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Criswell Type 5 (1,606 issued) "First Richmond"

This bill is a $100 note from September of 1861. This is one of my favorites and is certainly one of the more beautiful notes ever issued, Confederate or otherwise.
The South never used dollar signs, but there are a few big "C"s on the note. We've all heard of "C" notes!? It is hand-numbered twice and hand-dated. It also bears the actual signature of the Confederate treasurer and register. Pretty much after this they had the wives and daughters of fallen war heroes come and sign the bills as they were printing too many for the treasurer and register to handle themselves. Nonetheless they thought the bills would be harder to counterfeit with a real signature.

I picked this up at the Long Beach coin show a few years back. That is where I learned the cold hard realities involved in buying "the good stuff". The night before the shows, bank-backed dealers gobble up everything on the floor and mark them up. But since this note has appreciated 30% in two years, I'm not complaining.
The pictures are of Justice on the left and Minerva on the right. The train is from the Hudson River Railroad. Now, the Hudson River is hardly in the South, but due to the hardships of making these bills, the printers used whatever pictures were around.
The History Channel has a weekly series called The Civil War Journal that features trivia questions as commercial bumpers. They recently implied that all Confederate currency was printed in New York. Although this note was "...Eng'd by The American Bank Note Co., New York; though ostensibly by The Southern Bank Note Company"* it was "...actually printed in New Orleans." **

Grover Criswell has a fascinating overview of the 11 different printers used by the Confederacy during the war in his Comprehensive Catalog of Confederate Paper Money. For those who take an interest, keeping a journal or notebook of historical information could be useful.

*Bradbeer, Confederate and Southern State Currency, p. 48.
**Criswell, Confederate Paper Money, 1996, p. 83.

Note the incredible detail, all the way down to the CSA on the side of the train.
In the note itself you may see little red threads. These were, and still are, put into the paper as another means to foil counterfeiters.

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