Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/174

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170 Southern Historical Society Papers.

there on account of failure to obtain medical supplies. One incident is related there showing the shrewdness of druggists at Nashville. When it became known that all manufacturing enterprises would be blown up on the evacuation of the town, a shrewd druggist went around and succeeded in buying all the window glass in town. Three days later the explosions, on the retreat of the Confederates, broke one-half the window glass in the city, and Mr. S. reaped a rich harvest from his corner in window glass.

Various small attempts were made to manufacture chemicals at Knoxville, Tenn., Greenville, S. C., Columbia, S. C., and Mill- edgeville and Macon, Ga., but, outside of producing a few gun caps and nitre for making gunpowder and a few carboys of sulphuric acid for charging the torpedoes in Charleston harbor, very little was accomplished. Later on, some small manufacturing was done at Richmond and Charlotte, but, owing to the want of machinery and proper apparatus, little was achieved. A blockade runner brought into Wilmington, N. C., a supply of apparatus for making sulphuric acid, which arrived only a few days before the city fell. Much might have been accomplished with this but for the fall of Wilmington, as the plant was said to be first-class, and, it is said, was disposed of for a large sum to a Philadelphia manufacturer.

The excessive high price of quinine made its handling a profit- able employment. Almost every means known to human ingenuity were employed to smuggle it through the lines. Small packages were placed in letters which the Adams Express Company would guarantee for the sum of two dollars to deliver to the postoffice authorities at some point in the Confederacy. Officers- speculating in it, buying and selling until this created a scandal almost equal to that of speculating in cotton, and it was finally stopped by a strong proclamation.

A large contraband trade was carried on by an almost continuous line of house-boats floating on the Mississippi river. When oppo- site Memphis the goods were either sent in at night or into the interior of Arkansas, where trusty parties soon disposed of the stock. The great bulk of this trade was sent out by traders and speculators in Paducah, Ky., and Cairo, 111., and their main points of operation were Memphis, Tenn., Helena, Ark., Napoleon, Ark., and Greenville, Miss. In regard to Napoleon, very few of this generation ever heard of the town, nor can it be found on the maps of the present day; yet in war time Napoleon, Arkansas, was a