Tampa Confederate Salt Works

Tampa Confederate Salt Works (HM1Y5C)

Location: Tampa, FL 33607 Hillsborough County
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Country: United States of America
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N 27° 57.055', W 82° 32.763'

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(side 1)
Salt was an essential commodity during the Civil War because it was required for the preservation of meat and fish. When the Confederate states no longer had access to vital sources of salt in West Virginia and Louisiana, southerners compensated by boiling salt-rich seawater until all that was left was the precious residue. Florida became the region's most important source of salt because of its expansive seashore with uncounted bays, coves, and easily concealed locations for primitive salt "factories." It has been estimated that by 1863, Florida's major salt works produced as much as 7,500 bushels each day. The New York Herald on January 5, 1864, noted "Salt works are as plentiful in Florida as blackbirds in a rice field." Salt production was so important that the Union naval attacks on salt works changed from raids of opportunity to fully-planned attacks in an effort to disrupt supplies carried by southern blockade runners.
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(side 2)
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Tampa was the southernmost location of Gulf coast salt production because some Floridians in the sparsely populated area south of Tampa had Union sympathies. Moreover, the coast south of Tampa was subject to shore patrols from Union naval ships stationed in the Florida Keys. Perhaps the
most well-known incident involving Tampa salt production took place in the fall of 1864. The Spanish-born patriarch of one of Tampa's pioneer families was alone tending a salt boiler on Frazier's Beach. Joseph Robles spotted a Union landing party from the USS Nita and USS Hendrick Hudson approaching. Robles, armed only with a double-barreled rifle, hid in an abandoned steam boiler and fired upon the party. Most of the landing party retreated to the craft and departed, leaving eight sailors behind. They surrendered to Robles, who marched them to Tampa while guarding them with his empty rifle. This replica salt boiler stands as a reminder of the importance of a simple "cottage" industry, operated by as many as 2,500 civilians, to the southern war effort.
HM NumberHM1Y5C
Year Placed2015
Placed ByThe City of Tampa, The United Daughters of the Confederacy Tampa Chapter 113, and the Florida Department of State
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, May 4th, 2017 at 9:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 347909 N 3092727
Decimal Degrees27.95091667, -82.54605000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 27° 57.055', W 82° 32.763'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds27° 57' 3.3" N, 82° 32' 45.78" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)813
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Cypress Point Park, Tampa FL 33607, US
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