Confederate Paper Money Series XXI: Paper Money of the Southern States (Pt. 12)

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.


Texas’ Secession Convention that occurred on February 1, 1861, passed an Ordinance of Secession with a large vote of 168-8. However, the governor of Texas when the Civil War began, Sam Houston, opposed the convention. Houston, who became the President of Texas in 1836 after gaining its independence from Mexico, declined an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy after the ordinance was ratified and declared on March 2. His office would then be taken over by Lt. Governor Edward Clark.

While military action was limited to its borders and coastal areas, Texas would end up supplying 50,000-60,000 troops where at least a quarter of them would end up in the east fighting. Union forces would have trouble preventing supplies to the Confederates as they would enter from Mexico. Cloth and other needs came from home industries while other larger supplies such as kettles and wagons would be made available from quartermaster shops created by the Confederacy. It was not until the takeover of the Mississippi River by the Union in 1863 derailed supply deliveries heading east.

During the Civil War, the state of Texas found themselves in a different financial circumstance than the rest of the Confederacy. Currency or money could be traded with Mexico for cotton but it was never enough. The state had to rely heavily on Confederate paper money and the issuance of its own currency. These were known as Treasury Warrants which came in the form of Military Service and Civil Service.

After the war was over, Texas was finally admitted to the Union on March 30, 1870. It went through a gruesome Reconstruction period like many other Confederate states did. However, they did not issue any post war currency.

In terms of Confederate paper money, Civil War notes from the state of Texas were difficult to complete collecting wise. Every denomination and the date of the Acts that paper money was issued under in addition to the acts being handwritten and not printed are a big factor in difficulty. Dates of acts should not be confused with the actual issue dates and printing varieties feature single or double scroll. Twelve Military Service notes were issued between February 3, 1860, all the way to December 16, 1863. Civil Service notes had 11 acts issued from February 11, 1860, to November 15, 1864.

Denominations included but not limited to were $1, $2.50, $3, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. In addition to Texas’ differences when it came to currency, they also had warrants that featured “18__.” This was printed and would have written amounts that would resemble checks. This occurred because warrants were able to be used to pay taxes and other debts issued by the state. This was a good way to get around the shortage of coins.

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