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Re-Issued Notes of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department

During the American Civil War the government of the Confederate States of America in Richmond found it increasingly difficult to govern the far western reaches of the fledgling nation and to direct military actions in the theater west of the Mississippi River. In response to this the Confederate government formed the Trans-Mississippi Department on May 26, 1862, in order to more efficiently govern the western theater, including Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) and Louisiana.

These areas, while not viewed as strategically vital as areas back east, were rich in resources and manpower needed to sustain the Confederate war effort. The Union also realized the importance of the western states and concentrated efforts to divide the Confederacy along the Mississippi River. By July of 1863 the Union had wrangled control of the Mississippi River and a blockade cut the country in two. By that time all Confederate paper money was being produced in the East and no currency printers west of the Mississippi could ease the strain of the dwindling money supply in the region.

Confederate General E. Kirby Smith was commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department at this time and ordered a system be developed to re-issue previously redeemed or otherwise withdrawn notes. This resulted in the use of different re-issue stamps. Both red and black round re-issue stamps and red and black straight line re-issue stamps were utilized. These stamps read “February (or March) 1864, Accepted as a Note Issued under Act of Congress of March 23, 1863.”

Our July Baltimore currency auction will feature a number of these re-issued Trans-Mississippi Confederate notes including a rare T-21 1861 $20 with a black round re-issue stamp. This is one of just 566 T-21s to be re-issued by the department. Also featured in the auction are several T-36 1861 $5 notes with red round re-issue stamps. This type was re-issued in larger numbers and presents a more affordable option for collectors seeking an example from this fascinating period of Confederate monetary history.

Our Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Summer Expo takes place July 16-19, 2015. For more information visit us online at www.stacksbowers.com. 

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