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Southern Tobacco In The Civil War

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by tmh10, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    I first saw Zig Zag rolling paper in the 1970s . They were quite popular among the alternative tabbaco crowd. I didn' see a Zouave on it.Put another way their was no high school kid in 1970s California who didn't know about ZigZags.
    Leftyhuner
     
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  3. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Tobacco and cotton were such valuable crops that Southern planters would plant them instead of food much to the anger of the common Southerner.
    Source " Bitterly divided the South's inner Civil War" David Williams thenewpress.com p. 3-4 and p.61
    Leftyhuner
     
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  4. Rebforever

    Rebforever Captain

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    Now, soy beans prevail.
     
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  5. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    That makes sense not as hard on the soil.
    Leftyhuner
     
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  6. TerryB

    TerryB Major

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    I could be wrong, but I think the word "trash" comes from a poor grade of tobacco. I know it was so used by tobacco farmers during the ACW.
     
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  7. Bruce Vail

    Bruce Vail Sergeant Major

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    [​IMG]


    I'm a little unclear on the details of this poster. It is not contemporary to the Civil War, although the Pimlico Tobacco Works was producing snuff in the first half of the 1860s.

    Not sure whether the image of the factory is supposed to represent the old production site on Pimlico Road, just a couple of hundred yards from my back door, or whether the factory shown was a more modern structure.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  8. Billy1977

    Billy1977 Corporal

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    Well I don't know if there is a difference between Union and Confederate tobacco per se, only that there are in fact different varieties of tobacco that grow better in different areas and tobacco from one state might taste different at least to the tobacco aficionado, but what I meant was Civil War era tobacco whose provenance can be verified to having belonged to either a Union or a Confederate soldier. For example, here are a few examples of tobacco that was carried by Union soldiers:
    Civil War; Union.field.gear- tobacco,plug..jpg Civil War; Union.field.gear- tobacco,plug.,,..jpg Civil War; Union.field.gear- tobacco,plug.,,,..jpg Civil War; Union.field.gear- tobacco,plug.,,,,..jpg
     
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  9. TerryB

    TerryB Major

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    Those twists are identical to the "Warren County" my grampa chewed. He said the name referred to Kentucky, not Tennessee. When he cut off a plug, he called it a "quid." My ex-wife's grandma in Arkansas actually dipped snuff.
     
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  10. Billy1977

    Billy1977 Corporal

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    Oh O.K., thanks TerryB. By the way, how big are those twists? There's nothing in the photos for size comparison. Maybe as big as one of those giant soft pretzels?
     
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  11. Rebforever

    Rebforever Captain

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    Mickey Twist.
     
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  12. TerryB

    TerryB Major

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    About 8 inches long.
     
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  13. JohnW.

    JohnW. Sergeant Major

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    Tobacco was the death of John Wilkes Booth. :D
     
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  14. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    That and having a Union soldier named Corbett who had a direct line to God and was a reasonably competent shot.
    Leftyhunter
     
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  15. upton j.

    upton j. Private

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    When I was a kid in the 1960's my dad would take chickens and rabbits to sell at the farmer's markets and auctions in Lancaster pa. I always liked to watch the Amish unload wagons full of big green tobacco leaves tied up in bundles that they sent through the auction there. I've seen some of them smoking pipes and chewing so I guess they used what they grew.
     
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  16. AndyHall

    AndyHall Colonel Forum Host

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    Never knew that story, thanks.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Blockaderunner

    Blockaderunner Sergeant

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    I like all the stories of Zig-Zag being used by the dope smokers. They probably think he is just some dude wearing a bandana.

    On the subject of Civil War smoking. There is a company called Bull Brand who make papers and filters. I seem to remember reading somewhere that they were the first company to offer ready made cigarettes. At least in America. I believe they were made in New York, and were available during the Civil War. Can't find any reference on the net though.
     
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  18. Will Carry

    Will Carry Sergeant

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    Washington Duke, a tobacco farmer in North Carolina, had an idea after the war. All these Yankee soldiers going home after the war had acquired a taste for his Bright Leaf tobacco. He started the American Tobacco company and began shipping it north. He became very rich and gave a lot of money to Trinity College, who renamed the school Duke University. The Duke Homestead has been preserved and is well worth a visit. Pappy Duke did not own slaves.
     
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  19. nc native

    nc native Corporal

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    That is probably a wives tale. Curing came about when a slave named Stephen Slade who belonged
    to a planter in Caswell County North Carolina named Abisha Slade accidentally discovered the process
    in the 1830s. My father's family worked in and grew tobacco for many years and my grandfather's old
    tobacco farm in Wilson County North Carolina now produces sweet potatoes and soybeans.

    One of my favorite scents to smell is the aroma of tobacco curing inside a bulk barn. It's something
    I rarely get to experience these days but whenever I encounter it, I think of hot humid days drenched
    in sweat hanging racks of tobacco in barns for extra money when we were out of school for
    the summer months.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
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  20. Billy1977

    Billy1977 Corporal

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    Though I'm living in Arkansas now, for most of my life I lived in Charles County in southern Maryland and that part of Kentucky you described sounds very similar. (Aside from the coastal areas where crabbing was and is very important economically) Tobacco was the mainstay of economic life there in southern Maryland for hundreds of years, since the first colonies were set up there up until the last few decades when there has been an effort to try to give them an incentive to switch to growing corn or wheat or something. In fact, the little town I lived in, La Plata which is the county seat and about dead center of the county geographically, didn't used to be the seat of government of Charles County. Up until the late 1800s the county seat was a place called Port Tobacco which was on an eponymous inlet to the Potomac River and it served as the main tobacco port and locus of government for the area until the port entrance silted up too badly to continue to use it. Port Tobacco still exists but it's not a town anymore, just a bend in the road with an ancient one-room schoolhouse preserved for posterity and its brick former courthouse.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
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  21. Billy1977

    Billy1977 Corporal

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    As a matter of fact my elderly great-aunt (age 93) lives right now in a town called Hughesville, Maryland which was for many, many years (in the modern era) the main tobacco market town for that part of Maryland. Amish farmers, who are heavily represented in neighboring St. Mary's County, would bring their enjoyable leafy wares to this enormous tin warehouse and it would be auctioned there. My mom said that buyers would even come from other countries to get southern Maryland tobacco.

    Bear in mind this was tobacco that was cured differently from how they do it for example in North Carolina. In the Tarheel state from what I understand they heat cure their tobacco so it can be harvested and sold in the same year whereas Maryland tobacco is air cured (I personally have seen it hanging up to dry in a barn which looks like a normal barn except it has a lot of "extra" rafters for the tobacco to hang on and the sides of the barn have movable slats so you can turn them to let air in, like a vent.) So Maryland tobacco can't be sold in the same year, what's being auctioned is actually tobacco that has air cured and was grown last year. Just an interesting tobacco fact.
     
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