As the United States raced toward a war with the rebellious southern states, Tennessee began preparing for its role in the conflict. Tennessee played a strategic role in the Confederacy, because of both its geographic location and its vast resources. Chief among these were the large saltpeter and gunpowder industries already underway in the state. Since the pioneer days, East and Middle Tennessee had been known for their capacity to produce both. Tennessee was ready to use all its resources to back the Southern cause, and saltpeter, being a major component of gunpowder, was quickly devoted to the cause.
The following table lists Tennessee saltpeter caves and works, along
with their known locations.
|M. C. Dibrell & Co. Caves
|Knox County Caves
|Monroe County Caves
|Chattanooga [Lookout] Cave
|Big Bone Cave
|Van Buren County
|Marion County Cave
|Kingston Saltpeter Cave
|Mil Sick Knobs Cave
|White River Caves
|Hickman County Saltpeter Company
|Warren County Saltpeter Company
|Campbell County Saltpeter Works
|Saltpeter Works (Name unknown)
For further information on saltpeter caves and works in Tennessee
see the saltpeter bibliography.
(Thanks to Nathan Kinser, assistant to the Reseach Coordinator, for the saltpeter research used on this page.)
Return to Civil War Technology & Industry in Tennessee
Last update: May 5, 2000