Volume 16 Issue 5          Formerly published as the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition' (Est. 1996)         May  2011





Edited by Graeme Petterwood. © 2011.


Any comments published in this privately produced - not for profit -  newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the 'Numisnet World' (Internet Edition) nor its Editor. 

Bearing in mind our public disclaimers, any 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 -  or  - (2) To provide additional important information. 

Some illustrated items - including their designs and packaging -  may be subject to existing copyright restrictions. In such instances, they may not be replicated or their images reproduced or republished - unless prior permission is sought from, and given by, the originator, owner or licensee of such item, design or packaging.


Please consider my conditional invitation to make a literary contribution if you feel you have something numismatically themed that may appeal to a general level of interest and fulfils our stated editorial guidelines. 

As Editor, I am always prepared to look at it - and if need be - assist in presentation.  However, please be aware that not every submission will be automatically accepted for publication.  We regret the imposition of 'editorial control' - but previous experience has necessitated the following conditions.

If common courtesy, and normally acceptable moral standards are not upheld, or, the subject matter is considered to contain plagiarized or defamatory content, or, if it is not considered 'generic' enough for this type of newsletter, or, if the subject has already been covered in depth in earlier editions - it may be refused, held aside or selectively edited.  This is, obviously, not a scientific-style journal - our object is to educate, certainly - but, hopefully, in an entertaining way for the average hobbyist collector.  - G.E.P.


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 estimates only and they should not be considered to be an offer to sell or purchase the items mentioned or used as illustrations. 

Wherever possible - illustrations (*enlarged or otherwise) are from the authors' own collection or the extensive picture library of the former 'Tasmanian Numismatist' -  Internet Edition and the  'Numisnet World' - Internet Edition. © 1996 - 2011.

(Fair 'acknowledged' use of any original scan is allowed for educational purposes.)

*Please note that the photoscans of items are not always to size or scale.


PLEASE NOTE - RE-STATED DISCLAIMER: Where on-line web-site addresses are supplied, they are done so in good faith after we have checked them ourselves - however, our readers are advised that if a personal decision to access them is made - it is at your own risk.




"My Kingdom for - some boots!"

The following extract is a continuation from our April issue and it has been re-edited from an article in the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' September 1999 which  was compiled from research of various archival sources.

It concerns how the littlest things - like the lack of footwear - can change the course of history.

The old saying 'an army marches on its stomach' didn't mean much to those ever-hungry Confederate troops that had long since worn out their boots - and what passed for their uniforms - and had little way of replacing them even if the did have hard cash money in 1862..  


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. 

The awful Battle of Gettysburg was about to start................................


Recommended reading - The full story -  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/aug05.htm



            General Robert E. Lee    General George Meade    Casualties on Seminary Ridge.   Major-General George Pickett           


The following extract was compiled from archival reports from the Battle of Gettysburg.

"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."


The Union General, George Gordon Meade lost over 23,000 men and the Confederate General, Robert E. 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!

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

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

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

However, it was apparent that 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 CSA President Jefferson Davis, who declined to accept it.

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



19 November 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 a fair peace.

When he died in 1870 at age 63, 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 Robert E. Lee special pardon bill into law.


General 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.



We know that Gallantry alone doesn't always win wars - but, the endeavours of gallant men in this conflict should not go unsung whether they were the Union victors or the down-trodden Confederate 'Johnny Rebs'. 

One way the common Southern people, of the day, chose to show recognition of the efforts made by their ragged local soldier heroes, was to present them with their own bravery medals - even if the Confederate Congress could not.

There are several instances recorded of small quantities of medals being struck by local communities  and presented during the War - and other instances are known of medals being struck by organisations, some considerable time after the event, to commemorate the ultimate sacrifices that were made by too many brave men - and boys - who carried arms - but who happened to be on the losing side.



May 15th 1864

One of the oldest and most famous institutions of learning in the Southern states is the Virginia Military Institute, at Lexington, Virginia,  which was founded in 1839.  It is still one of the most prestigious military institutions in the United States of America open to men and women with military ambition. At the beginning of the Civil War the distinguished Confederate "Stonewall" Jackson was a member of the faculty.

Among its graduates were five major generals, nineteen brigadier generals and over five hundred officers who served in the Army of the Confederate States of America.

To carry out a scheme of cooperation with the Army of the Potomac, Union General Franz Sigel, with about eight thousand troops, started up the Shenandoah Valley, on the first of May, 1864, intending to march to Staunton, at the head of the valley, cross the Blue Ridge from there to Charlottesville, and continue further operations as circumstances might direct.

At New Market, about fifty miles from Winchester, Sigel was met on May 15th by the Confederate General John C. Breckinridge, with a somewhat smaller force, and was decisively defeated, being driven back about thirty miles, with a loss of seven hundred men, six guns and considerable other supplies.

General Breckenridge's force had been hastily gathered, and, with the permission of the Governor of Virginia, the Cadet Battalion of the Virginia Military Institute, consisting of two hundred and ninety-four boys, from fifteen to eighteen years of age, volunteered - in their entirety.

The services of two hundred and fifty were accepted, the remainder - mainly the youngest - being either left on guard at the Institute or sick in the hospital.

The Cadet Battalion behaved with great courage during the battle, about one-quarter of their number being killed or wounded in the charge - with fixed bayonets - at the 'Field of Lost Shoes'.


On that day, the battlefield was a muddy quagmire - and the boys virtually 'ran out of their shoes' as they charged across the open space.

Each year a traditional re-enactment is held at the Field of Lost Shoes to commemorate the VMI Cadets gallant Charge on May 15 1864. .


Optional viewing at own discretion:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9exRyp887iU&NR=1


New Market 'Cross of Honor'!

The following extract has been reprinted with permission from the - '2020site' - and contains details of one of the few belated medals produced to honour a particular event of bravery shown by Confederate cadets - the boy soldiers - from the 'Charge on the Field of Lost Shoes' in 1864. 

"A  twelve pointed variation of the cross pattee resting on a wreath, in the center a circular medallion bearing the seal of the State of Virginia. The four arms of the cross inscribed V.M.I. CADET BATTALION NEW MARKET MAY 15, 1864. The reverse is a smooth surface on which is stamped V.M.I. ALUMNI ASS'N. TO - leaving blank space for the name of the recipient. The cross is suspended by two chains, of three links each, from an ornamental clasp, inscribed FOR VALOR. Bronze. Size 40mm. exclusive of clasp.

Forty years later, the Alumni Association of the Virginia Military Institute, presented the bronze cross to each survivor of the two hundred and ninety-four volunteer Cadets, and to the families of those no longer living."  

Refer: http://www.2020site.org/medals/



 by T.N.S. Member #363, Jerry Adams

Review originally submitted 11 February 2006. 

Republished in the interests of collectors of CSA currency.

Please bear in mind that some details may have altered since this review was prepared.




by Pierre Fricke, edited by Stephen Goldsmith.

With contributions by Richie Self, Shreveport, LA.

This compendium of knowledge on Confederate paper money was published in 2005 in first edition.

Mr. Fricke is of Rye, NY, and his email is thus: pfricke@attglobal.net   and his website is thus: www.csaquotes.com


This long awaited treatise will be a 'must have' for any serious collector of Confederate paper money.

At 800 pages, and measuring a huge 11 1/4" x 9" x 2" (29 x 23 x 5 cms) and weighing a whopping 4 1/2 lbs (a little over 2 kgs), it is a mammoth compendium of knowledge that may leave you racing to the hardware store for extra bookshelf supports. Twelve pages of full color illustrations of each type of known CSA note type, and the remaining pages in black and white, and thousands of hours of diligent research have been invested in this book, which sells for US$49.95 plus $5.50 post within the U.S. *(Price correct at time of original writing.)

At time of original writing, copies of this book could still be ordered through the website of the publisher, Smythe Publishing:

URL:  www.smytheonline.com 

I acquired mine at a coin show in Texas, where I was fortunate to have Mr. Richie Self, one of the major contributors to this book, autograph my copy.

Mr. Self is a noted authority on CSA paper currency, and is a most delightful individual.

The currency issues of the Confederate States of America are some truly beautiful paper notes. Each note depicts various scenes and noted southerners, and are all signed by widows of CSA soldiers. The enormous number of spurious CSA notes, combined with the sometimes staggering prices brought by authentic notes, should pay for this book in a short time, if one is so inclined to collect this series.

I would highly recommend this book, as important, valuable, and worthy of any numismatic library as is borne out by others with a more intensive or specialised interest in CSA notes (see below).


The following is another review originally done by Steve Feller for the I.B.N.S. Journal:
"This is a superb book. Eight hundred pages in length it is chock full of new information on Confederate States of America bank note issues. The last major works on Confederate notes were the tenth edition of the Arlie Slabaugh, Confederate States Paper Money, published by Krause Publications in 2000 and the Grover Criswell, Comprehensive Catalog of Confederate Paper Money, published by BNR Press in 1996.  This book brings the state of our knowledge up a quantum as we approach the sesquicentennial of America's most important formative event.

In my opinion this new volume is superior to its predecessors.
The book is printed to a high standard and the color plates are of very high quality. The plates include an example of each of the Criswell Type notes as well as some color varieties. This new volume is a work of original research.  In particular, there is a large focus on varieties. 

Mr. Fricke expanded upon the original notes of the late Dr. Doug Ball.  In fact a new numbering scheme, PF numbered varieties, is introduced in this volume. Also, condition census lists are provided for the first time. For example the Type 16 notes have a listing for 17 varieties.

After the main listing there are detailed discussions of 9 of these varieties with 9 illustrations.  Further, the pre-catalog informational section is extensive and useful to the collector.  Each major Criswell Type is discussed at some length and then additional pages are allocated for the aforementioned many varieties within each type and the book is extensively illustrated.
On the whole this high quality book is a must for the paper currency collector as well as for buffs of the American civil war. "




Compiled and re-edited by Graeme Petterwood - from an original idea suggested by Jerry Adams.

(This article contains several highly recommended Internet links.)


All collectors have a great interest in the associated history and geography that is involved in the study of their hobby - but I wouldn't think that many - outside of dedicated militaria collectors -  would know what a 'Minié' (pronounced 'Minnie') consisted of. 

How the Minié' contributed to a more serious side of the reason some numismatists collect certain things, such as bravery medals classified as numismatic militaria, is a story within a story.

In fact, the full term was Minié ball bullet - and it was a revolutionary development in bullets that enabled the firepower of the opposing forces in the American Civil War to reach towards the first level, of many to follow, that would create devastation of a scale previously unknown.

Refer: http://haislip.org/cwbullet/html/bullets_history_minie.html


The relatively slow reloading process of musketry and the inaccuracy of the old round shot over longer distances meant that events, although bloody, progressed at a commensurate rate. However, following technological advances made by European armaments manufacturers during the Crimean War it was just a matter of time before those new ideas reached the weapons factories in America. 

At the outbreak of hostilities between the Union and Confederate States of America these ideas were quickly tried out on the battlefield and, as time went on, the large calibre .577 Minié ball bullet (that's .577 of an inch or 14.7mm in diameter and weighs a little over an ounce) was a common cause of maiming and the death of many a brave man.

It is known that a .58 calibre version was also common amongst the Union troops, for their Springfield rifles, as well as a huge .69 calibre (about 17.5mm diameter and weighs in at about 1.5 ounces), but it appears that the .577 size was the most common used by the Confederate infantry with the British designed Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle musket.  Various other manufacturers' bullets in the same calibres and somewhat similar designs were available to the Union armies, in particular, the Williams bullets.



The cylindrical-cone shaped lead Minié ball, which was named after its European developer Capt. Claude-Etienne Minié in 1849, contained a hollowed out base that contained an iron 'cup' that caused the softer outer casing to expand in the barrel thus improving the force of the explosive gases in the gunpowder and giving longer range to the projectile. To further increase this sealing effect, three rings  incorporated into the Minié ball also weakened the sides enough to allow for easier spreading.



 Minié ball bullet unused - and used.


Civil War bullets from the collection of T.N.S. member Jerry Adams of Texas.

Illustration 1. 

*Top row, from left to right:

1. A regular .58 calibre Minié ball likely "dropped" not fired. 

2. A dropped Minié ball, with either a casting or swage (mechanical pressing) seam showing in upper portion. 

3. A Confederate CSA ball acquired in Virginia. 

4. A .69 calibre Minié ball, flattened by something, perhaps by a soldiers foot, or wagon?  

5. A pistol ball, shaped like current day bullets, likely a .44 calibre or so.  

*Row two, left to right: 

1. A "worm" pulled Minié ball. (A worm was a device than could be screwed into the soft lead of the bullet to assist in its removal from the barrel if not fired).

2. A pulled Minié ball, but not wormed. 

3. A Williams bullet . (These were extensively used but amounted to only about 10% of total bullets fired.)

4. A "star base" Minié ball, believed to have been professionally made in an armoury.  

5. A "nipple protector"  made from a Minié ball. 

*Row three, left to right: 

1. A fired smashed Williams bullet with zinc washer at base.  

2.  A lead ball, likely either a "musket ball" or part of a "buck and ball" set - 2 small and 1 large lead ball.

3.  Several percussion caps, probably from a Union Spencer rifle. 

4. Two different size lead balls, most likely from either a pistol, or buck and ball sets.


Illustration 2

Ball on the left is a "regular" Minié ball, with conical concave base.  

Second from left is the "star base" Minié ball shown in Illustration 1, which has a five point star in the top of the cone, which is very rare, and supposedly means it was professionally manufactured in an armoury  in comparison to those made in situ from molten lead and a mould. 

Third from left is the top of the worm pulled bullet shown in Illustration 1. It is possible to see the imprint of the screw threads of the "worm' the soldier used to pull the bullet from the barrel.


The speed that this bullet could be loaded was increased due to the fact the each action of loading did not need to be punched home with the ram-rod or a patch added to stop the ball dislodging during a running battle. 

The beeswax and tallow lubricated ball and its own powder charge were enclosed together in a double paper case, which had originally been patented in England in 1847 by George Arrowsmith and designed to hold a predecessor of the Minié ball. 

It just took a moment to tear off the outer paper, usually with the teeth because the rifleman's hands were usually busy, drop the powder - followed by the pre-packed bullet - into the barrel, one ram, and the musket was almost ready to fire. 

A salts of mercury concoction known as fulminate and inserted in a percussion cap that was first patented in Paris in 1820, was placed on the hollow iron nipple leading into the powder in the breech. Often, if the original protector that was supplied with the weapon was lost, to protect the nipple from the weather or accidental fouling, a Minié ball was opened out and fashioned to fit over it and was removed prior to firing. (Refer above Illustration 1).  

When the trigger was pulled, the hammer fell onto the explosive fulminate percussion cap, the resulting flash was directed through the hollow nipple to ignite the gunpowder charge in the barrel and the Minié ball was on its way. 

The three grooves imparted a spin on the bullet and the weapon could fire farther with much more muzzle velocity. 

It didn't improve the shooter's accuracy however, and many reports tell of miraculous escapes when under heavy fire in the heat of battle. A careful aim on a target range was one thing, but it was different when sheets of the enemy's lead were coming from the other direction.

Compared to the speed of loading the early types of metal cartridges - some rim-fire types were already available prior to the Civil War but usually for made for pistols or custom-made rifles- it still was a slow process but, with practise, these small improvements meant that it took a man a fraction of the time to load and discharge his  musket than it had in the past.

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

The following extract is from an article in the 'Tasmanian Numismatist' March 1999 and was compiled from archival reports of the Battle of Chancellorsville.  The bullets that struck down the Confederacy's finest soldier were believed to be Minié balls.


"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.
Jackson seemed to be 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!"   - he then fell silent.
‘The South has lost a fine soldier and a pious gentleman.’ said a devastated Lee on learning of Jackson’s death."


 CSA$500.00 issued Feb. 17th. 1864.

Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson was posthumously honoured on only one C.S.A. note


One disadvantage with the concave base design of the Minié ball was that occasionally the iron cup was blown clean through the bullet and shattered pieces could go in any direction - including into the backs of any friendly troops immediately in front of the shooter. 

To stand up, when the Minié balls were whistling through the air, took a brave man and, unfortunately, both the Union and the Confederacy had tens of thousands of brave men. 

On June 3 1864, in a battle at Cold Harbor, just southeast of Richmond, Virginia, over 7000 Union soldiers died in 8 minutes.

In the weeks leading up to the Cold Harbor horror, 29,000 from both sides were slaughtered in three or four days of actual fighting around Spotsylvania and an area known as the Wilderness. These were relatively small battles in the overall scheme of things.

The combination of artillery - and troops with Minié ball loaded muskets - was devastating to both sides, and brave men died just as easily when struck by a poorly aimed .577 calibre bullet or an impersonal piece of jagged shrapnel.

During the conflict the Union Army had fielded 2,128,948 men - out of this 359,258 are known to have died. 

Most of the records of the Confederacy were destroyed when Richmond was destroyed by fires that ravaged the city after it was taken by the Union army, but, educated estimates of the Southern strength suggest it was a  little over a million men - out of this, over 200,000 died. 


The war has been simplified as being a conflict to free the slaves - and no doubt this was a major moral issue that was used as a rallying call by the Federal Union government - but the issue from those states that had seceded from the United States, was the point of view that their rights, as sovereign nations who had voluntary joined the Union, were being usurped by the northern based Federal government for political and economic reasons.
Many average Southerners did not own slaves, or even believe in slavery, but considered they were fighting for their state and its individual sovereignty and rights, and expressed the opinion that it was a similar set of circumstances that had occurred to create the break-away from England in the 1777 American revolution.

During the war, outstanding bravery was displayed daily and it is surprising to learn that the Congress of the Confederate States of America did not actually officially award a single medal to its fighting men - even though a bravery medal had been designed and approved by an Act of the Confederate Congress on October 13th. 1862. It is believed only 4 or 5 patterns were made.

It appears that the cash-strapped CSA Congress never got around to producing any for distribution. 


"The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to bestow medals with proper devices upon such officers of the armies of the Confederate States as shall be conspicuous for courage and good conduct on the field of battle;  and also to confer a badge of distinction upon one private or non-commissioned officer of each company after every signal victory it shall have assisted to achieve. The non-commissioned officers and privates of the company who may be present on the first dress parade thereafter may choose, by a majority of their votes, the soldier best entitled to receive such distinction, whose name shall be communicated to the President by commanding officers of the company; and if the award fall upon a deceased soldier, the badge thus awarded him shall be delivered to his widow, or, if there be no widow, to any relative the President may adjudge entitled to receive it."  


In this war that divided the American nation, it was not uncommon to find that small towns and rural districts, both in the Union and the Confederate States, created their own militia and raised units that were made up entirely of friends, neighbours and family members - and, in the early part of the conflict, they fought under their own commanders, supplied their own uniforms and accoutrements, and had their own local and state banners as well as the Stars and Stripes, or the Stars and Bars.  More on the Confederate flags of the Civil War:- http://home.att.net/~dcannon.tenn/fotc.html    



Many notes issued by the individual Southern states, as well as those presented by the C.S.A. government to pay for imported armaments, were promissory interest bearing notes against future cotton crops but, with the successful Union blockade of Southern ports, the baled cotton eventually rotted on the wharves.

Many European companies, who covertly supported the Confederacy, accepted the notes and, ultimately, paid the crippling financial price when the war was lost and the C.S.A. notes were 'totally and permanently invalidated' by the victorious United States of America.

The following extract has been reprinted with permission from the - '2020site' - and contains details of coinage made in the early days of the Confederacy. The letters (below) were written, years after the war had ended, by two gentlemen with impeccable credentials. 

Refer: http://www.2020site.org/coins/confederacy.html

1861 Confederate States half-Dollar

"It has been said and repeated as a historical fact that the Southern Confederacy had no metallic currency. After a lapse of eighteen years the following official document from the Confederate archives explains itself, and substantiates the fact that silver to a limited extent was coined at the New Orleans Mint by order of the Confederate Government, in the early days of the rebellion, and only suspended operations on account of the difficulty in obtaining bullion for coinage."

WASHINGTON, March 27, 1879.

New Orleans, La.
DEAR SIR:--The enclosed circular will explain to you the nature of the duties upon which I am now engaged; I would like to have from you, from file with confederate archives, a letter stating when you were appointed Chief Coiner of the Confederate States Mint, instructions received copies of the originals of any official papers, sketches, descriptions, etc.' of all the coins made, etc. This will make a valuable addition to Confederate history, and I know no one but you can give it.
Very truly yours,
NEW ORLEANS, LA, April 7, 1879.

DEAR SIR:--Your favor requesting a statement of the history of the New Orleans Mint, in reference to the coinage under the Confederate Government, is received. That institution was turned over by the State of Louisiana, the last of February, 1861, to the Confederate States of America, the old officers being retained and confirmed by the government, viz.: Wm. A. Elmore, Superintendent; A. J. Guyrot, Treasurer; M. F. Bonzano, M. D., Melter and Refiner; and Howard Millspaugh, Assayer. In the month of April, orders were issued by Mr. Memminger, Secretary of the Treasury, to the effect that designs for half-dollars should be submitted to him for approval. Among several sent, the one approved bore on the obverse of the coin a representation of the Goddess of Liberty, surrounded by thirteen stars, denoting the thirteen States from whence the Confederacy sprung, and on the lower rim the figures, 1861. On the reverse there is a shield with seven stars, representing the seceding States; above the shield is a liberty-cap, and entwined around it stalks of sugar cane and cotton, "Confederate State of America." The dies were engraved by A. H. M. Peterson, Engraver and Die Sinker, who is now living in Commercial Place. They were prepared for the coining press by Conrad Schmidt, foreman of the coining room (who is still living), from which four pieces only were struck. About this period an order came from the secretary suspending operations on account of the difficulty of obtaining bullion, and the Mint was closed April 30, 1861.Of the four pieces mentioned, one was sent to the Government, one presented to Prof. Biddle, of the University of Louisiana, one sent to Dr. E Ames of New Orleans, the remaining one being retained by myself Upon diligent inquiry I am unable to find but one piece besides my own that being in the possession of a Confederate officer of this city, who transmitted it to his son as a souvenir of his father's in the Confederate cause.
So soon as copies are made I will take pleasure in sending you a specimen for the archives you represent.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Formerly Chief Coiner C.S.A.

Editor's Note: 

Modern fantasy versions of the Confederate Half-Dollar are readily available. The two 32mm. examples I have in my own collection are in polished Cupro-Nickel ('silver' and 'gold' finish), but were manufactured as souvenir pieces for a few U.S. dollars each and have little value beyond that except as interesting tokens. Instead of the Goddess of Liberty, the thirteen stars and the 1861 date as shown on the original, the un-dated obverse is a totally fantasy depicting a Confederate flag, shield and other motifs, a ribbon banner under the shield reads: Nulla Patria Amictæ Fidei. - with the wording 'Confederate States of America' around the bottom half of the field. The reverse design, however, bears a 'spidery- thin' resemblance to the real thing.


Main References/Highly Recommended* Internet sites:-

The '20 20 Site' * (Medals/Coins of the Confederacy). Homepage: 



CWbullet.com  * (The Minie ball bullet). Homepage: 


Civil War Guns * (Tony Beck and Tom Kelly pages)


'Tasmanian Numismatist' - Internet Edition (Various articles):

The Story Behind the Story :- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/march99.htm

The Faces of the Other America :- http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/Sept99.htm

Photographs/texts from the Jerry Adams' Militaria Collection - supplied by Jerry Adams. Homepage:


The Observer's Book of Firearms. by Nicholas du Quesne Bird - Published by Frederick Warne Publishers. 1982.

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.

My Brother’s Face by Charles Phillips & Alan Axelrod. - Published by Chronicle Books. 1993.

World Paper Money. by Albert Pick and Neil Shafer. - Published by Krause Publications. 1998.


'NUMISNET WORLD' - INDEX - January to date, 2011.

VOLUME 16, 2011

Issue 1. January 2011:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/jan11.htm

HAPPY NEW YEAR - 2011 - Note Montage - Every one of our previous New Year newsletter header montages had a story to tell - and this one, the first for 2011, was also selected to create a moment of interest about international currency, the old and the more recent. This is a small essay of homework to start off a new year and, perhaps, a lifetime of searching and understanding the fascinating and intricate world of banknotes et al..

HOLIDAY READING - We have re-presented three articles from 2003 that have snippets of information that may prove to be useful to our new collectors - or a reminder to our older friends about forgotten aspects of our hobby, Numismatics is always growing and exploring a whole spectrum of knowledge.

(a) - Hi Ho! Silver! -  A review of the impact that Silver has had on our Australian coinage.

(b) - and ... at the other end of the scale! - We must remember, that these days, the intrinsic value of coinage has virtually disappeared - and more common metals - such as Aluminium - are more likely to be used with a stated value to signify purchasing worth in our commercial world.

(c) - Unofficial Orders, Decorations & Medals - A preponderance of facsimiles and fantasy items, in the personal decorations area of our hobby, are lurking in cupboards all around the world just awaiting future generations to stumble upon them and to ask the questions-  What are these - and what are they worth?"  They are well-made - even crafted from noble metals in some instances - and obviously have value - they even look official - BUT - they are not! 

In years to come it may be hard to find out the 'raison d'etre' of these fantasies - so if any do come into your possession. make sure that any product information is passed along with the item to maintain its provenance and resale value

Editor's Personal Note - The ANS (Anniversary of National Service 1951 - 1972) Medal. - It took 50 years for the Australian Government to be forced to acknowledge the part that underage National Servicemen played in our more recent military history. Politicians are still in a state of denial about some aspects of the old National Service scheme but, at least, we have a medal  to commemorative the sacrifices made between 1951 - 1972 - including some of which are still ongoing for some 'Nashos'.

The issuance, in 2008, of the ADM (Australian Defence Medal) also took up some of the slack in the area of neglect suffered by those Regular and Reserve force personnel who had nothing to show for years of service to our nation


Issue 2. February 2011:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/feb11.htm

'TIS MUNNY IN MY PURSE!' - The story of Charles Earl Bowles (aka Bolles/Boles/Bolton and T.Z. Spalding) - better known to those who like to study Old Western history as 'Black Bart''. This is another fascinating tale of retribution for a perceived abuse perpetrated by Wells Fargo against a man who had a long memory and a desire to get even. A retribution that caused him to rob, at least, 28 of Wells Fargo's Concord stage-coaches over a period of 8 years.

Some reports indicate that  the polite 'Gentleman Bandit' may never have even loaded his shotgun before a robbery. 

His mysterious disappearance a month after his release from San Quentin Prison still has us baffled - and a Wells Fargo reward that went unclaimed.

THE GREY FOX - an observation. - Bill Miner was another stage-coach robber who never killed or used profanity - another character who visited San Quentin Prison..

THE FRANKLINS! - A retrospective look at a Tasmanian Numismatic Society commemorative medallion which was issued to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Sir John Franklin and his wife, Jane, Lady Franklin to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in 1837, to assume the Governorship of the island.

NORTHERN TASMANIAN NUMISMATIC & PHILATELIC EVENTS 2011 - A schedule of forthcoming events in Northern Tasmania has been kindly supplied by our good friends from Hobart, David & Kim Newell of "The Stamp Place". See you there!


Issue 3. March 2011:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/mar11.htm

WARNING! REPLICAS - The plethora of replicas, counterfeits etc. coming out of China at commercial rates of production are sounding alarm bells right across the numismatic community. A look back at some items that were early precursors of the high quality fakes  -  'made to deceive' - pieces is again timely.

BLAST FROM THE PAST! - "SHOULD YOU SAVE THOSE 'SAC' DOLLARS?”  - a reprise of an interesting article written a decade ago by Mike Nourse of the 'Anchorage Coin Club'.  Ten years on, we take another look at the revival of an economically sensible numismatic idea that had nearly died, due to the apathetic negativity of an unimaginative and money lazy U.S. public, at that time. How things have changed!

WHO WAS SACAGAWEA? - an updated reprise, that is still continuing on - with the story of the Native American woman who inspired the U.S. 'Golden Dollar' coin.

The story of Sacagawea is a tale with more questions than definite answers. It is woven mainly from rumour and legend - with a few pieces of written evidence thrown in to give it some credence.

NEW LITERARY OFFERING! - a further, highly informative, literary offering from leading numismatist and author, Roger V. McNeice OAM, covering issues of Cheques and Paper Money of the National Bank of Tasmania Limited during the period 1885 - 1918. Available both in book or CD format from the author's agents.


Issue 4. April 2011:-  http://www.vision.net.au/~pwood/april11.htm

ANZAC DAY -  25th. APRIL, 2011 -  For family reasons, this time of remembrance is an important time to me. The few minutes silence I observe each Anzac Day does have significant memories attached to it as I honour several relatives lost to combat - and many more now lost to time after serving their country.

OFF - ON A TANGENT! - Investigations always have a tendency to send the searchers off - on a tangent - at times - and, when the writer has a family history that also hovers in areas where my numismatic hobby overlaps - the temptation to meld the two interests becomes irresistible.

WHO SIGNED THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA TREASURY NOTES? - In fact, this reprised article from our archives has still not answered the question precisely - but it does supply information about the system during a terrible time in U.S. history - when brother fought brother - and their widows had to survive.

THE FACES OF THE OTHER AMERICA - A handful of thin, pink paper CSA Treasury notes - demonetized and deemed worthless nearly 146 years ago - has held a fascination for many numismatists, including this collector. The faces on the notes - with the exception of two - were not well known outside of the U.S.

Some time ago, an effort was made to put names to the faces - plus a little bit of information - for local readers. It proved to be just a little more difficult than originally expected - but the learning process was well worth the effort.


Issue 5. May 2011:-

BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER - 'My kingdom for some Boots.' - the entry to the bloody Battle of Gettysburg was prompted by the need to replace worn-out boots - what followed was a ghastly case of 'wrong place - wrong time!'  - and it spelt the beginning of the end for the Confederate States of America.

THE FIELD OF LOST SHOES - A final postscript dated May 15th. 1864 always brings a lump to my throat when I think about the story of 250 Virginia Military Institute cadets - aged between 15 - 18 - marching out in full institute dress uniform to join the worn-out and under-manned ragged Confederate Army which was about to face a seasoned Union force. Over 60 boys died that day and many more were wounded in a 'gallant fight' - and the unsanctioned  'New Market Cross of Honor' (May 15th 1864) - was struck years later after the War by those who wished to commemorate the boy cadets' sacrifice.

THE MONEY, MEDALS AND MINIÉS OF 'DIXIE'! - a compilation of information about the lack of official CSA coinage, the dearth of official medals for acts of bravery - and the awesome devastation caused by the introduction of a new type of rifle projectile

'Collecting CONFEDERATE PAPER MONEY.' -  BOOK REVIEW - Another reprise from 2006 - from NTCA & TNS member, Jerry Adams as he reviews this fine book by  Pierre Fricke, edited by Stephen Goldsmith, with contributions by Richie Self, that ties up a lot of lose ends about CSA paper money. Consider for your library!






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Numisnet World - (Internet Edition). 

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