Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/189

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Confederate Drug Conditions. 185

ment powder factory at Augusta, Ga., at the rate of not less than 100 cords a month, commencing December ist next."

Out of the wood of the white poplar, split into shavings like tape or braid, the stuff called sparterie was made, used in the manufac- ture of hats. It is said that one workman with the aid of a child to carry off the shavings could keep a dozen plaiters employed.

Shoes were made from canvass for uppers and tupelo wood for soles, for the negroes on the plantations. They had been patented, so it was said, by Henry Wyatt & Co., of New York, who offered wooden-soled brogans for the negroes of the South. Ropes and baskets were made from the bark of the Canada leatherwood.

The following was published concerning the sassafras tree : ' 'The sassafras wood stripped of its bark is very durable and strong, resists worms, etc. It forms an excellent post for gates. Bedsteads made of it are never infested with bugs. The pith of the young shoots and the leaves contain much mucilage and are used exten- sively in New Orleans to thicken pottage and in making the cele- brated 'gumbo' soup."

A cheap and wholesome beer for soldiers, or as a table beer, is prepared from the sassafras. Take eight bottles of water, one quart of molasses, one pint yeast, one tablespoonful ginger and one and a half tablespoon of cream tartar; mix and stir in an open ves- sel after standing twenty-four hours. As far back as 1857 it was suggested in the Patent Office Reports (says a Confederate publica- tion), that the Pyrethrum would be found to answer the purpose of destroying insects, lice, etc., on plants and animals, and up to now, so far as I know, this has not been sufficiently experimented with.

W. Gilmore Simms wrote a friend that the "persimmon beer made in Orangeburg Dist., S. C, by Hon. J. M. Felder, equalled the best sparkling 'Jersey champagne,' or carbonated cider." The old Southern song ran: "Christmas comes but once a year, eggnog and 'simmon beer." It was customary to mash the fruit, strain through a coarse sieve, knead with wheat bran, and bake in an oven. This persimmon bread could be put away for winter use in making beer when wanted.

A correspondent in the Charleston Mercury wrote from Wares- boro, Ga. : "You speak of black moss for mattresses. Our com- mon palmetto leaves, split into shreds with fork and hackle, boiled, dried in the the sun a few days, make a light, clean, healthy and durable mattress. Let me suggest that palmetto pillows would be