Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/188

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184 Southern Historical Society Papers.

the berries of which are now mature, will afford a supply of wax that, with the addition of one-third tallow, will furnish candles suffi- cient to light every house in the Confederacy for the next year. So, also, on every plantation, nay, in almost every kitchen, the monthly waste of ashes and grease, with the addition of a little lime and salt, and the labor of one person for one day, will make soap enough for our purposes. Now, why should we continue to pay the Yankees 30 cents a pound for soap and 60 cents for candles?' ' Candles in war time were made of rosin. A model, economical candle, sixty yards long, was recommended for the camp and for plantation purposes; it was said to burn six hours a night for six months, and all at a cost of only a few cents. One pound of bees- wax was added to three-fourths pound of rosin, and melted to- gether; four threads of slack-twisted cotton was used for a wick, and drawn through the melted wax or rosin three or four times, was wound into a ball, which on pulling the end up and lighting, furnished a good candle.

Among the recipes that were published for making soap in the Southern papers, I note the following: i. Yellow or rosin soap: dissolve one pound of concentrated lye in half a gallon of water and three and a half pounds of fat or tallow, and boil; put in three - fourths pound powdered rosin, and let it boil down by constantly stirring until the soap sticks on the kettle and gets very thick. Put into a mould. 2. Hard fancy soap: dissolve half pound concen- trated lye in two and a half pounds of hot water, and let cool; then melt by a low heat five pounds of clear fat or tallow; pour in the lye in a very small stream and stir rapidly. Keep stirring until all has assumed the appearance of thick honey. Let it stand for 24 hours, when it will have set in a fine hard soap, which may be per- fumed or variegated with colors by stirring in the desired perfume or coloring matter, just before covering. 3. Soft soap: one pound concentrated lye and three gallons soft water and five pounds of fat or tallow. Boil till the mass grows transparent and all the fat has disappeared. Add fifteen gallons of water and boil a few min- utes, and the soap will be ready for use."

In making gunpowder the lighter woods, such as willow, dog- wood and alder charcoal were recommended. I append an adver- tisement taken from the Augusta, Ga., Chronicle of 1862: "To our contractors Willow wood wanted! 500 cords will be con- tracted for, to be delivered on the line of the canal at the govern-