Civil War Treasures


Hans Rasmussen writes about two primary sources housed in LSU’s special collections that show how New Orleanians and U.S. soldiers reacted to the devaluation of Confederate money in occupied New Orleans. H. A. Snyder, a New Orleans grocer, chronicled the city’s occupation in his diary (MSS 2198). His entries reveal how his fellow New Orleanians tried to adjust to a world in which their money was rendered useless after Major General Benjamin Butler outlawed the use of Confederate money and bonds in May of 1862. Luther M. Fairbank, a private in Company D of the 31st Massachusetts Infantry wrote in his diary (MSS 4909) that New Orleanians “all hate to take” their own money. In short order, Confederate money had become little more than a novelty to U.S. soldiers and Confederates alike.