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,
**Criswell, Confederate Paper Money, 1996, p. 83.