Salt City Va. February 24th, 1862.
The orders at seventy five cents, or which you allude, it is true, (we are sorry to say,) are being filled very slowly; but this is owing to the demands on us of the Confederate Government, which for two months have been beyond our ability to supply.
That they have been delayed for any other cause, (except in two instances, where we exchanged salt, at seventy-five cents, for pig iron
, to make into salt Kettles, which we were compelled to have and could not purchase with money,) we deny most emphatically.
We let wagons that come here have a very little, where we are satisfied it is not for speculation — say, seven bushels to a two horse wagon — and require them to wait a day or two for that in order that we may ship the more to these seventy-five cents orders.
The Government takes from two-thirds to three-fourth of what we are making, the balance goes upon orders according to priority of date.
These orders we did not seek, and in many cases, advised the parties to keep their money; and where we had the slightest cause to believe that a party wished to buy for speculation, we refused to sell him any.
We have asked no one more than 75 cents per bushel, while we have been offered $2 in gold per bushel and refused it. A gentleman in your city offered a few weeks ago to take 100,000 bushels of us, in instalments of 10,000 bushels per month, at $1, 50 per bushel, which we likewise refused.
The small amount of salt which we have sold in Lynchburg
, through McDaniel
, and in Richmond
, through Sports & Harvey
, at $3,50 to $4 per sack, (they being our sole agents in those places,) may have netted us a few cents over 75 cents; but, we think, if any, not more than enough to cover risk.
If any man can bring a particle of proof going to show that we have realized, or attempted to realized, more than 75 cents per bushed for salt, we call on him now to bring it forward.
It any gentleman holding our receipt for money thinks as capable of the conduct which your editorial seems to impute to us, we think he ought to withdraw his money.
We will now very cheerfully return him, or any one else holding our receipt for money paid for salt, the amount deposited with us. And to show you, Messrs. Editors
, that we are not desiring to put these orders off, to get better prices, we think it sufficient to refer you to our contract proposed to the State of Virginia
, and referred to in your columns some days since.
These parties holding-our receipts have no doubt incurred heavy losses by not receiving their salt sooner.
All they have now to do, in order to be fully indemnities in damages from us, is to make good before a jury of the country the charge made or insinuated in your editorial.
We challenge investigation now or hereafter.
We have not said these things in a boastful spirit but simply to repel the unjust, accumulation against us before referred.