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Civil War Tokens

Category:  Token & Medals
Owner:  DRB59
Last Modified:  10/26/2020
Set Description
Civil War tokens are token coins that were privately minted and distributed in the United States between 1862 and 1864. They were used mainly in the Northeast and Midwest. The widespread use of the tokens was a result of the scarcity of government-issued cents during the Civil War.

By 1862, the second year of the Civil War, government-issued coinage began vanishing from circulation. American citizens hoarded all coins with gold and silver, and eventually began hoarding copper-nickel cents as well. This made it extremely difficult for businesses to conduct transactions. In response, many merchants turned to private minters to fill the void left by the hoarded coins.

The first of these privately minted tokens appeared in the autumn of 1862, by H. A. Ratterman, in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is estimated that by 1864, there were 25,000,000 Civil War tokens (nearly all redeemable for one cent) in circulation, consisting of approximately 7,000–8,000 varieties.

Civil War tokens are divided into three types— patriotic tokens, store cards, and sutler tokens. All three types were utilized as currency, and are differentiated by their designs. The collectible value of the tokens is determined chiefly by their rarity.

Patriotic Civil War tokens typically displayed a patriotic slogan or image on one or both sides. Since the majority of these tokens were minted in Union states, the slogans and images were decidedly pro-Union. Some common examples of slogans found on patriotic tokens are "The Union Must and Shall Be Preserved," "Union For Ever," and "Old Glory". Some of the images found on patriotic tokens were the flag of the United States, a 19th-century cannon, and the USS Monitor.

Among the best-known varieties of patriotic tokens are the so-called "Dix tokens." They are named for John Adams Dix, who served as Secretary of the Treasury in 1861. In a letter from Dix to a revenue cutter captain, Lieutenant Caldwell, he orders Caldwell to relieve another cutter captain of his command for refusing an order to transfer from New Orleans to New York. The letter ends with the following sentence: "If any one attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot." The quote found its way to a number of patriotic tokens, albeit with a slightly modified wording ("haul down" is usually replaced by "tear it down").

Civil War store cards differ from patriotic tokens in that one or both sides displays the name and/or location of a privately owned business. Businesses that could afford it had two custom dies made, with both advertising the business. Otherwise, only one side displayed the business's information, and the other side was a generic design, such as an Indian Head.

Sutler tokens are similar to store cards. Rather than listing the name of a private business, however, these tokens bore the name of a particular army unit (usually a regiment) and the name of the sutler who conducted transactions with the regiment. Of the three types of Civil War tokens, sutler tokens are by far the rarest.

Civil War tokens became illegal after the United States Congress passed a law on April 22, 1864 prohibiting the issue of any one or two-cent coins, tokens or devices for use as currency. On June 8, 1864 an additional law was passed that forbade all private coinage.

Set Goals
A small collection of civil war tokens, with a concentration on patriotic types.

Slot Name
Origin/Country
Item Description
Full Grade
Owner Comments
Pics
**Patriotic**
View Coin F-5/288a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-5/288 a GOD PROTECT THE UNION NGC AU 58 Brown 1863
R: GOD / PROTECT / THE / UNION
View Coin F-7a/317a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-7A/317 a ARMY & NAVY ARMY & NAVY NGC TOKEN MS 62 BN 1863
ARMY / & / NAVY

A colorfully toned token with red highlights in the protected areas.
View Coin F-8/314a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-8/314 a ARMY & NAVY NGC MS 62 BN
View Coin F-11/298a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-11/298 a ARMY & NAVY NGC AU 58 BN
View Coin F-13/297a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-13/297 a ARMY & NAVY ARMY & NAVY NGC MS 61 Brown 1863 / ARMY & NAVY

A well struck example, undergraded with very little wear and nice red luster in protected areas.
View Coin F-15/319a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-15/319 a ARMY & NAVY NGC MS 62 RB O: 1863
R: ARMY / & / NAVY
View Coin F-17/388a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-17/388 a MILLIONS FOR DEFENCE MILLIONS FOR DEFENCE NGC MS 63 BN O: 1863
R: MILLIONS FOR DEFENCE / NOT / ONE / CENT / FOR / TRIBUTE
View Coin F-18/300a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-18/300 a ARMY & NAVY ARMY & NAVY NGC TOKEN MS 63 BN O: 1863
R: ARMY & NAVY
View Coin F-19/396a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-19/396 a WILSON'S MEDAL WILSON'S MEDAL NGC MS 63 BN 1863 / WILSON'S MEDAL 1
View Coin F-22/442a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-22/442 a NEW YORK NEW YORK NGC MS 63 BN O: 1863
R: NEW / YORK
View Coin F-36/340a United States TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-36/340 a NGC MS 63 BN LIBERTY AND NO SLAVERY / 1863
View Coin F-37/434a United States TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-37/434 A NGC AU 58 BN FOR PUBLIC ACCOMODATION / 1863
R: UNITED STATES COPPER
View Coin F-42/336a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1864 CIVIL WAR F-42/336 a OUR NAVY NGC MS 63 BN O: 1864
R: OUR / NAVY

Label error reads "OUR ARMY"
View Coin F-43/388a United States TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-43/388 a NGC MS 63 BN 1863
R: MILLONS FOR DEFENCE / NOT ONE CENT FOR TRIBUTE

View Coin F-47/332a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1864 CIVIL WAR F-47/332 a LIBERTY - OUR ARMY LIBERTY - OUR ARMY NGC MS 62 BN O: 1864
R: OUR ARMY
View Coin F-49/343a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1864 CIVIL WAR F-49/343 a UNION FOR EVER NGC MS 64 BN UNION FOR EVER / 1861
View Coin F-50/335a UNITED STATES TOKEN (1861-65) CIVIL WAR F-50/335 a OUR ARMY OUR ARMY NGC MS 63 RB OUR ARMY
View Coin F-51/342a 1864 F- 51/342A A UNION FOREVER NGC MS 63 BN R: UNION FOR EVER / 1864
View Coin F-53/336a UNITED STATES TOKEN (1861-65) CIVIL WAR F-53/336 a OUR NAVY OUR NAVY NGC MS 61 BN O:
R: OUR / NAVY
View Coin F-54/342a TOKEN 1864 CIVIL WAR F-54/342 A UNION FOR EVER NGC TOKEN MS 62 BN
View Coin F-66/370a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-66/370 a NOT ONE CENT NOT ONE CENT NGC MS 64 BN O: 1863
R: NOT ONE CENT
View Coin F-69/369a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-69/369 a NOT ONE CENT NGC MS 61 BN O: 1863
R: NOT / ONE / CENT
View Coin F-79/351a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-79/351 a INDIAN - CROSSED CANNONS NGC MS 62 BN O: 1863
R:
View Coin F-82/351a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-82/351 a INDIAN - CROSSED CANNONS INDIAN - CROSSED CANNONS NGC MS 63 BN 1863

Nice partial red luster on obverser
View Coin F-93-394a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-93/394 a McCLELLAN NGC MS 64 BN O: 1863
R: Mc CLELLAN / MEDAL / FOR / ONE CENT
View Coin F-97/389a United States TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-97/389 a NGC MS 62 BN MILLONS FOR CONTRACTORS / 1863
R: NOT ONE CENT FOR THE WIDOWS
View Coin F-110/442a United States TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-110/442 A NGC AU 58 BN 1863
R: NEW YORK
View Coin F-117/420a United States TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-117/420 a NGC MS 62 RB 1863
R: EXCHANGE
View Coin F-127/248a United States TOKEN 1864 CIVIL WAR F-127/248 A NGC AU 58 BN 1864
R: O.K.
View Coin F-135/441a UNITED STATES TOKEN (1861-65) CIVIL WAR F-135/441 a NOW AND FOR EVER NOW AND FOR EVER NGC MS 63 BN FOR OUR COUNTRY / A COMMON CAUSE / NOW AND FOR EVER
View Coin F-136/397a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-136/397 a UNION MUST BE PRESERVED UNION MUST BE PRESERVED NGC TOKEN MS 63 BN THE UNION MUST AND SHALL BE PRESERVED / BEWARE 1863
View Coin F-138/255a TOKEN (1861-65) CIVIL WAR F-138/255 A GENERAL G.B. McCLELLAN NGC TOKEN MS 62 BN O: GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN
R: KNICKERBOCKER / CURRENCY
View Coin F-138/434a United States TOKEN (1864) CIVIL WAR F-138/434 a NGC MS 64 RB GENERAL G.B. McCLELLAN
R: UNITED STATES COPPER
View Coin F-140/394a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-140/394 a LITTLE MACK LITTLE MACK NGC MS 62 Brown 1863 / LITTLE MACK
MC CLELLAN / MEDAL / FOR / ONE CENT
View Coin F-143/261a United States TOKEN (1861-65) CIVIL WAR F-143/261 a NGC MS 62 BN THIS MEDAL OF G.B. McCLELLAN / PRICE
R: ONE CENT

View Coin F-164/312a UNITED STATES TOKEN (1861-65) CIVIL WAR F-164/312 a UNION SHIELD ARMY & NAVY NGC MS 64 BN O: UNION
R: ARMY / & / NAVY
View Coin F-165/400a UNITED STATES TOKEN (1861-65) CIVIL WAR F-165/400 a, IN.PRIMATIVE UNION FOR EVER UNION SHIELD NGC XF 45 BN R: THE UNION / MUST / AND SHALL BE / PRESERVED / JACKSON
View Coin F-174/272a United States TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-174/272 A NGC AU 58 BN FIRST IN WAR, FIRST IN PEACE / 1863
R: UNION FOR EVER
View Coin F-188/384a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-188/384 a INDUSTRY INDUSTRY NGC MS 61 BN
View Coin F-189/399a United States TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-189/399 a NGC AU 58 BN UNION / 1863
View Coin F-197/380a United States TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-197/380 a NGC MS 63 BN UNITED STATE OF AMERICA / 1863
R: NOT ONE CENT
View Coin F-203/412B 1863 F- 203/412 B BOWERS REFERENCE SET NGC TOKEN AU 58 O: THE FLAG OF OUR UNION / 1863
R: IF ANYONE ATTEMPTS TO TEAR IT DOWN / SHOOT HIM / ON THE SPOT / DIX
View Coin F-206/323a TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-206/323 a THE FLAG OF OUR UNION NGC AU 58 BN
View Coin F-207/410a TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-207/410 A THE FLAG OF OUR UNION NGC TOKEN MS 61 RB THE FLAG OF OUR UNION / 1863

R: IF ANYBODY ATTEMPTS TO TEAR IT DOWN / SHOOT HIM ON THE SPOT / DIX
View Coin F-208/410a United States TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-208/410 A NGC AU 58 BN THE FLAG OF OUR UNION / 1863
R: IF ANYBODY ATTEMPTS TO TEAR IT DOWN / SHOOT HIM / ON THE SPOT / DIX
View Coin F-209/414A TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-209/414 A SHOOT HIM ON THE SPOOT NGC TOKEN MS 62 BN Error: "SHOOT HIM ON THE SPOOT"
View Coin F-211/400a TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-211/400a ""INDIANA PRIMITIVE"" NGC TOKEN AU 58 BN O: THE FLAG OF OUR UNION / 1863
R: THE UNION / MUST / AND SHALL BE / PRESERVED / JACKSON
View Coin F-212/415a UNITED STATES TOKEN 1863 CIVIL WAR F-212/415 a THE FLAG OF OUR UNION THE FLAG OF OUR UNION NGC MS 63 RB THE FLAG OF OUR UNION / 1863

R:IF ANYBODY ATTEMPTS TO TEAR IT DOWN / SHOOT HIM ON THE SPOT / DIX
View Coin F-214/416a UNITED STATES TOKEN (1861-65) CIVIL WAR F-214/416 a THE FLAG OF OUR UNION THE FLAG OF OUR UNION NGC MS 64 BN
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