Confederate Money

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CMWinkler

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Location
Middle Tennessee
Confederate Money

The money for carrying on the government was manufactured on the faith of the Confederacy and was supposed to have sufficient stamina, as the South had large quantities of tobacco and cotton on hand. Mr. Davis advised the purchase and shipment to Europe of all the cotton, which might easily have been effected. All writers agree, that had that advice been heeded, the South, having such a permanent capital, might have been recognized and assisted by foreign powers. Mr. Memminger, Secretary of the Treasury, took time to differ with the President, the blockade was established and the opportunity lost.

These notes of Confederate currency were engraved at Columbia, South Carolina, and bore on the face the promise of payment two years after a treaty of peace between the contending parties. They were neatly gotten up and printed upon good paper,—in every way- as good a circulating medium as the greenbacks of the United States.

They were printed on large pink- tinted sheets, and brought to Richmond to be prepared for distribution. Each note had to be cut apart, numbered, and signed by two parties, and persons of intelligence were required for the work. There were numbers of ladies who had fled from their luxurious homes as refugees, living in Richmond, as it became dangerous for them to remain in proximity to the armies. They had, in many instances, lost everything and become dependent upon their own resources for making a living. They were refined, cultivated and intelligent,—their male relatives in the army.

This work in the treasury department was light and more lucrative than anything else. Writing their applications, with the endorsement of some prominent member of Congress, they received appointments for these positions. One room was used tor cutting, another for signing, and another for numbering these notes. From nine until three were the office hours, and they worked steadily at their tasks, which were light but compelled to be very accurate, and became monotonous, Still they were eager to obtain these clerkships and glad to retain their places. About fifty occupied each room. They were known as "treasury girls/' and that was a sufficient passport into society, as they could not obtain these positions unless some gentleman of unsullied reputation had recommended them as ladies in every respect and worthy to fill the appointments.

Besides these notes there was a fractional currency, called shin-plasters, and also postage stamps became a medium of exchange from sheer necessity in making small change. The latter became quite a nuisance, as they were small, easily lost, and inconvenient to handle. They were five cents each, and bore upon the face the likeness of President Davis, and had to be cut or torn when used, as the instrument which pierces the holes to divide the United States stamps is a patented article and could not be infringed upon.

The Confederate Capital and Hood’s Texas Brigade,
Angelina V. Winkler, 1894
pp. 20-1
 

RebelHeart

Corporal
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Location
Southern New Jersey
Confederate Money

These notes of Confederate currency were engraved at Columbia, South Carolina, and bore on the face the promise of payment two years after a treaty of peace between the contending parties. They were neatly gotten up and printed upon good paper,—in every way- as good a circulating medium as the greenbacks of the United States.

They were printed on large pink- tinted sheets, and brought to Richmond to be prepared for distribution. Each note had to be cut apart, numbered, and signed by two parties, and persons of intelligence were required for the work. There were numbers of ladies who had fled from their luxurious homes as refugees, living in Richmond, as it became dangerous for them to remain in proximity to the armies. They had, in many instances, lost everything and become dependent upon their own resources for making a living. They were refined, cultivated and intelligent,—their male relatives in the army.
One of these exists in a currency collection that I will one day inherit. It is in pristine condition and sealed between to pieces of glass. If I can get my hands on it for ten minutes to photograph it I will share it here.
 
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DanF

Captain
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Years ago I worked a burglary where a woman returned home from vacation to find her home burglarized and virtually all portable valuables gone.

In the living room was some framed confederate money hanging on the wall.

The woman said, "well, they took everything else, wonder why they didn't take that?"
My reply, "I guess they figured the South wasn't going to rise again".

Was met with a sigh, and, "I guess not".

:D
 

Sbc

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Location
Georgia
Coinage was also minted at the New Orleans facility seized from the federal government.
Over a million silver half dollars by Louisiana and nearly a million after joining the CSA.
 
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16thVA

First Sergeant
Joined
Dec 8, 2008
Location
Philadelphia
At one time I was going to map the occurrences of Confederate money in West Virginia but never did and I lost some of my references. The only two things I remember was a doctor selling his favorite horse for $100 Confederate just before he was going to Camp Chase in 1863 in Lewis County, which is fairly north in WV. The other was the arrest by the Union army of a money exchanger working between Ohio and Charleston WV, but I don't remember the year. That, and the Confederate mails in WV, I wish I had more time to document.
 

kevikens

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Location
New Jersey
I think I might have to differ with the statement that Confederate currency was printed on as high quality paper as the US Greenbacks. From my own collection I have several Greenbacks and an original charter National Bank note and many US Fractional Currency pieces and they seem thicker and more substantial than the Southern war time currency that I have (and I have a lot of that).
 

Carronade

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
I think I might have to differ with the statement that Confederate currency was printed on as high quality paper as the US Greenbacks. From my own collection I have several Greenbacks and an original charter National Bank note and many US Fractional Currency pieces and they seem thicker and more substantial than the Southern war time currency that I have (and I have a lot of that).
One story, probably too good to be true, is that the Union tried to undermine Confederate finance by printing counterfeit Confederate bills - but the fakes were easily detected as they were of better quality than the real thing!
 
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civilken

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 25, 2013
It may have went down in price but I paid close to 100 for a pristine $20 so I guess the Confederate currency is doing just fine.
 
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