Sunday, September 4, 2011

September 3, 1861 (Wednesday): Good as Gold


Washington, September 3, 1861.

    The General-in-Chief is happy to announce that the Treasury Depart ment-to meet future payments to the troops-is about to supply, besides coin, as heretofore, Treasury notes, in fives, tens, and twenties, as good as gold at all banks and Government officers throughout the United States, and most convenient for transmission by mail from officers and men to their families at home. Good husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers, serving under the Stars and Stripes, will thus soon have the ready and safe means of relieving an immense amount of suffering which could not be reached with coin. 
    In making up such packages every officer may be relied upon, no doubt, for such assistance as may be needed by his men.

By command of Lieutenant-General Scott:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Series III, Vol. 1, Part 1, Page 479

Conditions at home were a constant source of concern to troops in the field.  Paper money was, in fact, easier to mail.  But the underlying cause for the change, not mentioned here, is hoarding of coins in anticipation of bad times ahead (the coins being more desirable being made of gold and silver) had resulted in shortages and the government could no longer reliably issue payment in coin.

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