The only way you could keep your draft exemption was to produce over 1000 pounds of salt a day. You had everything from "Mom and Pop" operations with a single kettle to huge factories over a hundred feet long with a hundred kettles boiling 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Pretty soon as many as 2500 men were out in the salt marsh digging brine wells, chopping wood, stoking fires, dipping boiling brine and making salt in the St. Andrews Bay area and 4000 wagons pulled by teams of mules and oxen were employed in moving the product north to Eufaula so the railroad could transport it to Montgomery and from there to a salt hungry Confederacy.

It didn't take long for the Gulf Blockading Squadron headquartered at Pensacola's Ft. Pickens to target this wartime industry for destruction. Many of these military missions are described in the official military records and the record reveals that St. Andrews Bay experienced repeated amphibious search and destroy missions from the U.S. Navy's sailors and marines from September of 1862 until February of 1865.  The blockading squadron made up mainly of gunboats constructed from sidewheel steamers and bark rigged clipper ships built their naval blockade station, barracks, wharf, refugee camp, prison and cemetery on Hurricane Island, the barrier island that once existed at the mouth of the channel entering St. Andrews Bay. John A. Burgess in his 1986 book, SAND IN MY SHOES, uses a  June 1985 Panama City News-Herald column by Marlene Womack and concludes from her information that by 1934 all traces of Hurricane Island disappeared underneath the waters of the Gulf but that during the Civil War the island existed "in the open channel approximately one mile east south-east of the present day land's end (the eastern tip of today's Sand Island)." In 2013, the former land's end of Shell Island would now be a portion of Tyndall Beach. 

The purpose of this article is not to chronicle the merciless and persistent destruction which the salt makers of St. Andrews Bay experienced from the U.S. Navy but to describe the industrial plants which the Union was unable to exterminate and which, like the mythical Phoenix, arose from the ashes as fast as the navy could demolish them.

Thanks to an aging matron from Tallahassee who decided to publish her Civil War diaries in 1925, we have a contemporary description of one of the small "Mom and Pop" operations which was built on Apalachee Bay east of St. Andrews. For our purposes this diary entry best captures life at a typical single syrup kettle Gulf Coast salt works. 

October 27th, 1863.—We went to the salt works today and, though I am tired and dirty and have no good place to write, I am going to try to tell you about it.
A year ago salt began to get scarce but the people only had to economize in its use, but soon there was no salt and then Father got Cousin Joe Bradford to come down from Georgia and take charge of some salt works he was having installed on the coast. He had plenty of hands from the plantation but they had to have an intelligent head and then, too, it is a rather dangerous place to work, for the Yankee gunboats can get very near the coast and they may try shelling the works.
Though they have been in operation quite awhile this is my first visit. Father brought us with him and we will stay three days, so he can see just how they are getting on. We are to sleep in a tent, on a ticking filled with pine straw. It will be a novel experience.
I am so interested in seeing the salt made from the water. The great big sugar kettles are filled full of water and fires made beneath the kettles. They are a long time heating up and then they boil merrily. Ben and Tup and Sam keep the fires going, for they must not cool down the least little bit. A white foam comes at first and then the dirtiest scum you ever saw bubbles and dances over the surface, as the water boils away it seems to get thicker and thicker, at last only a wet mass of what looks like sand remains. This they spread on smooth oaken planks to dry. In bright weather the sun does the rest of the work of evaporation, but if the weather is bad fires are made just outside of a long, low shelter, where the planks are placed on blocks of wood. The shelter keeps off the rain and the fires give out heat enough to carry on the evaporation. The salt finished in fair weather is much whiter and nicer in every way than that dried in bad weather, but this dark salt is used to salt meat or to pickle pork. I think it is fine of Father to do all this. It is very troublesome and it takes nine men to do the work, besides Cousin Joe’s time; and Father does not get any pay whatever for the salt he makes.
We expected to have a grand time swimming and fishing. We are both good swimmers, but Father and Cousin Joe will not allow us to go outside of this little cove. Yankee gun-boats have been sighted once lately and there is no knowing when the salt works may be attacked.
Even though we may not have a picture of the Confederate government salt works on St. Andrews Bay, the largest in the entire state of Florida, we do have a Harper’s Weekly engraving of a large salt works near Port St. Joe that was attacked by the U.S.S. Kingfisher in September of 1862. From this image along with descriptions of large salt works of the time, we may gain an idea of how what was called the salt block was constructed. Like an old time wood stove, the works had oven doors with a fi re box at one end and a chimney at the other. This created a draft that drew the fl ame, heat and smoke to the chimney and heated the double row of iron kettles, basins or tanks that rested on open- ings in the masonry foundation. Old steamboat and sawmill boilers, coastal channel buoys and anything else made of iron that could be split into reservoirs for brine along with syrup kettles were mounted in a double line along the brick and limestone rock foundation of the structure. A white saline vapor rose from the boilers and was professed to be a cure for respiratory diseases but this was dangerous work. Sleeping in tents located in a mosquito infested salt marsh, constant one hundred degree temperatures, boiling brine and blazing ovens have their hazards. Huge ladles were used to dip the crystallizing salt out of the cooling brine and it was placed in split oak or wicker baskets hung above the boilers to drain. The salt was then thrown onto oak boards on the fl oor of sheds built on both sides along the entire length of the furnace. The kettles boiled down about three times every 24 hours and work went on day and night for about a week when the entire operation had to be shut down for a clean out of the incrust- ed scale called pan stone that accumulated on the bottom of the pans and interfered with the transmission of heat. This was considered the worst job in the entire process.
The heart and soul of the operation was the reservoir of brine which fed the entire salt works. This is the part we know little about. The pumps, gutters, pipes and aqueducts used to supply the salt block are a mystery as well as the reservoir, basin or well that was the source of the brine. On the Bon Secour River in Alabama, brine wells were dug above the reach of the high tide. These 12 foot by 12 foot pits were about 10 feet deep and were built like inverted pyramids with the sides made of squared logs narrowing down to the bottom which prevented the pit from fi lling in with sand. The brine seeped in through the loosely placed timbers and, brine being heavier than the fresh water, it sank to the bottom of the pit. On St. Andrews Bay, basins may have been built where the brine was allowed to stand for a few days and concentrated before being pumped or dumped into the iron tanks of the salt block.
Ella Lonn, a Goucher College professor from Baltimore, who wrote the classic book, SALT AS A FACTOR IN THE CONFEDERACY, stated about St. Andrews Bay, “Nowhere perhaps was a greater persistence manifested than in St. Andrews Bay in rebuilding the works so continually destroyed by the Federal fleet. It is diffi cult to explain whence the Richmond authorities found the means and as- sembled the materials for this really remarkable feat.”
Professor Lonn also does a great job of describing how the scarcity of this commodity condensed into a microcosm all the frustrations of the Confederacy and gave rise to this early St. Andrews enterprise,” It is only when a prime necessity thrusts itself upon public attention by its absence that a person ceases to take it for granted. Only when he no longer has it, does he realize what an important ingredient for his palate and digestion is plain, ordinary salt, necessary alike for man and beast.”

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Tiger Jack: All right. Before we lose him again, let's get Wyker on here, O.K. 
Johnny, how you doing, man? We keep losing you. Hope you can hang on for a few minutes. We got Wilbur Walton in the studio with us this morning. 

Wilbur: Hey, Johnny. 

Wyker: Yeah, I knew Wilbur back before he even started singing when he was a temp at Sigma Nu and he was friends with a buddy of mine named Jerry Sailor that later went on to sing with the Mark 5 up in Muscle Shoals and he died a few years age, I talked to Wilbur about a year ago on the phone and he probably gets the same thing I get every time he runs into an old friend. They say," Man, are you still alive? We thought you'd be the first to go."  I'm 63 and just got through raising and home schooling a 17 yr. old daughter and a 20 yr. old son and we've got an international net radio station on line. You can go to (URL deleted) ...that stands for Mighty Field of Vision Radio and we're actually trying to get a federal grant because you know now people don't have D.J.s like Tiger Jack that are heads up and hands on and that can break a local record like when we were freshmen in college in 1965, I got Johnny Townsend to sing with my band. He later went on to do SMOKE FROM A DISTANT FIRE and Tippy Armstrong came to play guitar with us and I found out in about two seconds I couldn't play guitar in the same band with Tippy and I had a choice of either getting thrown out of my own band or learning how to play saxophone within two weeks, on a trumpet within two weeks and so I blew till my lips bled. My... 

Tiger Jack: Wyker is the guy responsible for, I don't know if he's ever heard this story before, but he's the guy responsible for putting TIGER JACK on me. Wyker used to... I'm sure you don't remember this, but you used to call me in the middle of the night and get me to play records then you would tape 'em so that the band could learn 'em. Y'all were the Mag 7 then. 

Wyker: Yeah. 

Tiger Jack: And one night, I used to like to lift a few cool ones before I come in, you know what I'm saying, and this particular night there'd been a few too many and Wyker called up and said, "Boy, you're roaring like a TIGER tonight!" and that's kinda evolved into Tiger Jack later on so... 

Wyker: I'd also like to say I'm glad to hear Buddy Buie's well and doing good. I've had a few surgurys myself; a ligament transplant in my right shoulder a few years ago from a motorcycle wreck and days and I broke Sail Cat up when Motorcycle Mama was about 18 in the charts and I was living in Hollywood and I said, "I got to get out of here before they find a way how to get my BMI songwriter's money." so I bought the rest of the guys a plane ticket back to Alabama and I drove my old Cadillac back and bought a houseboat and just lived on the river for about five years and I was actually born in Florence and raised down there most of my life and went to high school in Decatur and came to Alabama as a freshman where I met Eddie Hinton and started working with him in '68 but I'd like to comment on Buddy Buie. The first time I saw Buddy Buie he was probably managing the Webs and we were sharing a bill with them at THE OLD DUTCH and I don't even remember what the name of my band was but in Buddy Buie I saw a guy who had more desire and more ability and more natural talent than anybody I'd run into in my life up to that time. He wasn't really a guitar player but make enough chords and he wasn't really a singer but he could write the most beautiful songs and when he would rair back and play one for a room full of people, he didn't let his guitar playing and vocals stand in the way, I mean, if you had any imagination at all, you could hear the finished product and I also noticed that Buddy took care of the little details nobody else wanted to do, like booking the jobs and making sure the guitar player had his pick. You know, all that kind of stuff~ I'm probably the least talented musician in the world but through watching him and a young Dan Penn; they both had that same power when they'd play one of their own songs. I don't know if Buddy remembers but I went over to Atlanta one time about '65 or '66 and we had signed with Columbia Records and was lucky enough to get a hit in the Southeast called LET LOVE COME BETWEEN US and I stayed with Buddy for a while and ended up over at Robert Nix's house who was the drummer for most of those great bands that y'all been talkin' 'bout and he's also got a band now with Dan Toler called the Toler-Townsend Band. 

Tiger Jack: Is Johnny on that? 

Wyker: Yeah, he's still in L.A. 
Married to Jennifer Toffel. Dr. Jim Coleman put 'em together and I'm sure you've heard the news on that... 

Tiger Jack: Yeah. 

Wyker: Dr. Coleman died a couple of months ago of a fall in his apartment. Fell down the stairs and broke his neck but I think there was more to it than that but I'm not going to say anything about it until... 

Tiger Jack: Get back to the old days! How did you and The James Gang... 
You told me a story a little bit earlier on the phone about how y'all crossed. 

Wyker: Right! When Buddy was talking about The James Gang broke up and just left Wilbur. You know, I mean, it's hard to compete with Roy Orbison, especially at that time or anytime but Wilbur called me up and said,"I gotta bunch of Christmas jobs booked on The James Gang and I don't have a band. I said,"Well, I gotta bunch of Rubber Band shows lined up but I don't have a singer and Wilbur said, "Tell you what, I'll give you," I think it was $200 a week or a gig, "if you'll get a band to back me up." So he said,"You can pay the other guys anything you want to and ,you know, make a little extra money on it," and  I did but it wasn't about money back in those days but one night we'd play as The James Gang and Wilbur would sing but he'd normally fiddle around for about two hours trying to get the P.A. working as he was knocking 'em out pretty good back then and he'd wait until he got his buzz adjusted just right and we didn't know any songs- basically- I went back to playing bass and Lou Mullinex was on drums and let's see, Tippy played guitar a little bit and Ronnie Brown played a little guitar and I played bass and we would do these long jams, like, imagine FUNKY BROADWAY and not put lyrics on it and I remember one night Wilbur was still stalling, trying to get the mic working. It probably worked. He just wouldn't flip the switch on until about halfway through the show but we didn't care, I mean, I was standing there facing the amps seeing pictures coming flying out of the bass amp and all this stuff and we kept playing...We were playing at a place in Auburn called the Shepherd's Purse. 
At first the people started yelling, "Play something else! Play something else!" and we just ignored 'em and kept playing this one chord instrumental. About an hour later, I looked up and everybody in the place was dancing and moving and the beer bottles on the shelves were swaying with the music so we kept playing about another hour and by then everybody had found them. I like to call this area THE LAND OF A THOUSAND DANCES. I mean, kids don't know how to act now days. You go to a party back then and everybody was doing some kind of dance~ The Alligator,laying down on the floor ~The Monkey, The Dog, The Funky Chicken~ all this stuff, well, we played as The James Gang one night. The next night we'd show up as The Rubber Band and I'd hire Cort. This was before Sail Cat. He was barely out of high school or still in high school and that worked out all right until we showed up in Mobile three nights in a row. First as The Rubber Band, then came back as The James Gang and the next night change clothes and went in and the third night we started to hear kids say," Hey, didn't we see them here last night?" and another go, "Yeah, last night and the night before!" and we were lucky to get out of that tour alive but I can say that, you know, I was a member of The Rubber Band and The James Gang~the final version of The James Gang~ at the same time! 

Tiger Jack: Well listen Wyker, you know how commercial radio is, we gotta take a break so we're gonna let you go. 

Wyker: I'd like to invite everybody to go to our website and get the whole story. I gotta bunch a songs I wrote, uh, stories I wrote called CAT TALES ~ T-A-L-E-S ~ but it's (URL deleted) and music on there you can download. Tell you about a lot we are doing today and I'd like to encourage everybody to bet a copy of the beach music book, HEY BABY. 

Tiger Jack: Yeah, we've talked about that a lot. 

Wyker: 18 pound book! I mean you won't believe it! It'll break somebody's back when you hand it to 'em. I mean, they could have just made a coffee table out of it! 

Tiger Jack: Well, all right, we appreciate you calling in Johnny. We gotta go take a break. 

Wyker: Get some of the old guys together like Wilbur and Buddy and whoever else is still alive and put on a damn show and show 'em us old Boomers can still rock! 

Tiger Jack: I hear you, buddy. Thanks for calling in. 

Wyker: I love you. I love you, man, for what you've done for the music business. 

Tiger Jack: Thank you, sir! We'll talk to you later. JOHNNY WYKER!!!! 
formally of The Rubber Band, calling in to talk with us. We got Wilbur here in the chair with us and we're gonna be talkin' more about the music of the 1960s and The James Gang coming up here in a second but first, let's take a break...

Bobby Dupree, drummer for THE ROCKIN' GIBRALTARS, tribute to Johnny Wyker.                                  Johnny, man what an influence you had on not only me, The Rockin' Gibraltars, but tons of great musicians. I'll never forget 1967 playin' in PC at the Old Dutch, ya'll (The Magnificent Seven) playin at the Old Hickory, and the fun we had after the gigs. Not many people know this, but when the M7 recorded for Columbia, they were told they had to change their name, since Columbia had just released the movie "The Magnificent Seven", and they didn't want a conflict of interest lawsuit. Anyhow, Johnny called our bass player Keith Brewer and asked him if they (the M7) could buy our name, The Rockin' Gibraltars. We thought that was a kinda funny request, and of course we declined. I talked to Johnny shortly after that, and he told me that the M7 were recording an album, and they were going to change their name to "The Herald Angels". Johnny then said the album would be titled "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing". What a great idea, but not one they all liked so shortly afterwards they changed their name to The Rubber Band. After I got home from Viet Nam, we moved up to T Town because Johnny said the music scene was hopping there. Johnny got me back into music, and I was blessed to play with some of the greatest musicians including Tippy Armstrong, Johnny Townsend, Mike Duke, Court Picket, Charlie Hayward, Art Shilling, Ronny Brown, Bill Connell, Mike Lawley, and of course Johnny. This was 1971, and Wyker had a large art pad he carried around with the complete story board of "Motorcycle Mama" written out like a movie script with cartoon characters. It actually was one of the first music video concepts I'd seen. Johnny was way ahead of many in the music industry as far as conceptual ideas. He was the original "Rhymin' Simon". Johnny, you influenced many musicians over the years brother. We won't forget you brother

Bobby Dupree

John Scott Gellerstedt, formally of Dothan, passed away November 24, 2013. He was 63 years old. Scott attended Dothan High School, graduated from Lanier High School in Montgomery, Al. and attended the University of Alabama. Scott served our country in the military during the Vietnam war and was employed in the real estate appraisal business. Scott was preceded in death by his father, Sonny Gellerstedt and brother, Steve Gellerstedt. He is survived by his mother, Barbara Harris Adams; brother, Sam Gellerstedt of Sanford FL; sister, Shea Mendheim of Dothan; nephews, Cliff (Helen) Mendheim, Harris (Bay) Mendheim both of Dothan, Sammy, Michael, and Ben Gellerstedt of Sanford, FL. Scott had a host of friends and was loved by all who knew him. 


A Confederate Salt Kettle in Alabama (many thanks to Butch)

Scarlett: But you are a blockade runner. 
Rhett Butler: For profit, and profit only. 
Scarlett: Are you tryin' to tell me you don't believe in the cause? 
Rhett Butler: I believe in Rhett Butler, he's the only cause I know.

Andrew F. Smith STARVING THE SOUTH An Albatross Around the Neck of the Union: The Confederate Salt Makers of St. Andrews Bay

The St. Andrews Bay area's Civil War claim to fame is that the largest salt works in Florida were located here around Lake Powell at Phillips Inlet, West Bay, North Bay, Callaway Bayou and California Bayou in East Bay. These salt factories were owned by individuals and the Confederate government in Richmond as well as the Confederate governments of Alabama, Georgia 
and Florida. At many times during the three years from 1862 to 1865 as many as 2500 men along with 4000 wagons were involved in producing and transporting St. Andrews Bay salt. This immense industry did not exist before 1862 and it ceased to exist after 1865 as soon as normal channels of commerce were established after the war ended. 

A hungry Confederacy demanded salt and after Lincoln's naval blockading Anaconda Plan began, there was no salt to be had. No salt for food preservation. No salt for tanning leather. No salt for horses, mules and livestock. Prices for salt soared to one dollar a pound but in most cases no amount of Confederate money could buy salt but salt was essential to life so St. Andrews Bay became the site of an extremely lucrative enterprise during an extremely critical time.

There was never enough salt. In the present day, genealogists probe the salt rationing lists issued at Alabama, Georgia and Florida court houses. These lists tell us which individuals were judged to be worthy enough to be given the privilege of being allowed to buy salt during this most violent and extended drama in our history.

Most everyone in Florida started off the year 1861 with the attitude of "The Rights of The South At All Hazard!" but it didn't take long for little personal problems like death and suffering to override politics and by autumn of 1862, war weariness had already settled over the Confederacy.
LINKS RELATED TO CONFEDERATE SALT WORKS ON THE NORTHERN GULF 1) The Eastern Gulf Blockading Squadron of the U.S. Navy built their naval blockade station, barracks, wharf, refugee camp, prison and cemetery on Hurricane Island, the barrier island that once existed at the mouth of the channel entering St. Andrews Bay at the time of the Civil War. By 1934, all traces of Hurricane Island had disappeared underneath the Gulf's waters.

2) This is a Wikipedia article on the U.S.S. Roebuck, a bark rigged clipper ship. It is one of many Wikipedia articles on the U.S. ships used to launch amphibious attacks upon the people of St. Andrews Bay during the Civil War. Five sailors from this ship were killed by Confederate troops near the town of St. Andrews on March 20, 1863. One body was left on the beach and buried by the Confederates. The other four were buried on Hurricane Island.

3) This is a link to a preview of Jeannie Weller Cooper's 2011 book, Panama City Beach: Tales From The World's Most Beautiful Beaches. This part reproduces the Hurricane Island information from a section of Marlene Womack's 1998 book, The Bay Country. John A. Burgess in his 1986 book, Sand In My Shoes, uses a Marlene Womack column from a June 1985 Panama City News-Herald and concludes from her information that Hurricane Island is now underneath the Gulf "in the open channel approximately one mile east south-east of the present day land's end (the eastern tip of today's Sand Island)." In 2013, the former land's end of Shell Island would now be a portion of Tyndall Beach.

4 ) This is a link that describes the markings on one of the Panama City salt kettles. A close friend of mine owns a Confederate salt kettle and I have his permission to examine & photograph it when I return to Alabama in January. I have also identified the location of two more kettles in the Mobile area.

5) This is a link to a 1955 Tequesta article that includes all the entries pertaining to Florida found in the journal of Dr. Walter Keeler, assistant surgeon aboard the U.S.S. Sagamore. The sailors of the Sagamore wrecked the salt works on St. Andrews Bay in September of 1862. Keeler noted that "salt nicely crystalized in cubical crystals" and that the people of St. Andrews promised not to build any more salt works.  Dr. Keeler does a great job of describing how he and his crew killed time between missions by oystering, crabbing, fishing and hunting game around the freshwater lakes in the dunes of Northwest Florida. He also writes that he had "no desire to go ashore in any part of Florida held by the rebels."

6) This is the link where I first discovered excerpts from Dr. Keeler's journal. It includes images of ships that launched attacks against St. Andrews Bay and also includes a photograph of Dr. Keeler.,+GEORGIA%22&source=bl&ots=Vzoq0LG53-&sig=HneZBZMNgxPT0DwzaCjfdV-s6Ec&hl=en&sa=X&ei=D2SXUvS6L9KzsATS7IDQCg&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

7) This is the Wikipedia link for Dr. Keeler's ship, the U.S.S. Sagamore.

8) This is a November 2012 article by John Roberts who in his retirement has seen fit to go out and examine the remains of salt works in Northwest Florida. This was published in the Wakulla News and includes a picture of a large salt kettle that may still be in the salt marsh near the St. Marks Lighthouse.

U.S.S. ALBATROSS The U.S.S. HARTFORD & the U.S.S. ALBATROSS Sailing Past The Rebel Guns At Port Hudson U.S.S. TAHOMA U.S.S. KINGFISHER Attacking Salt Works The U.S.S. HARTFORD & the U.S.S. ALBATROSS Sailing Past The Rebel Guns At Port Hudson
9) This is a link to a lesson plan on Confederate Salt Makers in Florida prepared in 1940. It includes John S.C. Abbott's description of the December 1863 burning of the town of St. Andrews which was published in Harper's Magazine in November 1866.

Abbott in Harper's 1866   "They rowed along, in a westerly direction about 20 miles, through a 
varied scene of wilderness, desolation, and beauty, and then landing, 
marched through the wilderness country five miles until they reached a large 
sheet of salt-water, called Lake Ocala. Here they came suddenly upon 
Kent's salt-works. There were 13 huge tanks or kettles in full blast, each 
holding 200 gallons. It seemed as though they had fallen upon some realm of 
Pluto, as they saw the immense fires blazing, Negroes running to and fro 
feeding them with the resinous fuel, and the air filled with smoke and vapor. 
They were producing 130 gallons of salt daily. Our boat's crew, who 
certainly deserve the title of intrepid, broke the boilers into pieces, utterly 
demolished the works and threw into the lake all the salt which they had 
accumulated. Two large flat-boats and six ox-carts were destroyed, and 17 
prisoners taken and paroled. 

"The success of this expedition incited to other similar movements. 
It so chanced that the stern-wheel steamer Bloomer, under Acting-Ensign 
Edwin Cressy, arrived. The steamer was of such light draught that she 
could run almost anywhere over the shallow waters of the bay. Master 
Browne put three officers and 48 men on board, and sent them to the 
western extremity of the bay, to a place called West Bay, where they found 
extensive Government salt-works, which were producing 400 bushels daily. 
Here they destroyed 27 buildings, 222 boilers and kettles, 5,000 bushels of 
salt, and storehouses containing three months' provisions. The estimated 
value of the property destroyed was half a million of dollars. 

"This little stern-wheeler which a sailor said 'could run where-ever 
there was a light dew,' now steamed down the shore of the bay, 
penetrating all its secluded inlets, and destroyed 198 private salt-making 
establishments. Seven hundred and sixty boilers and kettles were broken to 
pieces, and an immense amount of salt thrown into the lake. There was also 
committed to the flames 200 buildings, 27 wagons, and five large flat- 
boats. The entire damage to the enemy was deemed not less than 
$3,000,000. . . . 

"By some strange instinct, in these far-away regions, the slaves, 
with universal acclaim, received the Union soldiers as their deliverers. No 
frowns of their masters could repress their delight. With joy, which at 
times passed all bounds, they availed themselves of the opportunity of 
escaping from a bondage which their souls loathed. These ever-true 
friends to the Union cause proved of great service in pointing out the location of salt works, and the places where kettles had been hastily buried for 
concealment. Thirty-one of these contrabands accompanied the steamer back. 

"While these movements were in operation, Acting-Master Browne, 
learning from deserters that the town of St. Andrews had been occupied for 
10 months by a rebel military force, steamed up in the bark Restless to within 
100 yards of the town. Seeing a body of soldiers he shelled them and drove 
them speedily into the woods. Then, selecting some of the weathermost 
houses for a target, he soon set them in flames by his shells, and the 
conflagration rapidly spreading, in a few hours 32 houses were reduced to 

"Salt is one of the necessities of life. The rebel armies could not 
exist without it. They immediately made efforts to repair and defend 
their ruined works. Early in February 1864, the rebels had put up at 
West Bay, upon the site of the ruins which he had left there in 
December, greatly enlarged works, with a guard of 50 men to protect 
them. There were 26 sheet-iron boilers, each one of which held 881 
gallons, and 19 kettles averaging 200 gallons. These boilers and kettles 
had cost nearly $147,000, and the works covered a space of half a square 
mile. They had been in operation but 10 days when Lieut. W. R. 
Browne fitted out a cutter, manned with 13 men under Acting-Ensign 
James J. Russel, and sent them up the Gulf coast 20 miles. Here they 
were to land and march inland seven miles, until they should strike the 
works in West Bay, thus attacking them in the rear. 

10) Here's a New York Times article from December of 1863 which also includes a description of the burning of St. Andrews.

11) This material also came from the Confederate Salt Makers lesson plan.
According to The Tallahassee Historical Society Annual (1935) 
in an article written by F. A. Rhodes: "the average small salt plant 
consisted merely of a large kettle holding from 60 to 100 gallons of 
water and set in a brick or clay furnace. They were very similar to the 
syrup furnaces of today found on our small farms in this section. They 
were not built directly on the shore because of the high tides and wind, 
but were usually located a few hundred feet inland. Very near this 
furnace and kettle was dug a shallow well which always produced a 
plentiful supply of salty water. Perhaps this water was not quite as salty 
as that secured direct from the Gulf, but there was not an appreciable 
difference and it was very much more convenient. Instead of having a 
haul the water some distance, it could simply be drawn from the well and 
poured directly into the kettle. 

"Sometimes shallow holes were dug along the shore, and falling 
tides would leave them full of water, which was dipped up and carried in 
buckets to the furnace. . . . 

"The salt water after being poured into the kettle, was boiled in 
the same way as the brine secured form the smoke house. When there 
was only a thick brine left in the kettle it was dipped up, for further 
cooking would only burn that salt near the bottom of the kettle and render it unfit for use. The brine was usually placed on clean boards for 
the drying and bleaching process. Sometimes the brine was poured in a 
barrel, and after it settled, the water was dipped off the top. This was 
done particularly if the salt was not for table consumption, but merely for 
use in packing meat, etc. 

"Still others put the thick brine in bags and hung it up to dry, 
while others used fine sieves for the drying process. The salt often 
contained pieces of seaweed or other foreign particles which were 

12) This article is an excellent summary of most of the wrecking done on St. Andrews Bay by the U.S. Navy during the Civil War.

13) This article about the destruction of salt works on Cedar Keys includes an image of the U.S.S. Tahoma.

14) Here's a brief description of the Union raid on Geneva, Alabama in December 1862 which resulted in the capture of the Bloomer which became the U.S.S. Bloomer and was used in the attack on St. Andrews in December of 1863.

15) This is the description of the Masonic funeral of the skipper of the Albatross.

16) This is the Wikipedia article about the Confederate officer in St. Francisville who arranged the truce and Masonic funeral for Lt. Commander Hart.

17) This link describes on of
Connecticut's contributions to the Union's war effort: the construction of the U.S.S. Albatross in Mystic.

18) Here's another link to the St. Francisville tradition produced by Lt. Commander Hart's suicide: THE DAY THE WAR STOPPED

19) Log of the Albatross

20) Wikipedia article on the U.S.S. Albatross

21) The letters of Lieutenant Commander John E. Hart 1825-1863

22) Goucher College's Ella Lonn's wonderful journal article about the St. Andrews salt works. This work was incorporated into her landmark book, SALT AS A FACTOR IN THE CONFEDERACY

23) This work was prepared for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in Florida

24) This is a link to a book that includes a description of the December 1863 attack when the town of St. Andrews was burned.

25) Great recent article with an overview of salt making in Northwest Florida during the Civil War.

26) A 2012 description of a Civil War reenactment of the St. Andrews Skirmish in Panama City.

27) Here's a recent little history lesson on the salt works written by the Wakulla County salt works aficionado, John Y. Roberts.

28) Paul A. Clifford's 1888 History of St. Andrews Bay is a short 76 page pamphlet that has a good description of the bay area in 1888.

29) George M. West's book on St. Andrews Bay

30) The official record of the attack that destroyed the town of St. Andrews in December of 1863.;cc=moawar;rgn=full%20text;idno=ofre0017;didno=ofre0017;view=image;seq=635;node=ofre0017%3A1;page=root;size=100