$US500 note

Confederate States of America, AD 1864

'The pledge of a nation that passed away...'

During the American Civil War (1861-65), the southern states of the United States of America attempted to separate themselves from the Union. They formed the Confederate States of America. Confederate paper money was issued as a national currency for the seceding southern states. They were authorized just one month after a provisional Confederate Congress was set up in February 1861. The number of notes issued increased dramatically with the costs of the war, finally totalling over eighty million banknotes.

The early Confederate notes often borrowed designs from the notes of private banks. However, later issues featured images celebrating the South, ranging from African-Americans working in the cotton-fields, to scenes of military action against the North. This $500 bill of 1864 combines patriotic emblems of the Confederate Flag and the Great Seal of the Confederacy with a portrait of Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson (1824-63), the famous Confederate commander.

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More information


G. Swanson, 'Agents of culture and nationalism: the Confederate Treasury and Confederate currency' in The bankers art: studies in -1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)

J. Williams (ed.), Money: a history (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)


Length: 185.000 mm
Width: 81.000 mm

Museum number

CM PM 232



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