Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mining For Saltpeter In Tennessee

Was saltpeter being mined in a Tennessee cave during the War of 1812?  Wikipedia suggested that it was so.

A modern day view of the area (Crossville, Cumberland County, Tennessee)

It is also possible that this cave may have been mined much earlier, during the War of 1812. (Thomas C. Barr, Jr., "Caves of Tennessee", Bulletin 64 of the Tennessee Division of Geology, 1961, 568 pages.)

Grassy Cove is a very large, closed depression located 10 miles south-southeast of Crossville. It is 3 miles wide, 5 miles long, and over 1,000 feet deep. ...at Head of Sequatchie to form the Sequatchie River.  Read more...

 During the War of 1812 and the Civil War, many caves in the area were mined for saltpeter, a key ingredient in gunpowder... .

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