Coins of the Civil War
Most people are mindful of Civil War newspaper money, and federal issue neologism, minted between 1861 through 1865. however, it ’ s a short know fact that the Confederacy minted coins at the three Southern Branch Mints located at Charlotte North Carolina, Dahlonega, Georgia, and New Orleans, Louisiana. After secession in 1861, this valuable Federal property was now located in the raw Confederate States of America. The outgrowth Mints were seized, at foremost by their state Governments, and then turned over to the Confederacy .
At first, little numbers of aureate coins were produced from U.S. dies at all three branches, and a larger quantity of half dollars were besides coined at the New Orleans Mint. When existing supplies of bullion hunt dry, the three ramify mints stopped producing U.S. coinage and closed, and only one mint would return into production years belated when the New Orleans Mint re-opened in 1879 .
New Orleans Half Dollars
The New Orleans Mint is the entirely Mint in America to have coined money by three Governments, The United States, Louisiana State, and Confederate States of America ( CSA ). In the first gear months of 1861, the New Orleans Mint struck 1861-O Liberty Seated Half Dollars for three different Governments. The 1861-O Half Dollars have one of the most historic pedigrees in numismatics, during one of the most dramatic years in our nation ’ south history.
Reading: Civil War Coins – Confederate Coins
In 1861, New Orleans Mint only coined two denominations, one each in gold and argent, there were about 18,000 double Eagles, and over 2.5 million silver half dollars were minted before the Branch Mint closed. Of those half dollars, lone 330,000 were issued under federal authority before the mint was sized. The State of Louisiana coined 1,240,000 one-half dollars, and the CSA even struck 962,633 of these coins .
S.S. Republic Shipwreck Treasure
Six months after the end of the Civil War, the sidewheel steamer, SS Republic, was bound from New York to New Orleans on October 18, 1865, with a cargo of a reported $ 400,000 in gold and silver coins to aid in the rebuilding of the war-ravaged city of New Orleans to its prewar glory. unfortunately, the ship never made larboard, caught in a massive hurricane off the coast of Georgia. At 4 prime minister on October 25, 1865, the SS Republic sank, and came to rest 1,700 feet deep in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 100 miles of the Georgia coast. The passengers and crew escaped in four lifeboats and a improvised batch in 40-foot seas .
about 140 years late in November 2003, Odyssey Marine Exploration began the archaeological excavation of the SS Republic. State-of-the-art electronics and recovery equipment, revealed a blazing carpet of coins hidden on the ocean floor at the stern of the transport, near the ship ’ s rudder. The Recovery team brought to the surface a sandbag treasure treasure trove of over 51,000 U.S. gold and silver coins. What makes the SS Republic shipwreck treasure so particular, was the discovery of a large quantity of 1861 Liberty Seated Half Dollars, which proved to be the only U.S. coin ever struck by three different governments at the start of the Civil War .
1861 Confederate Half Dollar
To establish a separate and classifiable identity the Confederate Administration of President Jefferson Davis determined that the Rebel States needed some singular coinage currency of their own. The CSA had plans for minting its own half dollar coins with the CSA harbor .
Two attempts at this were made. initially, the Mint at New Orleans took Federal Half Dollars, cobbled together a newfangled reverse die and started to strike coins at the New Orleans Mint. The CSA Half Dollar had a regular union obverse, but the inverse displayed the Confederate Arms. While it was hoped that the new CSA half dollars would someday jingle in the pockets of Southerners, it wasn ’ thyroxine to be. Because of Material shortages and other problems this attack at coining the 1861 Confederate Half Dollar failed after only minting four pieces. The CSA Half Dollar was the stopping point coin made before the Mint was closed on April 30, 1861. The four existing patterns were said to be taken from the CSA President, Jefferson Davis when he was captured by Union forces in 1865. The master die and one of the four original proof resides in the collection of the American Numismatic Society Museum in New York .
1861 Confederate Cents
The Confederacy turned to contacts in the industrialized North to fashion a wholly new coin. It was to be a Copper-Nickel penny, identical in dimensions and composition as the circulate U.S. cent of the clock time. The history of this penny will never be completely known and what we do know today comes from notice mint collector and sometime rouge, Capt. John W. Haseltine .
early in the year of 1861, agents of the Confederate States contacted celebrated Philadelphia engraver and diemaker Robert Lovett Jr. through common friends in the Philadelphia Jewelry fast of Bailey, Banks & Biddle, and deputation him to design and produce working dies for their proposed Confederate cent. Lovett proceeded with his tax and completed dies for the mint, vitamin a well as striking a twelve specimens, that were never delivered to the conspiracy .
By this prison term the first major Battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Bull Run, had occurred. The slaughter resulting from this engagement produced extreme clearness of thought in Mr. Lovett. He came to the decision that his endeavors for this breakaway government thoroughly constituted “ giving care and comfort to the Enemy in clock of War. ” Mr. Lovett was afraid of being arrested for treason, which was punishable by death, so he hid the coins and dies in his cellar, except for, inexplicably, one, which he kept as a pocket piece. He then proceeded to drown his troubles in toast and the story would have died with him, if not for one particularly hood night at the Bar when he spent the care for pocket piece .
Fortunately for coin collectors everywhere it fell into the hands of an alert ( and likely unplayful ) bartender who recognized the unfamiliar design and who in turn ultimately contacted Capt. John Haseltine, which exposed the confederate cent to the populace. Capt. Haseltine bought the coin and began a long march of wearing down Robert Lovett, who at first refused all cognition and responsibility for the mint. Lovett, despite all testify to the contrary denied the obvious until, “ drink in and goaded beyond endurance, he confessed all. ” He did a little midnight gardening ” in his root cellar unearthed the transgress coins and dies and he sold the entire set to Capt. John Haseltine. Over the years there were respective re-strikes reported, and then the dies finally were donated to the Smithsonian Institution where they are on display today .
Civil War Indian Head Cents
During the Civil War, economic uncertainty led to the wide-spread hording of aureate and flatware coins, and by mid-1862 both metals had vanished from circulation. With their face values linked to that of the depreciating paper dollar, coins became deserving more as alloy than as a medium of exchange. Most indian cents minted during the Civil War went chiefly to pay Union soldiers. Because of War-related roll up, the Mint decided to switch to a cheaper bronze alloy. The amerind Head copper-nickel cents, minted merely from 1860 to 1864, were ultimately considered a commodity preferably than currentness. Weighing entirely 4.67 grams, with a metallic subject of 88 % bull and 12 % nickel, they were viewed as an overabundant nuisance before the Civil War, but as mint roll up occurred at the start of the Civil War, they were besides cute to spend .
The Philadelphia Mint tried to keep coin production up with demand, they struck 10 million of the new copper-nickel indian Head Cents in 1861, then it closely tripled in production the future year in 1862 to 28 million cents, and then about doubled to 50 million the take after year in 1863, but the hording of coins caught up to the increased coin output. finally a law was passed on June 8, 1864 forbidding individual individuals to issue any metallic objects “ intended for the use and determination of current money, ” like private Civil War tokens. Well the law was primarily aimed at secret contest to the base cent, but the fresh law besides served to end Pioneer aureate neologism .
Civil War Tokens
During the Civil War there was a bulk roll up of neologism and most coins disappeared from circulation. By mid-1862, there was a motion in Cincinnati Ohio to find a solution for the dearth of small change. As a ersatz, a wide-eyed kind of tokens began to appear with the local merchants who began to make and distribute copper cent-sized tokens. These tokens, known as “ Copperheads, ” were viewed with contemn at the prison term, but were widely accepted as a matter of plain necessity. By 1864 over a thousand merchants circulated over 8,500 clear-cut types, with over 25 million tokens minted. Because tokens were finally demonetized, and saved in collections, several million pieces survive today .
These Civil War tokens were privately minted and distributed between 1862 and 1864 and were issued in thousands of varieties that fell into 2 categories ; Patriotic, intended to rally the public, and Store Cards, intended to advertise a merchant. patriotic Tokens stressed home sentiments, themes, and heroes, like the Union, Liberty, Lincoln, Washington, etc. Store Card Tokens may have a patriotic root, but besides incorporates advertisements for specific merchants and their products .
At least 23 states had Civil War Tokens manufactured, representing every conceivable profession with over 25 million tokens circulating with no redemption value, started causing problems. The Lincoln Government decided to stop the circulate of tokens at its earliest opportunity, but it wasn ’ triiodothyronine until mid-1864 that made this policy feasible, both because they were winning the war, and the mint was producing cents in record numbers .
Two Cent Piece
The motto, “ IN GOD WE TRUST, ” inaugural appeared on the two-cent mint in 1864. This was the inaugural fourth dimension the motto, “ In God We Trust ” was introduced in response to the heightened religious opinion of the Civil War years. The demand wording of the motto went through several stages before final version, “ In God We Trust ” was chosen .
In 1866 this motto was extended to silver and gold coins, and nowadays it is mandated by police on all United States coins, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as all newspaper currency since 1957 .
U.S. Mint Chief Engraver, James B. Longacre designed the Two-Cent while, on the obverse was a Union Shield with two arrows crossed behind it, flanked by an invert laurel wreath. The motto, “ In God We Trust ” is inscribed on a banner above the carapace. The inverse displays a wreath of wheat enclosing the value “ 2 Cents ”, with the caption, “ United State of America ” around the perimeter edge .
The Two-Cent weighed twice deoxyadenosine monophosphate much as a one cent while. These bronze coins were a legal tender for up to 10 and 20 cents, respectively, and were issued only in substitution for true money of the United States. The two-cent coin was produced in the United States from 1864–1873 with decreasing mintages throughout that meter. The Two-Cent firearm declined in popularity as the supply of cents grew, and it was discernible by the end of the 1860s this neologism was no long necessity, but it remained in production with lower mintages through 1872. The final examination coinage dated 1873 was minted only in Proof pieces made for collectors and sweeping legislation passed that year abolishing the Two-Cent appellation .
The original three-cent piece struck in silver was introduced in 1851, when postal rates lowered to 3 cents for First Class mail, these three-cent argent coins were struck in measure until 1853. As the Civil War was ending in 1865 the U.S. Mint introduced another Three-Cent mint that was intended to redeem the three-cent notes, which was the most disliked of all the fractional newspaper notes .
legislation enacted March 3, 1865, authorized the mint of three-cent pieces in an debase of three-parts copper, and one-part nickel. The new coins were to be legal tender for amounts up to 60 cents, while the cent and two-cent legal sensitive measure was dropped to just 4 cents, by this modern law. The same police provided that Fractional Paper valued below 5 cents would be prohibited, to allow for the raw coins to retire the fractional notes .
Mint Chief Engraver, J.B. Longacre revised an existing design for the three-cent nickel, using Liberty for the obverse. Using the lapp classical profile that appears on the indian Head cent, the amber dollar, and the $ 3 piece, is seen fitted with a new hairdo and a stud coronet inscribed “ Liberty. ” The legend, “ United States of America ” is around the coin ’ s peripheral, with the date below Liberty ’ s tear. The reverse features a Roman Numeral III, as on the Silver edition, but it ’ s enclosed by a laurel wreath rather of the other coin ’ sulfur ornamented letter “ C. ” The edge is plain, typical of U.S. minor coins after 1795
Five-Cent Shield Nickel
The five-cent piece came about for the same reasons the three-cent nickel was created in 1865, to help redeem and replace the five-cent notes of fractional currentness. The Act of May 16, 1866, ushered in what would become one of the mainstays of our nation ’ mho neologism, the future 5 penny nickel. These coins could be purchased in “ Lawful Currency ” of the U.S. and it prohibited the promote issue of fractional paper valued at less than 10 cents. The Nickel was made a legal tender in amounts up to $ 1 and then could be redeemed for “ National Currency ” in sums not less than $ 100. The new coins were accepted immediately, though a smaller neologism of half-dimes continued until eliminated by law in 1873 .
This coin became to be known as “ Longacre ’ s Nickel ” which like his previous two-cent piece, features a Union shield on the obverse ( besides known as a Shield Nickel ), draped by a laurel wreath with two intersect arrows behind the carapace at the bottomland, with the date below. At the top of the mint, around the edge, was the motto, “ In God We Trust. ” But below that, on top of the wreath, was an ancient expressive style hybrid of uncertain origin which became quite controversial, and was nicknamed, the “ Tombstone Nickel ”. The reverse of the five-cent nickel was besides slightly controversial. It featured a large numeral 5 surrounded by a circle of 13 stars, with rays flowing out from among the stars in 1866 to 1867. There were production problems striking the rays, then in 1867 the rays were removed through the end of the serial. There was besides an emergence with the populace, because the “ Stars and Bars ” was evocative of the recently defeated Confederacy, which earned this modern coin a modern nickname… the “ Rebel Nickel. ”
Larger Civil War Coinage
The Federal Mint enjoyed some achiever on the basal metallic end of the coin plate, but had short achiever in their larger gold and argent coin efforts during the war years. Silver federal coins of the Civil War included the Liberty Seated Dime, whose christian Gobrecht plan was besides shared by the quarter, and half dollar of the day. The lone larger coins struck during the war in any meaning amounts were half dollars, whose production slumped to less than one-half of what it was before the Civil War .
The largest circulate mint was the Double Eagle $ 20 gold piece with the Liberty Head design, The San Francisco Branch Mint quickly struck these amber coins, and shipped them east to bolster banking and boost the war feat, but it was besides short, besides late. During the Civil War the Philadelphia Mint was about closed down at the end of 1861, then resuming normal activity several years after the war .