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The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 33, August 15, 2010, Article 6

BOOK REVIEW: CONFEDERATE ISSUERS OF TRAIN AND HOER NOTES

Confederate Issuers
of Train and Hoer Notes

An Alphabetical Images Key and Descriptions
of the Endorsements on and Issuers of
T-39, T-40, & T-41 Confederate Treasury Notes

McNeal Confederate Issues of Train and Hoer Notes So what are Train and Hoer Notes? We all know what trains are, but "hoer" is not a word that often comes up in conversation. When I first saw "Hoer Notes" in the title of this book, I'll have to admit it reminded me of "Boer Notes" of the South Africa. But in this case "Hoer" means "one who hoes" - and for those of you who listen to too much rap music, it's not THOSE kind of hoes, either. These hoes are farming implements used to break up the soil for planting.

Specifically, this book concerns three types of notes of the Confederate States of America, known by their images of a Train and a Hoer.

Confederate $100 Train Note T40
A train note (T-40) T-39 is similar.

Confederate $100 Hoer Note T41
A Hoer note (T-41)

According to the book's introduction:

Confederate Treasury notes known to collectors as T-39, T-40 and T-41 were hand-dated on the front of the note by the Treasury Department in Richmond, Virginia, from May 9th, 1862 to January 8th, 1863. These notes bore interest at a rate of 7.3% from the date of issue, which did not accrue until the note was actually issued for commerce. Used by the government to finance the war effort, we can sometimes observe endorsements by military and civil issues on the back of these $100 notes. The book illustrates many of these endorsements, the date of issue, and sometimes the place of issue, all of which provide clues for the research of these Civil War Confederate issuers.

Each entry in the book illustrates the front and back of a note in color along with the name and biographical information about the issuer. Some were military agents, some civilian. Information is scanty on many of them, but several have lengthy biographies and others include diary entries or letters in the words of the issuers themselves.

The 286-page book is an impressive compilation of information about these notes. It is the work of a dedicated group of collectors calling themselves The Trainmen. Founded by Col Crutchfield Williams as a group of five in 1998, the group grew to 38 contributing members.

The book is a wonderfully useful work, taking the guesswork out of deciphering faded handwritten signatures on the notes, and helping to bring alive the history behind them.

It's not without its flaws, however. It fails my "back of the book" test, having no index or bibliography whatsoever. It's a glaring omission that the book only mentions Grover Criswell once in passing, and never explicitly explains that "T-39", "T-40" and "T-41" are references to the Criswell numbering system. My other peeve, albeit a minor one, is that the book uses the coin terms "obverse" and "reverse" to refer to the face and back of the notes.

This is not likely to be the first book picked up by a novice collector of Confederate notes, so those problems are minor. Anyone who already collects these notes will understand the terms. Overall, this is a great new reference work for collectors and researchers of U.S. Civil War numismatics. To order, contact:

Confederate $100 Hoer Note vignette T41 Mike McNeil
CCCA
321 Seventh Street
Mead, CO 80542-4574
mmcneil@k2cable.net
720-308-5740

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NEW BOOK: CONFEDERATE ISSUERS OF TRAIN AND HOER NOTES (www.coinbooks.org/club_nbs_esylum_v13n30a03.html)

THE BOOK BAZARRE

RENAISSANCE OF AMERICAN COINAGE: Wizard Coin Supply is the official distributor for Roger Burdette's three volume series that won NLG Book of the Year awards for 2006, 2007 and 2008. Contact us for dealer or distributor pricing at www.WizardCoinSupply.com .


Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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