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Confederate $20 Held by Lee at Appomattox Surrender to be Featured in March Baltimore Currency Auction

General Lee’s $20 Note for Sale

A Confederate T-67 $20 bill that was held by General Robert
E. Lee during his surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on April 9,
1865 will be offered in Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ March 2020 Official Currency
Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring Expo.

On the afternoon of April 9, 1865 Confederate General Robert
E. Lee met with Union General Ulysses S. Grant under a flag of truce to discuss
the terms of Confederate surrender. The two military leaders reached an
agreement at the home of Wilmer McLean.

The note has an impeccable pedigree from Lee family friend
Reverend J. William Jones and is accompanied by a note on an envelope from
Jones that reads:

“The enclosed note was given me by Gen. G.(eorge)
W.(ashington) C.(ustis) Lee, who told me that his father, Gen. Robert Edward
Lee, had it in his pocket at the surrender – April 9th 1865. J. Wm.
Jones.”

Jones was a Southern Baptist preacher who served as a
Confederate chaplain during the Civil War. Later he became a campus minister at
Washington College where he met Robert E. Lee. He eventually served as campus
minister at both the University of Virginia and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jones was picked to edit General Lee’s papers and was given
approval to publish Personal Reminiscences, Anecdotes and Letters of General
Robert E. Lee in 1874. He published another Lee biography in 1906. Each has
been reprinted dozens of times.

It is reasonable to surmise that Lee’s eldest son gifted
Jones the note as a gesture of appreciation for his work on the general’s
biography.

The relic itself is a mid-grade 1864 $20, a fairly common
note as a type. However, its presence as a witness to one of the most
significant events in American history makes it a highly desirable collectible that
will appeal to both historical collectors and numismatists alike.

The Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Currency Auction of
the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring Expo will be held March 18-20, 2020
in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information on the auction or to consign items
to upcoming Auctions contact Director of Currency Peter Treglia at
[email protected] or Currency
Specialist Brad Ciociola at
[email protected].

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