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Excavated Civil War Patriotic Token, dated "1863"

$100.00 $75.00
(You save $25.00)

Product Description

This is another nice item being offered, it is a Civil War excavated Patriotic token. On one side is the American flag surrounded by “The Flag of Our Union” and dated “1863”. On the reverse is “DIX” and surrounded by “If Anybody Attempts to Tear it Down” on the outside and “Shoot Him on the Spot” on the inside.

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 him 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").

This token, along with several others, was recovered along the James River at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia. This area was occupied by General George McClellan's Union troops in July and August of 1862. The Seven Days Battles ended with McClellan's army in relative safety next to the James River, having suffered almost 16,000 casualties during the retreat. Lee's army, which had been on the offensive during the Seven Days, lost over 20,000. As Lee became convinced that McClellan would not resume his threat against Richmond, he moved north for the Northern Virginia Campaign and the Maryland Campaign. Movements along the James River continued throughout the rest of the war.

As expected, this token shows the signs of being underground for nearly 150 years, but surprisingly it is still in pretty good shape. The flag and date, along with the writing, is readable on both sides. Excavated tokens are much rarer than the non-dug examples. This unique piece comes in the glass top display case pictured.

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