Volume 10 Issue 8                                                 INTERNET EDITION                                                        August 2005.

The name 'Tasmanian Numismatist' is used with the permission  of the Executive Committee of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' however, any comments published in this privately produced newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society', its Executive Committee or its members. Bearing in mind our public disclaimers,  the Internet links selected by the authors of this  newsletter are usually provided as a complimentary source of reference to the featured article in regard to: (1) Illustrations and, (2) to provide additional important information. 

Any notices of concern to 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' members will be included in the 'Society Snippets' section.

We trust that this issue of the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition) newsletter will continue to provide interesting reading.




Anyone who wishes to apply for membership to the non-profit making organization, and who is prepared to abide by the rules of the Society and its aim of promoting the study and enjoyment of the hobby of numismatics, should contact the following address for an application form and details of subscriptions: 



Tasmanian Numismatic Society.

G. P. O. Box 884J

Hobart. 7001.




It's that time of year again when 'Tasmanian Numismatic Society' members turn up their heaters or throw another log on the fire before settling in for the evening to play with their collections. With current daytime temperatures hovering between - 2C and 10C (28F - 50F) it isn't too bad - except for the icy roads, fogs and the occasional brisk Antarctic breeze straight from the South Pole. However, in the interests of safety, the Society's Committee prefers the members not to tempt the Fates by traveling between cities or in from out-lying areas at this time of year. The usual  Winter recess is now upon us.

See you in early October...... unless something important breaks into our hibernation.

The 'Tasmanian Numismatist' will be published in both forms - the 'Internet Edition' and the hardcopy 'Tasmanian Edition' - as usual, and the newsletter will advise members and other readers when the Society's Spring/Summer schedule is available. Society Snippets will remain available for T.N.S. members' input.



Long time T.N.S. member, Charles Hunt, has been busy for quite a while now accumulating information about Tongan bank notes. If any of our members or other readers can assist Charles with his research or wish to take advantage of Charles' current listings they can contact him through his web-site.

Refer: http://www.tongan-notes.info/





by Graeme Petterwood © 2005

Remember - be astute when you are handed change - not all the wonders of numismatics have been discovered yet - and they don't have to be shiny and new!

This  edition again features an assortment of  'trivia' that I think is of interest and I trust it will prove educational and entertaining to you as well.  All or any prices quoted in articles in this newsletter, unless stipulated, are my estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations.  Please note that the photoscans of numismatic items are not to size or scale but - wherever possible - are from the editor's own collection.



Due to the threat of computer viruses that were forecast to hit the Internet system on January 1st. 2000, the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' felt obliged to purge its archives from 1996 and placed them on disc for safe-keeping prior to the arrival of the dreaded 'Millennium Bug'.

Whilst we felt that the decision was a very wise one at the time, the information contained in that 4 years of newsletter issues became inaccessible to readers, except by request. Even though Internet links are still directed to the old newsletter pages from various Search Engines they will turn up blank..

In an effort to satisfy those readers and new collectors who have requested that some of the articles be again made available for research, we have decided to update and re-illustrate a selection of the most popular stories and re-publish them and get them back into the current system.



When the new polymer plastic technological breakthrough was announced in 1988, with the release of a strikingly imaginative $10.00 Bi-Centenary commemorative issue, the eventual demise of paper currency in Australia was inevitable. A few technical problems arose but these were overcome as the expertise and determination of Note Printing Australia to succeed in this new medium increased.



1988 (only year of issue) Australia's first polymer note - Bi-Centenary commemorative.

Due to production problems, several variations exist.


The transition from paper to polymer plastic currency, is now reasonably well-known and documented, and, with this change-over, the Government also decided that an update of the portraits on our notes was in order, and authorised Note Printing Australia to commission a panel of expert consultants, Dr. Patricia Lahy, Phillip Cox and Gordon Andrews to make the final selections from the many prestigious names put forward.

Once the selection had been made, N. P. A. had their finest designers and staff, including Garry Emery, Brian Sadgrove and Bruce Stewart - et al, start on the series of circulation notes that were to replace the obsolete paper currency.

The new designs were to feature eight Australian pioneers who had contributed a great deal to our country -  and we should know who they were- and why they have earned their place on our currency!

After the special $10.00 Bi-Centenary commemorative issue of 1988, the polymer $5.00 note, which was the first of the circulation series, was issued in 1992 to celebrate the opening of our new 'politician's palace' in Canberra, which replaced the gracious old building that had been opened on 9th. May 1927.

The $10.00 followed in 1993, with the $20.00 in 1994, the $50.00 (and the re-coloured and slightly revised $5.00 note) in 1995, and finally the $100.00 completed the series in 1996. The older decimal paper notes continued to be released until each was superseded in turn, and they are still seen in circulation but in ever dwindling numbers.  We hope our brief sketches of the 'who's who' on our polymer plastic currency may be of interest.



This second of our polymer notes still bears the effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II and, whilst it appears likely to continue to do so, it must be remembered that, in 2001 to celebrate Australia's Federation, a special one year issue was made with an obverse portrait of Sir Henry Parkes, the 'father' of Federation, and a reverse featuring Catherine Helen Spence. The idea that the monarch's portrait is not subject to removal is obviously not set in stone - it may be a case of watch this space as time goes by.


1992 - 1995 polymer $5.00 new Parliament House reverse note.

Prior to 1993 (Fraser-Evans issues) dates were not incorporated into the serial numbers of Australian bank notes.



1995 - to date polymer $5.00 new Parliament House revised and recoloured note



2001 (only one year issue) Australian Federation commemorative polymer note.

Sir Henry Parkes obverse - Catherine Helen Spence reverse.



Andrew Barton Paterson C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) better known as 'Banjo' Paterson was born near Molong in New South Wales on 17th. February 1864, and was the author of such Australian classic verses as the fiercely adventurous, 'The Man from Snowy River', and the reflective, 'Clancy of the Overflow', and not to be overlooked- the mischievous villainy of, 'The Man from Ironbark'.

'The Collected Verse of A. B. Paterson', first published in 1921, is the compilation of his major works and, as a contemporary reflection of Australian bush life, it is absolutely fascinating reading!

Paterson is also credited with being the author of the accepted words to the famous song, 'Waltzing Matilda', which has been heard around the world and is regarded as being as Australian as the kangaroo and koalas!

(Several theories abound to the origins of the music which was probably composed in 1899 by Harry A. Nathan, the organist at the Townsville Cathedral in Queensland. At one stage there were four different versions of the song being published.)

Paterson was a graziers son, sent to be educated in Sydney - which he detested, who found work, firstly as a lawyer's clerk and then as a solicitor and finally a journalist and editor of the Sydney 'Evening News', the 'Town and Country Journal' and the 'Sportsman'. .

His stint as a war correspondent in the Boer War and the Boxer Rebellion broadened his understanding of the human spirit and, coupled with his love and understanding for the bush and its people, helped him create the images that most of us who have read his works will never forget!

Paterson was awarded his C.B.E. in 1939, and even though his verses had sold 100,000's of copies and probably made his publishers rich, when he died two years later on 5th. February 1941, in Sydney, all he left his wife was his total fortune of 215 pounds.



2002 - to date modified issue Australian $10.00 polymer note.

During original 1993 issue and 1994 issue, two colour printing variations were noted - one was Blue and the other a more washed-out Greyish Blue.

In 2002, the position of the signatures was reversed and the names of the portrait subjects were incorporated into the design below the images.

Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson obverse - Dame Mary Gilmore reverse.


Dame Mary Gilmore (nee Cameron), who began writing at the age of 8 and was still putting pen to paper in her 90's, was recognised as a leading poet of her time but, she had many other talents which her long and varied life had blessed her with!

Born at Goulburn, N. S. W. on 16th. August 1865, Mary Jean Cameron often played with children of the local aboriginal tribe, the Waradgery, and she never forgot the squalor and the ill-treatment that she saw as a child.

As an adult, she often wrote articles about the pitiful conditions that the Aborigines had to tolerate and, throughout her long life, she actively campaigned in an effort to improve their lot!

Mary finished school at 16 and then became a teacher in the mining town of Silverton until 1895, when she was caught up in the fervour of William 'Billy' Lane's plans to establish a better life, for the oppressed rural workers of Australia, in Paraguay.

She left Australia in 1896 for the ill-fated New Australia Colony of Cosme, where she met and married an ex-Victorian shearer William Gilmore, but after four years of hardship and disenchantment they returned to Australia, with their son, and settled on a farm in Victoria.

During the next few years her radical poetry started to appear in the 'Bulletin' and, by 1908, she was editing the women's page of the 'Sydney Worker', a newspaper that devoted itself to socialism and its aims of equality.

Despite her political leanings, her talents in fighting for women's rights, aboriginal welfare, treatment of prisoners, health, pensions etc., plus her encouragement to young writers, her poetry and other writings, were recognised by the Australian Government of the day and, in 1937, she was awarded the title of Dame of the British Empire.

For the last 10 years of her life she continued as an unpaid columnist for the Communist Party's newspaper, 'Tribune', still fighting for those things that she believed in!

The original painting, by the famous artist, Sir William Dobell- of Mary Gilmore in her old age - which is shown in the background of the $10.00 note, hangs in the Art Gallery of N.S.W.

Dame Mary Gilmore died in Sydney on 3rd. December 1962, at the age of 97, and was given a State funeral attended by all members of the N.S.W. Cabinet.

As a final honour she has been selected to take her place on our currency.



On 31st. October 1994, the Reserve Bank of Australia issued the new Twenty Dollar note which has Mary Reibey (nee Haddock or Haydock) on the obverse and the Rev. John Flynn as its reverse centrepiece. Most Australians would probably have heard of Flynn, but who was Mary Reibey?

Mary Reibey was born in Bury, Lancashire, England on 12th. May 1777, and at the age of 13 she had been apprehended in Stafford (disguised as a boy), convicted for horse stealing and transported to Australia for 7 years on the Royal Admiral, which arrived in Sydney in October 1792 - harsh punishment for what was probably intended as a lark!

On 7th. September 1794 at the age of 17, Mary, who had been working as a nursemaid for a military family was granted permission to marry an Irishman, Thomas Reibey, whom she had met during her voyage out to Australia.

Reibey had worked for the East India Company and used his contacts with them to successfully start a small import business in Sydney with a partner.

Eventually Mary became involved and she soon became very capable of handling all of the business matters when it became necessary for the partners to be away at sea.

In a few years the business was booming and it continued to expand, as more vessels were added to their fleet, but Thomas Reibey became ill on one of his frequent voyages and his health quickly deteriorated on his return.

In 1811, at the age of 34, Mary became a widow with seven children.

To make life even harder, Thomas Reibey's partner also died within the month, probably from the same illness, leaving Mary as the sole owner of the business!

Out of necessity, Mary soon proved that she had the temperament to manage the growing shipping business, and after nine years of dedicated work she had accumulated a fortune of 20,000 Pounds which, in 1820, she used to return to England with two of her daughters, in an effort to attain some of the comforts that had passed her and her family by.

Within a year she had become homesick for the freedoms of Australia so she returned, and, in an effort to put her convict past behind her, she would often describe her presence in the colony as- ' Came free, by the ship, 'Mariner' in 1821'.

Ignored by the male dominated colonial society of the time, Mary remained a widow, mainly by choice, but her commercial and many real estate interests continued to quietly thrive and keep her a rich woman. She retired to Newtown, Sydney, and passed away in 1855.

As an icon for the achievement of women, who have triumphed over humble beginnings, Mary Reibey deserves her place on the $20.00 note.



2002 issue Australian $20.00 polymer note.

In 2002 - to date the position of the signatures was reversed and the names of the portrait subjects were incorporated into the design below the images.

Original note issued 1994.

Mary Reibey obverse - Rev. John Flynn reverse.


Australia is described as an island continent of some 7,682,300 square kilometres (or about the same size as the U.S.A.- excluding Alaska), made up of deserts surrounded by a relatively narrow band of fertile coastline, with an average height of only 300 metres above sea-level and an average yearly rainfall of only 30 cms.(12 inches).

The Australian inland is not unlike some of the rocky deserts of America and Mexico, that suffer months of drought then bloom magnificently after a rain, but our red centre deserts stretch for thousands of square kilometres, our droughts can last for a decade, and when the 'Wet' finally arrives we can have devastating floods that can form inland seas that sometimes last for years, or else dry into salt-lakes within a few months to herald the onslaught of another drought!

In 1912, less than 50,000 people lived in this inland area that is bigger than Western Europe, and life was extremely hard and lonely for the men, and their women-folk and children, who lived 100's of kilometres from their nearest help if anything went wrong!

In response to the problems of isolation, illness or injury, and the lack of schools and religious centres, the Presbyterian Church of Australia decided, in 1912, to establish the Australian Inland Mission with a 31 year-old minister, John Flynn, as the first Superintendent.

John Flynn was born at Moliagul, Victoria on 25th. November 1880, and even though he matriculated from high school his family could not afford to send him to University. Flynn became a full fledged minister in 1911, after working on missions during his 4 years of training, and then volunteered to work at a mission in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia.

It was during this time that Flynn recognised, and started to address, the two great problems that the inland presented - the lack of transportation and communication!

During the next 16 years of establishing 'nursing hostels' in the outback and working with others dedicated to the task, such as Clifford Peel who, in 1917, suggested the air ambulance, and Alfred Traeger who, in 1928, developed an idea of Flynn's and came up with the famous 'pedal-operated radio transceiver', Flynn had great personal satisfaction to be able to see the formation of the first Flying Doctor Service (designated Royal in 1955) at Cloncurry in May 1928.

Just before his death on 5th. May 1951, Flynn could look back at the organisation he had nurtured, that was the only form of medical help available to two-thirds of this huge island continent, with just pride. He had been an able administrator with a vision that he had lived to see fulfilled.

'Flynn of the Inland' was buried in the country he loved so much, near Alice Springs.

In 1953, a commemorative cairn was erected 17 miles north of Tennant Creek, in Flynn's honour, and on it are included these words:

'His vision encompassed the continent.......

.........He bought to lonely places a spiritual ministry

And spread a mantle of safety over them........'



Our series on the historical significance of the people portrayed on our new polymer notes concludes with the last two notes in the current range.

The fourth general circulation issue in Australia's polymer plastic series was our Fifty Dollar note which was released on the 4th. October 1995.

It has the obverse centrepiece depicting Australia's first published Aboriginal author, David Unaipon, and as its reverse it features Edith Dircksey Cowan (nee Brown) O.B.E., the first woman to hold a seat in an Australian Parliament.

David Unaipon was born at Port McLeay Mission in South Australia on 28th. September 1872, son of a Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal evangelist, James Ngunaitponi and his wife Nymbulda.

During his lifetime David was obsessed with science and inventions and, even though higher education was denied to him, his natural talent for 'making things that worked' shone through!

In 1909 he patented an improved handpiece for shearers and invented a centrifugal motor amongst many other things, but could never get any financial backing to develop his ideas.

He had married a Tangani woman, Katherine Carter (nee Sumner) in 1902, and because of his background, and a knowledge of several of the aboriginal dialects, he won acceptance by many local tribes and became prominent as a spokesperson for them.

In the late 1920's, Unaipon was involved in several Royal Commissions and inquiries into Aboriginal welfare and he wanted to see the Commonwealth take control of aboriginal affairs instead of them being left to the individual states that had no resources, and in some cases no inclination, to act sympathetically in this area of social justice.

David Unaipon was an advocate of 'sympathetic co-operation' between all races and, in an effort to create a spirit of understanding, he wrote several articles for a newspaper, the Sydney 'Daily Telegraph' and a magazine, 'The Home' as well as several books about native legends that gave him the honour of being the first Aboriginal author to be published internationally.

He died on 7th. February 1967, at the age of 94, and was buried where he was born, at Port McLeay.


1999 issue Australian $50.00 polymer note

At time of writing this note has not been modified from 1995 original.

John Unaipon obverse - Edith Cowan reverse.


There is a soft sadness in the portrait of Edith Cowan, as shown on our Fifty Dollar note, which highlights the compassion of the woman, but does nothing to show the resolve that powered her to achieve great things in the cause of women's rights!

Edith Brown had a traumatic childhood which started on 2nd. August 1861, at Glengarry in Western Australia.

Her mother, Mary, died in childbirth when Edith was only an impressionable 7 year old and then when she was aged 15, her father, Kenneth, murdered his second wife!

When she turned eighteen Edith married the man who would eventually become City of Perth police magistrate, James Cowan, on 12th. November 1879 and, by 1891, they were raising five children. Because of her husband's involvement, through the courts, with all sorts of disadvantaged women and children who had been handed a poor deal in life, Edith started to become active in numerous voluntary organisations in an effort to better their lot!  Her first priorities included health and hygiene, state schools to provide free education (including sex education to be taught in schools), equal citizenship rights for both sexes, as well as day nurseries for working mothers. Over the next fifty or so years until her death at age 70, on the 9th. June 1932, Edith Cowan achieved an impressive number of 'firsts' in her fight to champion the cause of the underdogs.

From 1891-1906 she worked with several organisations to get her day nurseries accepted as well as the Children's Courts, of which she became one of the first women to be appointed to the bench in 1915.

During World War I, she worked tirelessly for the Red Cross and was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 1920, the same year she was appointed one of the first female Justices of the Peace in the country!

In 1921 Edith decided to stand for the Western Australian Parliament as a National Party member, and was successful in becoming the first woman to win a seat in any Australian Parliament.

Her contribution during her only term in office included putting forward several private member's bills, which were accepted, that helped promote women's inheritance rights and the equal opportunity for women to enter the legal profession.

Edith Cowan has been remembered in several other more tangible ways as well -  a memorial clock tower in Perth's King's Park, a Western Australian Federal electorate, and a University have all been named after this truly remarkable woman!



Two Australians, who followed totally different paths to success, are featured on our One Hundred Dollar note, which was released on 15th. May 1996, yet both are credited with doing great things towards giving our nation the necessary credentials to take its place amongst the best in the world!

Co-incidentally both were born in Melbourne in the early 1860's, did their 'bit' for Australia during World War I, and both died in 1931, but there the similarities end.

Helen Porter Mitchell was born at Richmond, Melbourne on the 19th. May 1861, and went on to become the world's finest operatic soprano of her time- with a vocal range spanning nearly three octaves.

Her musical talent was recognised early in her life, in fact she was only six when she made her first public singing appearance, and at age eight, she accompanied herself on the piano at a concert at the Richmond Town Hall on 11th. December 1869, and the local newspaper, the Richmond 'Advertiser', reported that the 'precocious little Miss Mitchell caught the audience by surprise...... and rightly deserved the spontaneous encore she received....'

Helen married Charles Armstrong- the son of an Irish baronet, in 1882, but the marriage was not successful and they divorced in 1900, after she had a public affair with the Duke of Orleans, the Bourbon pretender to the French throne. (The reports of the day say that Mr. Armstrong and Queen Victoria were not amused!)

Helen had been tutored by several excellent teachers in Australia, but she realised that she would need to go to Europe to complete her training.

In 1886, her teacher, Mathilde Marchesi of Paris had introduced her to several famous French and Italian composers, including Puccini, to give a boost to her operatic career and had then persuaded the young singer to take a stage name that would easily remembered by the international audiences.

Helen (nicknamed 'Nellie') chose a name that would always remind her of her home city of Melbourne in Australia- that name was Melba.

She eventually made her professional debut in Brussels in 1887, as Gilda in Verdi's 'Rigoletto', and then Gounod chose her for Juliette in his 'Romeo et Juliette', and she was Puccini's ideal Mimi for his 'La Boheme'.

During the next 15 years Madame 'Nellie' Melba became the prima donna at London's Covent Garden and on her first return to Australia in 1902, she was given the superstar treatment that she expected, with a triumphant, but strenuous, tour of the major cities throughout the country.

(The Launceston 'Examiner' of February 13th. 1903, comments on Madame Melba's welcome by the mayor of that city, and when he politely asked how her steamer trip across the notoriously rough Bass Strait had been, she replied, 'Horrible!... I feel tired and need to rest.'

It was unfortunate for the audience who had brought tickets for her sell-out concert, and it appeared even worse for the entrepreneur, Mr D. Thompson, who had put up a deposit of 1000 guineas with the National Bank, when the news hit the street that the diva was indisposed and the concert would not go ahead. However a financial arrangement was agreed to and no one, except the doting audience, missed out. Melba eventually gave a concert in Launceston in April 1909.)

Melba frequently came back from her European commitments to do tours to anywhere that wanted to hear her sing, and that even included enduring the rigours of the outback regions of this continent

During World War I, Melba sang at concerts both here and in North America to raise funds for the wartime charities and, for her tireless efforts, she was awarded the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1918. (It was said she raised over 100,000 Pounds.)

At the opening of the 'temporary' Federal Parliament House in Canberra in 1927, Dame Nellie Melba was invited to sing the National Anthem, and another honour was bestowed on her when she was elevated to Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire.

Melba made many 'final' appearances during her career, the 'last' at Covent Garden, England in 1926, and the 'last' at Geelong, Australia in November 1928, and a 'last' charity concert at the Brighton Hippodrome in England on 5th. October 1929.

In fact, her final 'last' appearance was in November 1930, when she had returned from England so seriously ill that she had to be taken from the ship by ambulance.

She died in Sydney at the age of 69, on 23rd. February 1931, and was buried at Lilydale in Victoria- still loved by her devoted public!

The 'New York Times' wrote in their epitaph to this great Australian soprano:

'Fortunate the generation that heard her, for we shall never hear her like again.'


1999 issue Australian $100.00 polymer note.

No alterations from 1996 original issue have been noted.

Dame 'Nellie' Melba obverse - Sir John Monash reverse.


In 1864, a young Jewish-Prussian, Louis Monash, who had emigrated to Australia in 1853, returned to Prussia for a visit and came back with a new bride, Bertha (nee Manasse).

On 7th. June 1865 their son, John Monash, was born in West Melbourne, just five and a half years before Prussia expanded to form the German Empire, the Second Reich, which was proclaimed in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles in January 1871.

It is more than ironic that this child, born of Prussian parents, should grow up to be one of Australia's greatest generals in the First World War and be responsible, in part, for the smashing of the Hindenberg Line and the ultimate defeat of the German Empire.

John Monash was educated at Scotch College, where he was considered to be an excellent academic student, before attending the University of Melbourne to follow his career choices of the Arts, Law and Engineering.

It was there that he became a leader in student politics and was instrumental in the formation of the first Student's Union as well as joining the University Company of the 4th. Battalion, Victoria Rifles.

However in 1885, owing to family circumstances that included his mother's terminal illness, he felt compelled to get a full-time job, which he achieved with a civil engineering firm and, fortunately, this proved to be the right move for him.

Like everything else Monash did, he devoted himself to the job, and excelled in its practicalities - while he also continued to study part time at the University where in 1892 he eventually gained his degrees in the Arts, Engineering and Law.

Monash had met and married Hannah Victoria Moss in 1891 and by 1893 he had the added responsibility of a daughter, Bertha, his only child.

During the great economic depression of 1894, as he had been retrenched from his job with the Melbourne Harbour Trust, he went into a partnership specialising in bridge building and, by 1905, with other business associates. he had formed the successful firm -Reinforced Concrete and Monier Pipe Construction Co. Pty. Ltd.

All the while Monash maintained his involvement with military training, and became a member of the North Melbourne Battery of the Garrison Artillery where his organising ability was soon recognised and his promotion to Major, and commanding-officer, was ratified in 1897, a position he then held for over a decade.

By 1908, Monash was heavily involved with the Australian Army Intelligence Corps and his further promotion, in 1913, to Colonel commanding the 13th. Infantry Brigade was a logical one, considering his expertise.

Meanwhile, in central Europe and the Balkans, a timetable of madness had started to unfold as nation after nation, armed itself to the teeth as a deterrent against each other, and on August 4th. 1914, with the exception of Italy, they were all at war- 'defending themselves!'

Because of the emotional and traditional ties with England, Australia was also caught up in the conflict and threw its full weight of available manpower and resources into the allied camp.

Monash was soon in command of the 4th. Infantry Brigade of the Australian Imperial Forces and off to Egypt for training prior to their first major engagement on the Gallipoli Peninsular, in the Dardenelles, on the 25th. April 1915.

Every Australian knows the tragic story that unfolded at the narrow beach at what became known as Anzac Cove at Gallipoli, and the incompetent British High Command of the time who made blunder after blunder, and paid for it with the blood of the bravest young men from Australia, New Zealand and Britain.

The first day's casualties amounted to 6,000 dead and 14,000 wounded, out of the 70,000 troops that took part in the initial landings. A total of 200,000 allied casualties were recorded, from all causes, by the time the campaign was declared lost in December and the orders were given for a complete withdrawal.

Eventually on the nights of the 19-20th. December 1915, under the command of one of the most competent of the English soldiers, Lieutenant-General Birdwood, in a remarkable series of subterfuges, the evacuation of Anzac Cove was completed without the loss of a single life.

From virtual defeat came this small victory, but the landing and the holding of that 1000 yards of cliff-face for 8 months by Monash and the Anzac troops under increasing counter-attacks from the Turks and their brilliant leader Colonel Mustapha Kemal Ataturk, was the baptism of fire that is seen to have welded both the young Australia and the emerging Turkey into nations with a tremendous respect for each others bravery which still holds true today.

After the Dardenelles campaign, Monash was promoted once again, to Major-General commanding the 3rd. Australian Division, and was sent to England to train his troops before they faced the horrors of the European conflict.

The Australians, all volunteers, were noted as fierce fighters and were involved in many of the most bloody battles during the War, such as Messines- Passchendaele- Amiens.

Monash was made a Knight Commander of the Bath in 1918, and appointed Commander of the Australian Corps at the rank of Lieutenant-General before he directed a huge and extremely successful collaboration of Australian and American infantry, artillery and tanks, plus aircraft at the Battle of Hamel on the 4th. July.

The battles that followed on from this resounding victory, heralded the beginning of the end for Germany's General Erich Ludendorff's armies, and when the German commander realised that the War was lost by late September 1918, he advised the Hindenburg Government to sue for the peace that would stop the slaughter of thousands more.

At 11.00 a.m. on the 11th. November 1918, the Great War was over- and all was quiet on the Western Front!

General Sir John Monash returned to Australia as a hero, and was appointed the Director-General of Repatriation and Immobilisation, until civilian life claimed his talents again and saw him head the Victorian State Electrical Commission (S.E.C.) for many years.

When his wife, Hannah, died in 1920 after a long illness, Monash devoted himself, over the final ten years or so of his life, to organising the building of the Shrine of Remembrance and to his position as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne as well as his duties as Chairman of the S.E.C.

He died on 8th. October 1931 and it is estimated that 250,000 people attended his state funeral.

In respect for his services to education, Monash University in Melbourne was named after him in 1958.

A fitting tribute for the soldier who preferred to be remembered as a scholar and a builder.


Main References :

Australian Coin Review. Nov. 1993; Nov. 1994; Oct. 1995 and June 1996. issues.

History of World War I. Published by Octopus Books. 1974.

Australia's Yesterdays. Published by Reader's Digest Services. 1974.

The Macquarie Book of Events. Published by Macquarie Library Pty. Ltd. 1984.

Collecting and Investing in Australian Coins and Banknotes. 2nd.Edition. By Greg McDonald. (McDonald Publishing.)

Australia, The First Hundred Years. Published by Summit Books. Paul Hamlyn Pty. Ltd.

A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson's Collected Verse. Published by Angus & Robertson. 1987.



I believe that the piece of printed paper - broadly speaking - called a banknote, is not just valuable for its buying power as currency. It many instances it is a reflection of the times when it was printed. It can be artistically pleasing, politically motivated or culturally important.  It may be a promise to redeem in precious metal or other specific items of value established at that time - or it can be just a piece of paper that implies a trust that it is exchangeable for any of the tangible necessities of life. The reason that we collect banknotes is complex - as each of us places his/her own conditions of selection on something that, in all probability, we shall lock away for our private pleasure. In my instance - it is first and foremost -  the historical aspect that the piece of paper represents - that fascinating door to the past -  combined with all of the other reasons, that I have already mentioned, following behind in varying degrees of importance.

The value of such a note, or its cost to attain, bears little relevance if it is desperately desired and is legitimately within your means.


General George Gordon Meade .......

........ the Battle of Gettysburg - and other things.


A story published in February 1999 by a former ‘CAB’ Executive Editor, Glen Stephens, about the World record price for a single Banknote, prompted me to do a little checking at the time to see what all the fuss was about.. The US$1,000 note is recorded in the 'Standard Catalog of World Paper Money' as No. 350 and is classified as ‘RARE’ - with no prices quoted - but when it sold for over U.S.$1,000,000  at that time (1999) we then had an idea what it was worth to the right person with a wallet to match the desire.

The following article is based, in part, on a previously published feature in the 'Tasmanian Numismatist - Internet Edition' from March 1999 which had been archived. in 2000 but the information within deserves its place amongst the current issues for research purposes if nothing else.


1890 Series US$1,000.00 Treasury Note featuring General George Meade

This series was known as (a) Coin notes due to their redeemability in coin or (b) Grand Watermelon notes due to the shape of the reverse 000's.


The particular $1000 denomination note, that features Major-General George Gordon Meade, was one of the 1890 Series of Treasury Notes (sometimes known as coin notes) and there are several signatory variations as well as two seal variations (Red and Brown) on most all of the different denominations within the series and in a second abbreviated series issued in 1891. The series of notes ranged from $1 - $1,000 and featured Union heroes of the American Civil War such as General Phil Sheridan, Commodore David Farragut, General George Meade, General James McPherson and George Thomas - and other political figures (as detailed below) - whose exploits and achievements are well documented in other sources.

I must admit that I had only heard of Sheridan and Farragut - George Meade and the others didn’t register amongst any of the ‘ famous’ names from the Civil War that I could recollect - but obviously Meade, in particular, was someone important enough to feature on a $1,000 note - so it was a case of out with the history books, and turn to the pages that told the story of the conflict that claimed over 1 million American lives.



$1.00            Edwin McMasters Stanton (Secretary of War)

$2.00            General James Birdseye McPherson

$5.00            Major-General George Henry Thomas

$10.00          General Philip Henry Sheridan

$20.00          John Marshall (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court)

$100.00        Commodore David (formerly James) Glasgow Farragut

$1000.00      General George Gordon Meade


1890 Series Treasury Notes (several of these scans are of replicas and have been obtained from various internet sources.)



Sec. of War Edwin McMasters Stanton, General James Birdseye McPherson, Maj. General George Henry Thomas, General Philip Henry Sheridan



 Chief Justice John Marshall, Commodore David Glasgow Farragut and General George Gordon Meade.


The American Civil War has been remembered by history, as a great victory for freedom and the forging of the United States as we know it today, but it was also one of the world’s great tragedies when brother fought brother, and families were split apart forever. At the time, it was also seen and argued  by the Southern states,rightly or wrongly, as one of the most blatant instances of a Federal Government usurping their states' rights and imposing a political idology on rural minority communities.

Lincoln had just been elected president in November 1860, and the subject of the abolition of slavery had been violently and bloodily discussed for some years prior to his election.

People had died, and towns and even states, had become divided as the pros and cons were argued, but it eventually became apparent that the abolition argument was being submerged in the political assertion that the states rights to determine their own futures were being dictated by Washington and the centralist government.

In December 1860, seven states seceded from the Union and seized all Government buildings and property within their boundaries and called for 100,000 volunteers to resist any Union invasion. They appointed Jefferson Davis, former Federal Minister of War, as their first President and called themselves the Confederate States of America. The fuse was lit for conflict.



Two Sons of Kentucky.

U.S.A. President Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 - April 15, 1865) and C.S.A. President Jefferson Davis (June 3, 1808 - December 5, 1889)

Lincoln was born in Hardin County and Davis was born in Christian County (later part of Todd County).


US $1.00 Silver Certificate Note 1899 Series featuring Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant


1864 1st. Series Confederate States of America $50.00 featuring CSA President Jefferson Davis

Recommended reading:  http://www.civilwarhome.com/jdavisbio.htm


Commonwealth of Kentucky County map showing how close Hardin and Christian-Todd Counties are.


I do not intend to go more deeply into the politics of the time, suffice to say the conflict started at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbour, South Carolina, on 12th. April 1861 with a Confederate victory that forced the Union to react - more out of loss of pride than anything else. Miraculously, no one was hurt after 4,000 Rebel shells rained down on the fort, forcing Union Major Robert Anderson to surrender. Lincoln asked for 75,000 troops from the Federal militia to help curb the ‘insurrection’.

Everyone in the economically powerful industrialised Northern states thought the ‘insurrection’ would be over in weeks ......

Also bear in mind that the Union capital, Washington, and the Confederate capital, Richmond, were only about 100 miles apart.

The first real battle between the opposing groups was destined to be at Bull Run Creek, near Manassas, which is a little South-west from Washington, and it had all the trapping of a picnic at first, with politicians and other prominent citizens bringing, binoculars, champagne and cut lunches in their carriages to witness the rout of the Confederate troops.

Until lunchtime everything went well and according to the Union plan, but a then relatively unknown Southern leader, Thomas J. Jackson, held a position on a hillside near the centre of the rebel lines and refused to retreat - and the other Confederate commanders used his stand as a rallying point, "Look at Jackson - standing like a stonewall" The name stuck!


1864 C.S.A. $500 featuring General Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson


The Confederate lines consolidated and held. By mid afternoon rebel reinforcements started to arrive by train from Richmond, and Brig.- General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, a French-speaking Creole from New Orleans mounted a counter attack.

The Union army, under the command of elderly General Winfield Scott buckled, then started to strategically retreat - but the retreat turned into a panic stricken crush as the army and the civilian carriages, who were trying to flee back towards Washington, became entangled on the narrow roads as the Southern army unexpectedly surged forward.

The withdrawal nearly became a rout as the victorious Confederates took the battle field, but held up from following the disorganised rabble back to Washington 12 miles away.

With Union losses exceeding 5,000, the event was described in the Northern newspapers as a bloodbath - little did they realise that figure would shrink into insignificance as time went on. The Northern states realised that they now had a real fight on their hands and political posturing was no longer going to sway the divided nation. They were really at WAR!

The army started to disintegrate and drunkenness became rife amongst the officers and men as they waited, fatalistically, for the Southern invasion they were sure was going to follow imminently.


General George McClellan

A young, and very confident, General George McClellan was then promoted to replace the shattered General Winfield Scott, and given the job of preparing a great army from the remnants of the of 35,000 men that had been trounced by the Confederate force of 20,000 at that first Battle of Bull Run.

It is admitted in retrospect, by military historians, that McClellan’s Army was superbly put together and trained, and it was his great show of personal confidence and positive direction that had enabled the re-building of strength and, more importantly, morale, - and that was the reason the Union Army went on to do the great things it was called upon to do later.

However, McClellan became reluctant to commit his grand army to a decisive battle and kept arguing and making excuses that the army was not ready and that he needed more men and equipment.

He came to believe he was destined to be the saviour of the Union, and he developed a personal loathing for Lincoln - who he described in private as ‘the original ape’ - and, as well, he apparently had political aspirations of his own and was looking forward to the 1864 presidential elections.

In his writings he ‘humbly’ states, "Everyone defers to me, even the President, I could be dictator or anything I want - but I choose not to want to be dictator."

McClellan eventually become such a political ‘hot potato’ between Lincoln and his opponents in Washington that action needed to be taken and, for a time, he was replaced as Commander of the Army by General John Pope, but he was recalled after Pope had made several disastrous decisions and lost several major battles.

McClellan told his wife, "Once more I have been called upon to save the Union!" - but again he did nothing decisive.

He moved vast amounts of men and material around the countryside and then, under pressure, he decided to transport his Great Army down the Potomac and prepared to lay siege to the Southern capital of Richmond, but he was out-thought in several very small, but very bloody, battles by C.S.A. President Jefferson Davis’ generals, Robert Edward Lee and J. E. B. Stuart, during the week of running confrontations. Even with Confederate casualties doubling those of the Federal troops during the ‘Seven Days Campaign’, McClellan dug in on the Peninsula and again did relatively nothing, psychologically convinced he had suffered defeats - when in fact he really only lost one battle.

During the Peninsula campaign McClellan had again asked for more men to assist in the ‘advance’, but Lincoln refused him.

"If I gave you a hundred thousand men, you would tell me that the enemy had two hundred thousand - and then you would sit in the mud and ask me for three hundred thousand. We have no more men to spare."

McClellan biography. Refer: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USACWmcclellan.htm

After the war, McClellan spent time in Europe before returning to serve as chief engineer of the New York Department of Docks (1870-72) and in 1872 became president of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad. He also served as Governor of New Jersey from 1878 to 1881. George McClellan died on 29th October, 1885, in Orange, New Jersey.


General Robert Edward Lee

Robert Edward Lee, born 19th January 1807, was a brilliant tactician and a graduate from West Point Military Academy, and had been a Colonel in the regular United States Army prior to the beginning of hostilities but had resigned his commission and gone home to Virginia, hoping to retire.

He was personally against secession and against slavery - but he was a Virginian, and Virginia had sided with the other Southern states in their belief that their sovereign rights were being stifled by Northern interference.

He reluctantly accepted command of the Virginia state forces when war finally broke out.

In 1861 Lee was appointed chief military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and then was given command of the C. S .A. Army which Lee eventually renamed the Army of Northern Virginia during his confrontations with McClellan near Richmond.

Robert E. Lee biography. Refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_E._Lee

Picture of Lee on his horse 'Traveller'. Refer: http://www.equestriancare.com/article/general-lee-traveller.html


The Commander of the Union forces in early 1861, General Winfield Scott, likened Lee’s retirement from the Union Army as equivalent to losing 50,000 veterans- and he was to be proved right when Lee inflicted defeat upon defeat on superior Union forces.

By early 1863 it had become obvious that the Confederate armies, now under the command of Robert E. Lee, were more than capable of bring the fight north to the Union capital of Washington while McClellan procrastinated.

This time the politically embarrassed Lincoln had reached the end of his tether with McClellan, and finally and decisively replaced him with General Ambrose E. Burnside and the Peninsula troops were withdrawn back up the Potomac to Washington.

The tragic lost battle at Fredericksburg on December 11 -15th. 1862, with a fearsome loss of Union life, then high-lighted the fact that desperate measures were now needed to end the conflict which was tearing the nation apart, economically and physically.

Politically, Lincoln was in the ‘hot-seat’ so he then made another change in the top echelon of military command and appointed General Joseph Hooker, known as ‘Fighting Joe’, as Commander of the Army.

Hooker was a hard-drinking, hard-living man - but he had shown a flair as the commander of the Grand Centre Section at Fredericksburg that a desperate Lincoln thought would inspire confidence and promote aggressiveness again amongst his demoralised armies.

At the battle of Chancellorsville, however, Hooker failed, by the accepted military standards of the day, after he was confronted by a numerically inferior force, under the overall command of Robert E. Lee and ‘Stonewall’ Jackson.

Taking a calculated risk, Lee’s small Confederate force had been divided three ways before it engaged the Union forces on several fronts. This action is recognised as Lee’s greatest tactical victory of the Civil War.

The Confederate troops had kept on the move, striking at different points of Hooker’s flanks, and gave the impression that thousands of troops had surrounded the Chancellorsville farmhouse where Hooker has established his command post.

Hooker’s failure could have been attributed partly to the fact that a near miss shattered the door-post that Hooker was leaning against. It blew him off his feet and had left him dazed, for most of the day, and unable to take full control of the situation before he and his officers were forced to retreat back a few miles to safety when the farmhouse was over-run.

It was a brilliant tactical victory for Lee and the Confederacy - but tragedy was to tinge the euphoria.

The retreating Union force had been pursued by Lt. General ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and his troops during the late afternoon and, as they were returning to their lines in the darkness, they were fired upon by their own nervous Confederate piquet.

Several of Jackson’s officers were killed outright, and the General received a wound in his right hand and several in his left wrist and arm that left it so severely damaged that it required amputation early the next morning. It appears that Jackson had been hit by several 1.25 oz. Minié balls - probably .577 calibre

The big lead bullet, with its internal iron cup, tended to spread even further as it hit an object and the wounds created by it were horrendous as many contemporary reports highlight. A bullet this big could easily tear off an arm or leg or create a shattering wound that usually meant amputation -  minor gunshot wounds caused by Minié balls were relatively non-existent. Some reports give a figure of 90% of small arms casualties, estimated to be at least 234,000 men, died from the wounds inflicted by a Minié ball bullet that hit them. A detailed and graphic description of the consequences of a Minié ball strike can be found at: http://www.rootsweb.com/~momonroe/minieball.htm



Types of cast lead bullets used by both Civil War sides (measurements in centimetres)

(Picture and 1.5 cm. diameter Minié ball remnant courtesy of T.N.S. member Jerry Adams).


Jackson seemed to be was recuperating well from the wound, when he unexpectedly took a turn for the worse and pneumonia set in.

He started to seriously deteriorate and his wife was called to his side, to learn that he was dying and would not last out the day.

When she told him - he smiled, and his last words to his wife and his family doctor were, "It’s Sunday - it’s a good day to die" then he lay quietly for a while before starting to mumble some incoherent orders to his sub-ordinate Lt.- General A .P. Hill. Shortly afterwards he quietened down again before smiling, and saying in a clear loud voice, "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees!"

‘The South has lost a fine soldier and a pious gentleman.’ said a devastated Lee on learning of Jackson’s death.


Gen. George Gordon Meade

George Gordon Meade was the next general chosen by Abraham Lincoln - who had now declared himself Commander-in -Chief of the Union Armies - to replace Hooker as commander of the Army of the Potomac after he and Hooker had a serious disagreement about tactics in late June 1863.

George G. Meade biography. Refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Meade

Picture of Meade taken outside his tent at Cold Harbor 1864


Hooker, who had lost confidence in his own ability after the Chancellorsville debacle, had wanted to keep the Army of the Potomac close to Washington as a defensive force, while Meade was anxious to come to grips with General Lee, and by this time Lincoln had no other political option but to relieve Hooker and give the post to the more aggressive Meade.

At this time the Union had been enjoying a modicum of success and the pressure was being applied to Vicksburg by General Ulysses Simpson Grant, and Lincoln needed to be seen as keeping the momentum going.

It was then, however, that Robert E. Lee decided to strike northwards and try to take some of this pressure off Vicksburg, by pushing towards Washington again with his 70,000 battle hardened veterans.

When Lee decided to mount his push towards Washington, he sent his cavalry, led by Major-General James Elwell Brown ‘Jeb’ Stuart, in a wide northerly sweep into Pennsylvania to avoid premature discovery and it was planned that Stuart would meet up with newly-appointed Lt.-General Richard Elwell in a pincer movement that would cut off the army that Lee knew would be sent northwards out of Washington towards them. They all assumed that the Army of the Potomac was still being led by Joe Hooker and it was only after some days that Lee’s intelligence reports told him differently - and that it now had George Meade as its commander, and Lee knew Meade’s ability from the Fredericksburg battle.

However, Stuart was unavoidably delayed for eight days during his forced march northwards, over very difficult terrain, and Lee lost all contact with him for this crucial period when he desperately needed him at hand.

This delay cost Lee dearly - from lack of good strategic intelligence that Stuart’s mobile force could have supplied regarding the disposition of the union troops, and the fact that his forces were divided into three separated units when the crunch came near Gettysburg on 1st. July and ended on the 4th. July 1863.

Newly- appointed Lt.- General A. P. Hill, a pugnacious red-bearded soldier, who had acquired a record as a good divisional officer under ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, was approached by one of his leading divisional commanders, General Harry Heth (pronounced Heath), and asked that he be allowed to march some of his poorly equipped infantry troops into the nearby town of Gettysburg to obtain stocks of shoes that were believed to be stored there.

The local intelligence reports had mentioned that only a few Union militia and cavalry were in residence and should prove to be no real trouble to Heth’s infantry, so Hill gave his permission. The township, with its Lutheran seminary located on a gentle ridge overlooking a shallow valley on its outskirts, was not considered to be of any great military importance.

In fact, unknown to the Confederates, there were two brigades of Union Major-General John Bulford’s 1st. Cavalry Division stationed there.

Bulford quickly assessed the situation and, realising that major Confederate forces were in the area, he sent for reinforcements.

The ensuing battle started initially with skirmishes that started at about 8.00 a.m. on July 1st between Bulford’s cavalry and Heth’s infantry, that developed into larger assaults, and then full scale battles as more and more troops poured down the surrounding roads which became like spokes on a wheel all leading to the hub - Gettysburg.

The influence of General George Meade was essential and his more decisive style of leadership was the catalyst that was needed for Union victory - but even so, Luck was on his side because of Bulford’s effort in holding Heth’s infantry in the first place on the little narrow Cashtown Rd.

This enabled the Union army to be always one vital step in front of Lee who had no cavalry, at that point, to help him take swift advantage of the situations as they arose.

The battle is well documented and is a story of desperation by two armies fighting for their very survival at places like Seminary Ridge, Cemetery Ridge, Little Round Top, the Peach Orchard and the Devil’s Den.

Indecision was evident on both sides and major mistakes were made, under terrible pressure, that cost thousands of lives, and the gallant, but futile under supported action like Pickett’s Infantry Charge on 3rd. July are now part of history - but then it was all or nothing with everything to lose.

The dashing Major-General George Pickett was left to make the final decision to advance as some other senior officers, Generals Longstreet and Alexander did nothing.


General George Edward Pickett

When it became evident that the impetus was being lost and other troops were in danger of being swept away by the strong Union army, the junior ranking General Pickett lined up his men in parade ground style and at 1.25 p.m. he gave the orders to advance to Major-General Isaac Trimble, who had two brigades from Pender’s division, and Major-General J.J. Pettigrew who was commanding four brigades from Heth’s division. They were supported by a huge artillery barrage.

Pickett’s division made up of 15 Virginian regiments, over 15,000 men, virtually marched up the slopes to the Union forces on Cemetery Hill and along Cemetery Ridge, and were driven back with appalling losses of over 10,000 as the opposing infantry and artillery fired point blank at them as they advanced.

This futile charge was one of the most daring and most impressive attacks in military history.


George E. Pickett biography. Refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Pickett

The 38y.o. Pickett survived the charge and, that night, wrote a poignant letter to his 15y.o. fiancee, Sally (LaSalle Corbell who he married on Sept. 15th 1863), in which he described the awful events of the day and he is supposed to have finished with the sentence "But for you, my darling, I would rather, a million times rather, sleep in an unknown grave."

Following the Civil War, Pickett fled to Canada to avoid prosecution for actions he took against Union captives from North Carolina, at New Berne, returning to the United States when pardoned by General Grant. He suffered from severe depression, having never gotten over the loss of his division at Gettysburg and the blame he attached to General Lee as Commanding Officer. He refused offers of commands from Egypt, and the United States, and settled in Norfolk, Virginia, where he entered the insurance business. George Pickett died on July 30, 1875 and is buried in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetry amongst his men. in a Confederate soldier's reserved area known as 'Gettysburg Hill'. His wife 'Sally' survived him by nearly 56 years and on her death, her ashes were taken to Arlington Mausoleum until they were re-interred next to him on March 21st. 1998 when a petition was upheld allowing wives' remains to be buried along side their husbands.


Battle map of Gettysburg

Some of Pettigrew’s Confederate troops led by Brig.-General Lewis Armistead actually managed to breach the Union defences, and fierce hand-to-hand combat ensued before Union General Winfield Scott Hancock, who was seriously wounded, ordered in the last of his reserves. They were standing - rifle barrel to rifle barrel - firing straight at each other, such was the ferocity of the battle. The Confederate lines appeared to slowly melt away as they fell one atop of another under the withering fire of the defenders. The toll was terrible, in one area alone over 2,900 were killed out of the 5,000 that had marched down that section of Seminary Ridge with Pettigrew and Trimble, and up the gentle rise towards Meade’s headquarters which was in a farmhouse on the opposite Cemetery Ridge.

The overall losses around Cemetery Hill were so great that field hospitals set up by both sides could not cope, and the dead and wounded were left where they fell in great bloody swathes as the afternoon drew to a close.

Lee was devastated as he rode through the battle lines and saw the heaps of bodies of ‘his’ Virginians.

It is reported that he wept and said, "I am to blame for this"

One rebel soldier said it all, "We gained nothing but the glory!"


The 'glory' of Gettysburg 3rd. July 1863

This photo, by Matthew Brady, is often recorded as being near Herbst's Woods (also known as McPherson's Farm Woods)

and presumes to feature Union dead - but other studious reports state that it is of Confederate dead at nearby Rose Woods.


Stuart and his cavalry, who had eventually arrived on the evening of the 2nd. July after engaging in several fierce encounters, were then used to cover the strategic withdrawal of the battered Southern Army on the 4th. July.

Meade’s troops had also suffered immense casualties and - even though an effort was made by cavalry under the command of Brigadier-General E.J. Farnsworth - they were in no position to stop Lee’s retreat back to Virginia.

When Farnsworth was killed in an encounter with General Longstreet, Meade called of the pursuit. Enough was enough!

So, a conclusive Northern victory was not actually attained, and Meade was severely criticised by Lincoln for that fact - but neither was it seen as a complete Southern disaster - except by Robert E. Lee, who wrote and offered his resignation to Jefferson Davis, who declined to accept it.

Meade lost over 23,000 men and Lee lost 27,500 men in this one battle - 10,000 had fallen in Pickett’s Charge alone - can you imagine what the carnage must have been like!

Lincoln, ever the astute politician, declared it to be a great victory, and it was there, on that blood soaked battlefield, that he gave his famous Gettysburg Address on November 19th. 1863.



Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.’


The series of fateful events at Gettysburg in July 1863, which turned the tables ever so slightly in the Union’s favour, became a compounding effect that eventually became too much for the resource-short Southern states to bear, and it was the beginning of the end for the Confederacy.

Robert E. Lee continued to fight until he was forced to surrender on April 9th. 1865 at Appomattox, but, like the Confederacy, his heart was broken and all he wanted was peace. When he died on 12th. October, 1870 at age 63 from the results of a stroke and the onset of pneumonia, he was acknowledged as a great general by both sides - his name became immortalised and his place in world history was assured.

He is buried beneath Lee's Chapel at the Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

It is of some interest to note that. due to a misplaced amnesty document, Lee was unaware that he had been pardoned and it was not for some 100 years after his death that the error was discovered and he was posthumously granted official citizenship of the United States of America.

On August 5, 1975, President Gerald H. Ford signed the special bill into law.


George Gordon Meade was also a late casualty of the war.

In March 1862, he had been seriously wounded at the Battle of Glendale when a Confederate musket ball struck him above his hip, clipped his liver, and just missed his spine as it passed through his body. Another bullet struck his arm and, although he was in great danger of bleeding to death, he remained on his horse 'Baldy' and in command for some time.

After the close of the war, General Meade was placed in command of military districts on the east coast. He lived with his wife and family in Philadelphia until October 31, 1872 when he suffered a violent pain in his side. His old wound from the Battle of Glendale had reactivated internal problems and pneumonia set in.  Meade's condition failed rapidly and he died a week later, on November 7th. 1872, and was buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.



The 1890 - 1 Series of Treasury Notes, because of their promises to pay the Bearer in coin, almost broke the U.S. Treasury and had to be withdrawn in 1893.

In the early months of 1893, the U.S. economy was still booming but, like most booms, the time arrived - just a short time later - when things started to go bust. in a hurry. Most of the labour-intensive, resource-hungry intercontinental railway works had been completed or were winding down by that year and the economy had already started to downturn. The population of the U.S. had mushroomed after the Civil War and now jobs started to disappear.

In England, some over-extended major international investment companies, that had been heavily involved in the rail venture in numerous ways, tried to recoup something from the imminent collapse as the spending money of the nation started to dry up. Some went broke and and this snowballed throughout the system.

The reasons for the runs on U.S. gold reserves are many and they are all interwoven into the financial catastrophe - but the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 was a major contributing factor. Sherman's Silver Purchase Act was politically instigated and it was designed to double the amount of silver required by Treasury for coinage - it had been lobbied for, and was intended to be, the main economic stimulus for some of those states where silver production was their major employment  base after the railway work ceased.

The 1890 Series Treasury notes were intended to be backed in coin by the silver and gold reserves held, or in production, by the United States Treasury but the rapid and dramatic onset of the Depression of 1893, which started in August, showed the fatal flaw in the idea which had started as a economic lifeline.

The Treasury reserves of gold were drained and the production level of silver was not able to compensate the difference between the actual values.

A more realistic formula to equate silver value to gold had been in place for years, however, when things had started to escalate in the bust cycle, the overseas and national creditors as well as the public demanded gold in payment on their paper treasury notes instead of the now more abundant but depreciating silver coinage.

Refer: http://www.bbrown.info/writings/html/1893.cfm


Main References :-

Epic Land Battles. by Richard Holmes. Published by Peerage Books. (Originally published by Octopus Books 1976)

The Civil War. 10 Part T.V. Documentary Series. Produced by Time-Life.

The Gettysburg Address. by Abraham Lincoln. Published 1863.

My Brother’s Face. Photos of the Civil War compiled by Charles Phillips & Alan Axelrod. Published by Chronicle Books. 1993.

World Paper Money. by Albert Pick and Neil Shafer. Published by Krause Publications. 1996.

Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia - URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki  (Various biographic entries as detailed in text.)





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The contents of this Internet newsletter, and all prior issues, are copyrighted ©, but anything herein can be fairly used to promote the great hobby of numismatics; however, we do like to be asked by commercial interests if they wish to use any of our copy. 

This permission, however, does not extend to any article specifically marked as copyrighted © by the author of the article. Explicit permission from the author or the Editor of the  ‘Tasmanian Numismatist ' (Internet Edition) newsletter is required prior to use of that material.


The Editor,

'Tasmanian Numismatist' (Internet Edition). 

P.O. Box 10,

Ravenswood. 7250. Tasmania.


Internet Page: http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/tns.html

Email: pwood@vision.net.au