This is not My Line.
I found this interesting while searching about the BRown Family in Montgomery and Pulaski County Virginia, near Belspring.
In a Book about Hercules ~ the Making of a Company, it gives a short referance to the location of the Army's Ammunition Plant being chosen on the New River in Virginia and Dublin around the same local that Powder for the Revolutionary Stores was first manufactured.. I found that interesting but never knew where they were talking about until yesterday...
I found this excert from a book entitled
"The Land That is Pulaski County"
I don't remember the Author but I print here the excerpt..
Henry Jacob Trolinger, Powder Manufacturer
Radford Arsenal not the Area's first Powder Plant.
Those living in Pulaski County before World War II will remember the excitement caused by the building (by Hercules) of the Radford Arsenol ~the "bullet-factory", as it was called by some.
The huge powder plant,Straddling New River at the Lower Horseshoe, is the largest Plant ever built in this area. Most Pulaski County folks thought Powder making was something new in these parts. This was not so. A Powder plant, near present Dublin, was producing Powder during the Revolution. But instead of employing thousands, it was a two~man operation.
A German Powder Maker of the Revolution
At the beginning of the Revolution a German powder maker came into the New River Valley. Henry Jacob Trolinger, born in Germany in the early 1700's, came here from North Carolina. He acuired land near present Dublin, where a "saltpetre" (postassium Nitrite) cave lay beneath a limestone ledge on a hillside. Saltpetre, the main ingrediant (oxidizer) of gunpowder, was what the old powder maker sought. (He found it in a natural occuring state instead of having to Produce it.)
Here Henry Jacob Trolinger settled, and assisted by his older son Henry, Mined "saltpetre" and made Powder. ( It is not clear if he acutally made the "black" powder mix or if he just made the main ingrediant mix of Postassium Nitrites in powder form and packaged that for transport.)
Trolinger's product was much in demand during the Revolution. he prospered and aquired much land in the area ( which was then Montgomery County).
After the Revolution Henry Jacob Trolinger's older son, moved back to North CArolina. The old Powder maker taught the craft to John Trolinger, his youngest son. John following his father's footsteps, continued to manufacture gunpowder at the old saltpetre cave for some years after the Revolution.
Many descendants of Henry Jacob Trolinger are among the citizens of today's Pulaski County.
(**Also The Trolinger Family can and should be able to quilify for SAR and DAR status based on the fact that Henry gave aid to the American Revolution cause as a Patriot.**)
The Old Saltpetre Cave
The Old Saltpetre cave lies among the rolling hills northeast of the town of Dublin. In times past an ancient oak has fallen in front of the cave's entrance. It's skeleton limbs, whitened by wind and rain, reach high over the lomestone ledge above the cave's mouth. Scramblingover the skeletons oak, one can walk upright into the silent darkness of the mine - and peer into the past. Two centuries ago the Old Saltpetre Cave was not always dark and silent. The scrape of shoves sounded through the cave as the old powder maker and his son worked by candlelight collecting saltpetre from the cave's floor.
The gunpowder of Revolutionary days ( and for Black powder Re-Loaders of today) was/is Black Powder ~ made from Saltpetre, Charcoal, and sulphur. Smoke from this Powder billowed up on the firing of a flintlock. This may have had its advantages. After firing a volley militiamen were temporarily hidden behind smoke screen.
Henry Jacb Trolinger's black Powder played its part in the Revolution. But it was a far cry from the high powered rocket Propellent being manufatured today by Alliant Techsystems at the nearby Radford Asenal.
I hope this proves interesting .. Its enjoyable to me to know that I live in an area that has been doing relatively the same thing for nearly over 200 years...i was glad to share this with the Trolinger Family.
I you have not done so. you should apply for Sonsof the American Revolution and Daughters of the American Revolution status, based on the facts presented here and the research that will undoubtedly turn up fruitful...
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