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Image of Confederacy, 5 Dollars, 1863
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Materials: Paper
Measurement: 7.8 x 17.5 cm
Source: Transfer from national archives

Confederacy, 5 Dollars, 1863

Most Confederate notes bore a single issue date. Those created in 1863 bore two — the official date of the issue, April 6, 1863, and the actual month when the notes were placed in circulation, ranging from April 1863 to February 1864. The official date was part of the basic design. The actual date was applied in red, ordinarily towards the right-hand margin. The greater precision was probably intended to create a greater accountability as to how much currency was being issued, and when.

But the paper used to create new currency wasn’t any better than that used to create the old. And a society that roughly handled its paper money but had no more durable alternatives was likely to continue having problems holding things together. An amazing range of discarded paper objects was put into service.

Glue was slapped onto everything from old telegrams to a playbill for a performance of the Hunchback of Notre Dame at some forgotten theater. Out-of-date letters were always popular, particularly if they had writing on both sides of the sheet. And so William Perryman’s letter home was recycled by a friend, or a relative, to keep this particular Confederate five in circulation a few turns longer.
Related Events
1848: U.S. Mexican war ends and western territory is acquired from Mexico.
1861: The Confederate States of America issues paper money-more than $30 million by the end of 1861.
1863: Southern defeats at Vicksburg and Gettysburg mark the turning point of the Civil War.
1865: The Civil War ends when Confederate armies surrender and Confederate government collapses.
1868: Ulysses S. Grant elected U.S. President.
1877: Reconstruction period ends when Federal Troops are removed from Southern states.
Legends of the Human Spirit The following objects are in this section.
United States, 2 Dollars, 1776Connecticut, 2 Shillings 6 Pence, 1776Confederacy, 1 Dollar, 1862
United States, 30 Dollars, 1776Confederacy, 5 Dollars, 1862Norfolk, Nebraska, 1 Dollar, 1933
Virginia, 15 Dollars, 1776Confederacy, 5 Dollars, 1863Pismo Beach, California, 1 Dollar, 1933
Maryland, 1 2/3 Dollars, 1775Confederacy, 10 Dollars, 1863Pismo Beach, California, 50 Cents, 1933
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