Confederate Paper Money Series XVII: Paper Money of the Southern States (Pt. 8)

The secession of the southern states in the early 1860s led to the formation of the Confederacy. After South Carolina seceded on December 20, 1860, seven states followed although it was thought that there would be double that initially. Secession was a delegate decision state by state and after the election and fall of Fort Sumter in April of 1861, some states decided against it. However, once the Confederate States were established, currency circulated heavily throughout the South during the American Civil War. But as we have come to learn throughout this blog series, that currency still was not enough in the South. This led to the enactment of individual states issuing their own currency.


The state of Missouri was the most Northern out of the Confederate States of America. When Alabama became a part of the Union as a state in 1819, it resulted in an equal number of free states and slave states. This meant that the United States Senate would also be equal until it would eventually change and be one of the major causes of the Civil War. However, one of the factors that kept that dispute at bay for a small period of time was the Missouri Compromise of 1820-21 that allowed Missouri to become part of the Union as a slave state with restrictions. Meanwhile in the North, Maine entered as a free state which created a balance until the Compromise was declared null and void in 1854.

Missouri found itself acting as a fortified state protecting the Mississippi River but its plans did not end in secession even though they found themselves against the election of President Lincoln in 1860. Upon the call for a convention in March of 1861 by pro-Confederate Governor Claiborne F. Jackson, all he could get accomplished was a refusal of dispersed troops in response to Lincoln’s call for soldiers. It was not until October 21st of that same year did Governor Jackson’s call for secession get taken up upon when conflict between the North and the South took place. By November 28, 1861, Missouri was admitted to the Confederacy and members from the state were seated in Congress by the end of the year.

Although a part of the Confederacy, the state was largely handled by the Union forces in 1862 and 1863. There was limited discord until 1864 when over 40 conflicts occurred to take control of the state for the Confederacy. Attempts failed but conflict still continued. Missouri was even accepted as a Union State throughout the war even though it was not. After the war was over, the state experienced more Reconstruction procedures than even some of the Southern states did.

A group called the Radicals even tested people on their allegiance hoping to find former pro-Confederates to call out. This did not sit well as those people felt their rights were being impinged upon. The Radicals were also vocal about their opposition to payments of war claims as the Constitutional Convention of 1865 abolished slavery without compensation. However, in 1874, this would change as legislation was passed that the Federal government would be responsible for payment to states that were audited and their claims approved. This is when War Claim Certificates were issued but not all of them were honored as more than $2 million worth of claims had already been allowed at a certain point which slowed the implementation of the certificates.

Missouri’s first issuance of Confederate paper money occurred on January 1, 1862. However, some of the notes sometimes are seen with overwritten dates of 1863 or 1864. They printed $1 notes with Jefferson Davis at the center as well as denominations of $2 and $3 printed on cream colored paper with large green print on the front. Missouri also had notes in the following but not limited to denominations throughout the war: $4, $4.50, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100.

Source: Confederate States Paper Money: Civil War Currency From the South (12th Edition) by George S. Cuhaj & William Brandimore