During the Civil War, the Confederate Army established medical laboratories to produce drugs because many medicines were difficult to obtain or otherwise, too expensive. Among the most valuable medicines produced were ether, chloroform, and opiates.
On the site of the burned down Lincoln Cotton Factory, the army constructed one of five laboratories. The Lincolnton site had grinding capabilities due to the availability of water power and this was used to grind indigenous plants as a prelude to further manufacturing. Local citizens were encouraged to grow medicinal plants and Surgeon-in-Charge A. Snowden Piggot, MD, directed the planting of poppies near his Lincolnton laboratory for use in making opium. Sorghum, flax and black mustard were also grown for medicinal uses.
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To be continued...