Discussion Confederate Money

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
General Hindmans Order would have made sense in 1862, when confederate currency was readily available. But when Vicksburg fell and the river was closed all confederate money became scarce.
 

BillH

Private
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Location
SW Idaho
I'm not sure I would use the term "readily" ;-) although I do appreciate the point you are making. But when I know how thin the currency was, the lack of coinage and specie, and the continuing attempts by both states and banks to provide some form of currency for everyday trade and circulation... well, I have developed a more cynical eye toward such governmental and esp. military "orders". Money in the South was always scarce. In some ways this reminds me of a similar order, by a Union officer, freeing all the slaves in his "jurisdiction". Which order was promptly squashed by the President.

Does anyone here know how Hindman's order worked out?
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
I'm not sure I would use the term "readily" ;-) although I do appreciate the point you are making. But when I know how thin the currency was, the lack of coinage and specie, and the continuing attempts by both states and banks to provide some form of currency for everyday trade and circulation... well, I have developed a more cynical eye toward such governmental and esp. military "orders". Money in the South was always scarce. In some ways this reminds me of a similar order, by a Union officer, freeing all the slaves in his "jurisdiction". Which order was promptly squashed by the President.

Does anyone here know how Hindman's order worked out?
You're right the word "readily" does paint the wrong picture. How about easier to acquire when the Mississippi was open.
 

BillH

Private
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Location
SW Idaho
You're right the word "readily" does paint the wrong picture. How about easier to acquire when the Mississippi was open.
Yeah, that works for me. Especially in the Trans-Miss where they had to stamp and re-issue notes... kind of adds another dimension to the phrase "cashless society" 😉
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
I'm familiar with the story of Samuel Upham. Most people who have a few Confederate bill probably have heard of him. But there is a line in the last post about the Samuel Upham Story that has me wondering. It tells how the South resorted to using newsprint as a paper source. Granted some of the notes, especially the early ones, do have the appearances and flimsy feeling of newsprint. But did the Confederacy really use ordinary newsprint?
 

Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
I have heard the story of the bounty that Jefferson Davis supposedly placed on Upham's head. Did this really happen? Or was the "$10,000 Dead or Alive" just a boast of Upham's? He does sound like the type who would enjoy some free publicity. Could the president have done that on his own? It seems Congress would have had a say so in it.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
I have heard the story of the bounty that Jefferson Davis supposedly placed on Upham's head. Did this really happen? Or was the "$10,000 Dead or Alive" just a boast of Upham's? He does sound like the type who would enjoy some free publicity. Could the president have done that on his own? It seems Congress would have had a say so in it.
That’s a good question! I noted that the individual in this piece who was interviewed about Upham is a descendant of Upham, and he wrote a book about Upham (that he is presumably promoting). So, he has a personal stake in promoting interest in Upham’s story.
 
Last edited:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
Upham claimed to have printed 1,564,050 notes in 28 kinds between March 12, 1862 and Aug. 1, 1863. Not all Confederate but alot were.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Since we're on the subject of the distribution of Confederate money, I have a story to share that I found in Julia Grant's memoir:

In late 1863 or early 1864, Grant and Julia were in St. Louis when their son Fred was ill. Julia wrote, "While in St. Louis, an old acquaintance called to see the General to get a pass through the lines so that she could join her husband's friends in Georgia." Julia went on to say that this acquaintance had lost her Confederate husband at Vicksburg. Julia wrote, "I was very sorry for her, and, although she had not asked for me, I told the servant when she called again I wished to see her. When she came, I went down, taking with me a roll of Confederate bills captured at Vicksburg and given me as a souvenir, amounting to something over $4,000 and, handing her the permit wrapped around these bills," and then Julia explained that she handed this money to this woman.

Julia later "feared" that she had "aided the cause of secession." She confessed going this to Grant. She reported that he told her that she "had done a service to the Union in doing just as (she) had; that the more of that kind of money there was in circulation, the better it would be for us."
 

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
1860 banks:
1579704862006.png


There were no banks in Mississippi, Arkansas or Texas in 1860. St. Louis and Louisville never left the US. The US occupied New Orleans by May 1862, and Memphis by the first week of June 1862.
The plantation owners used New York brokers and the commercial credit of these commercial brokers as their credit source before the war ever started. Once they were cut off from New York, and once New Orleans fell to the US Navy, the Confederate economy was probably going to collapse.
Louisiana was running a strong currency surplus with the entire south and Midwest. Yet they had not generated a large volume of loans.
One suspects the former Whig bankers of New Orleans lacked confidence in the stability of the cotton boom, and had Jamaica and the Dominican, and Haiti firmly in mind.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
I did not realize that there were no banks in Texas on 1860. How was money disributed, custom houses, post offices?
 

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
People in New Orleans absolutely knew that unless there was an interruption in supply, the price of cotton in Liverpool was going to slide another .2 of a pence per lb, and the cotton boom would end. see page 62. https://krex.k-state.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/2097/14956/RickyDaleCalhoun2012.pdf?sequence=1
Credit restrictions were coming. It had happened once before in 1837, and it was going to happen again. Which would explain why the New Orleans banks were holding such a strong position in reserves of specie.
New Orleans had sugar trade, coffee imports and down river trade from the Midwest. It could weather a bust in cotton.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Polloco

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
I was going over Thian's list of Treasury Employees and noticed some of them have an asterisk by their name. Is there some meaning to this?
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top