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Civil War Patriotic Token, recovered at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia


Product Description

This is another nice item being offered, it is a Patriotic Civil War Token. It is the size of a penny and on one side is “OUR COUNTRY” below a patriotic shield. The other side has crossed cannons, a drum, and American flags. This token was recovered at Harrisons Landing, Virginia (see pictures).

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.

These 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. In my book “The Civil War Soldier – His Personal Items”, I go into more detail on these tokens (see pictures).

There were three types of tokens - store cards, patriotic tokens, and sutler tokens. All three types were utilized as currency and are differentiated by their designs. This one is a patriotic token and being void of a denomination indicates it would be for one-cent. This token is worn for being buried for over 150 years, but I have included a picture of a non-dug example for comparison (see pictures).


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