To understand the Alabama Salt Lists, one must first grasp the significance of Salt as a factor in the Civil War. To do this, the reader must transport himself back in time. Back to the period of the Civil War. Back to a time when life was much simpler and Salt was a definite necessity. To impoverished individuals and families, salt, a basic necessity of life, was extremely difficult to come by cheaply beginning in 1862. Alabama developed a system by which they purchased salt and distributed it to the poor directly, and others who could distribute it to the poor, in order that the people of Alabama would have sufficient salt for their usage. While doing this, Alabama developed lists of people who received the salt. This is such a list.