Documenting the American South Logo

Selection of Confederate Nationals
Confederate States Five-Dollar Note
Printed Date "September 2nd, 1861."
Secretary Christopher G. Memminger (lower left) was unfairly blamed by many southerners for all the ills that beset their currencies. "Memminger has flooded the land with useless Treasury notes," wrote Catherine Edmondston of Halifax County, N.C., in 1863, "[and] sapped the fountainhead of our prosperity" (from Journal of a Secesh Lady: The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereaux Edmondston, 1860-1866. Raleigh: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1979.) The growing instability of Confederate money was due to many factors, the most glaring being the South's lack of gold and silver reserves, its weak industrial base, and its mounting setbacks on the battlefront.

View at 150 dpi resolution