That's why efforts to promote the town's history is a good thing. To wit:
Making the most of Saltville’s historyI wouldn't get too excited about those tourism prospects, if I were planning Saltville's future. A handful of historians visiting each year is not going to bring boom times.
By Stephanie Porter-Nichols, Smyth County News
Saltville’s Civil War sites and battlefields will not become part of the National Park Service anytime soon if ever, but there’s much the town can do to preserve and share its historic features.
That was the central message of Phillip Thomason of Nashville, Tenn.-based Thomason & Associates, historical preservation planning consultants.
Thomason presented an outline Thursday of a plan developed for Saltville at a meeting attended by a handful of citizens and town council member Neil Johnson.
NPS oversight has been one of the ideas discussed in recent years as the town moved toward inclusion of tourism opportunities as a larger part of its revenue base.
Dr. Robert Whisonant, the Radford University geology professor who has led projects to map the Saltville battlefields, told a November 2006 gathering of local historians, re-enactors, Museum of the Middle Appalachians board members and others that the Confederate earthworks on hills surrounding the vital salt wells and evaporation furnaces is a defensive system important enough to understanding the area’s military actions to deserve national status. (link)
But working toward preservation of the town's narrative is a commendable thing. It truly has a unique history unlike any other chapter in the Civil War saga.