The Great Craighead Cave

This cave was rich in saltpeter, or niter, which was a key ingredient of gunpowder, obviously a much- needed commodity during the war. Contracts here required 250,000 pounds of the substance to be delivered to the Confederate powder works in Augusta, Ga., in 1862. But production never came close to that amount. The approach of Federal troops caused the works to be shut down in the fall of 1863.