Sons of Confederate Veterans Release Sesquicentennial Coin Collection

The coins represent all thirteen Confederate states.  Somehow the 9-11 commemorative coin collection makes this looks reasonable.  Oh…inventory is limited so order yours today.

39 thoughts on “Sons of Confederate Veterans Release Sesquicentennial Coin Collection

  1. Aaron Kidd

    I’ve read some diaries and letters where the writer said thirteen states also. Furthermore, the pro-Southern parties of Missouri and Kentucky seceded.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Kentucky declared neutrality but after Confederate troops moved in, the state government asked for Union troops to drive them out. Confederate state government was driven out and never controlled any population. In Missouri, on October 31, 1861, a pro-CSA remnant of the General Assembly met and passed an ordinance of secession. The Confederate’s state government never controlled Missouri, it was driven out of the state. Neither Kentucky nor Missouri were declared in rebellion in the Emancipation Proclamation, as Lincoln saw no military necessity to free slaves there. The Confederacy recognized the pro-Confederate claimants in both Kentucky and Missouri and laid claim to those states, granting them Congressional representation. and adding two stars to the Confederate flags. There were 11 Confederate states.

      Reply
          1. Kevin Levin Post author

            It is indeed. Unfortunately, I decided to respond to the comment on my way out the door and just cut and pasted those few sentences. It was certainly a lazy thing to do and we all appreciate your vigilance in pointing it out. I apologize for not giving you more attention in recent weeks. :-)

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      1. Jim Dick

        The attempt by the governer to take Missouri out of the Union failed. They did not have a legal quorum so Missouri never attempted secession, just a few of its politicians.

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        1. Bernard

          Jim Dick – Your version of history is misleading and incomplete. The surviving legislative records from Neosho do not have a roll call of members present, and the House Journal has been lost entirely.

          A November 25 newspaper report states that 23 Senators and 77 Representatives were present, exceeding the requirements of a quorum, but without providing any names. In 1862, the competing Gamble government in the Union-controlled Jefferson City produced a statement by a member of the House of Representatives – Isaac N. Shambaugh – who claimed he was present and claimed he had cast a lone “no” vote in the House, but that a quorum had not been obtained.

          There are several problems with Shambaugh’s account though. He provided no roll call. He wrote the story while he was under arrest by Union authorities for allegedly giving a pro-secession speech in northwest Missouri even though he claimed in his account of Neosho that he had been the lone opponent of secession in the House, suggesting the possibility that he was altering his account to end his own incarceration and secure a loyalty oath. And there’s some evidence he might not have even been at Neosho at all, having reportedly been outside of the state until around January 1862 just prior to his arrest.

          We do know that a substantial portion of the original Missouri government fled Lyon’s attack on Jefferson City though, including all of the state officers except for the state Treasurer Alfred W. Morrison, who was promptly arrested by the military and forced to resign. We also know that several of the legislators joined the Missouri Home Guard under Price as the government moved south, and at least two were killed in the battle of Springfield a few months later.

          Whatever the case of the quorum though, the Jackson government still had something that the Gamble government did not – its membership had been constitutionally elected as the legitimate government of the state before the war. It therefore strains credulity to disqualify Neosho on account of a disputed quorum while simultaneously expressing absolutely no qualms about the undemocratic installation of the Gamble government by the military under highly dubious legal terms.

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          1. Bernard

            It’s also noteworthy that the surviving Senate Journal does not record any dissenting votes being reported from the House, even though Shambaugh claimed to have voted “no” only a few weeks before he was arrested in the northwest part of the state for supposedly giving a pro-secession speech.

            The Senate Journal does record one no vote, Charles Hardin, on the Senate side.

            Reply
            1. Bob Pollock

              Bernard,

              The quorum issue is actually unimportant since Jackson and the others gathered in Neosho no longer legally held office. They no longer legally represented Missouri. This is from a post I wrote on this subject on my own blog:

              On February 18, 1861 Missouri voters elected delegates to a convention that was to decide whether or not Missouri should secede. Newly-elected Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson had called for the convention in the hope that it would result in Missouri’s secession, as conventions held in other slave states already had. Jackson’s secessionist maneuver was thwarted however, when Missourians overwhelmingly voted for Unionist delegates. When the convention met on February 28 in Jefferson City, and then again on March 4 at the Mercantile Library in St. Louis, the delegates voted 99-1 against secession. (It is interesting to note that even a proposal that would have declared Missouri’s opposition to the Crittenden Compromise and a promise of solidarity with Southern slave states was defeated 70-23. And, for those who like to say that it was the Camp Jackson affair that swayed Sterling Price from the Union, it is perhaps significant that he voted for this proposal. It is obvious that his Unionism was always quite conditional.)

              Before the convention adjourned it appointed a seven member committee that had the authority to call the convention back into session in the event of an emergency. This is exactly what happened later in July, after Federal forces caused Governor Jackson to evacuate Jefferson City. It is important to remember that the legislature had given the convention legal authority to “consider the then existing relations between the Government of the United States, the people and the governments of the different states and the government and the people of the State of Missouri; and to adopt such measures for vindicating the sovereignty of the state and the protection of its institutions as shall appear to them to be demanded.” When the convention reconvened it avowed that this original charge by the legislature had authorized the convention to amend the state constitution and provide for the replacement of “abandoned” state offices and seats in the legislature. Jackson’s scheming for secession had definitely backfired.

              It is often contended that Nathaniel Lyon or the Federal government set up the new provisional government for Missouri. This is not true. The convention was made up of the same Missourians who had been elected by the people of Missouri, with the exception of the minority of delegates, like Sterling Price, who had gone off to side with the Confederates. There were no representatives from Washington and the convention did not do its work at the point of any Federal bayonets.

              In October 1861, Claiborne Jackson called together the exiled legislators in Neosho at which time they passed an ordinance of secession. This act was recognized as legitimate by the Confederate States of America and a star was added to the Confederate flag. For some years it was argued that because they did not have a quorum, the secession ordinance was not valid. More recently evidence surfaced that there was indeed a quorum. Quite frankly, I don’t think it matters. First, one would have to make the case that secession was legal in the first place. The Confederacy was never recognized as a legitimate government. Second, the convention had already vacated the offices these men claimed to hold, and as noted, the convention held legal authority over the state government.

              Ultimately, 110,000 Missourians served in the Union Army, while only 30,000 served the Confederacy. The Jackson “government” was in exile throughout the war, even though Missouri had voting rights in the Confederate government. Despite tremendous guerilla warfare, Missouri stayed under Union control. A study done by the Department of the Interior in 1934, argued that widespread “deeply rooted” Union sentiment in the state saved Missouri for the Union.

              Reply
              1. Bernard

                “The quorum issue is actually unimportant since Jackson and the others gathered in Neosho no longer legally held office.”

                That’s only true if one accepts the premise that their offices were legally vacated by the “reconvened” state convention.

                But as I indicated, that is a legally dubious proposition in itself. Read in its original form, the clause you cited above did NOT empower the convention to dissolve and reconstitute the government of the state. As the crucial third comma (which you omitted) indicates, their jurisdiction was constrained to the relations BETWEEN the three distinct entities of (1) the federal government, (2) the people and governments of the other states, and (3) the people and government of Missouri, not to alter the relations within the final of these three entities:

                “shall proceed to consider the then existing relations between the Government of the United States, the people and Governments of the different States, and the Government and people of the State of Missouri.”

                Furthermore, even if one ignores the third comma as the “reconvened” Convention did, their action still did not pass legal muster. The 10th section of the same enabling law stipulated that in order for the actions of the Convention to become valid they had to be ratified first in a statewide referendum. The “reconvened” Convention failed to meet the requirements of this clause, as this mandatory referendum was indefinitely postponed by the unelected provisional government.

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                1. Bob Pollock

                  From where does this “comma” issue come? I can’t find it anywhere in the convention record. I may not be an expert on the English language but, I don’t see how it makes a difference.

                  They certainly discussed the issues of the legal authority of the convention, and in particular whether or not their actions would need to be ratified by a vote of the people. Hamilton Gamble argued forcefully that the covention was “fully authorized to do anything that in their judgement may be necessary for vindicating the honor and maintaining the institutions and rights of the people.”

                  Gamble argued that Jackson and the pro-secession legislators had ignored the resounding vote of the people of Missouri in February against secession, conspired with the insurgents of the CSA, and brought war to the state. He asked, “can we not take some measure in reference to him? Is it not involved in the very words of the call, that we shall take such measures as as we deem necessary for vindicating the honor and independence of the State? Really, that seems to me so perfectly plain, that I do not know how any man can avoid seeing that it is involved in the language of the call itself….Here are certain relations existing between the State of Missouri and the United States. If our Governor offers any impediment to the maintaining of these relations, shall we not brush him out of the way? Shall we not brush any of those away who hinder us in maintaining our proper relations, as the people of Missouri, to the people of the United States? I say that whoever stands in the way, be he Governor, Lieut. Governor, or anybody else, is a fit object to be swept away by the action of this Convention. To say anything else is almost to say that the language of that act has no meaning.”

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                  1. Bernard

                    The missing comma issue comes from your quote:

                    “consider the then existing relations between the Government of the United States, the people and the governments of the different states and the government and the people of the State of Missouri”

                    The actual authorization said:

                    “consider the then existing relations between the Government of the United States, the people and the governments of the different states, and the government and the people of the State of Missouri”

                    It is material to the discussion because without the second comma, the law seems to task the convention with evaluating the relations “between…the government and the people of the State of Missouri” whereas with the comma, the word “between” applies to the relationship of the three designated entities: (1) the federal government, (2) the people and governments of other states, and (3) the people and government of Missouri, the final being a unitary consideration.

                    The forcefulness of Hamilton Gamble’s delivery of his argument is immaterial to its legal validity, particularly considering he had the most to gain from the outcome. The matter must ultimately rest on the legislative intent of the original resolution, and it simply strains credulity to suggest that the Legislature ever intended to give the Convention carte blanche authority to do anything and everything it wanted up to and including abolishing and disbanding the very same Legislature that created it in the first place.

                    The fact that the “reconvened” Convention ultimately settled upon putting the matter to a vote as required by the act is its own prima facie evidence that they recognized it imposed limitations upon them, even if they never followed through in abiding by it. And the fact that they never followed through in turn nullifies the legality of everything they did.

                    I don’t deny that Jackson was a bit of a scoundrel in the way he handled things in Missouri, but Lyons and Gamble were every bit as unscrupulous in their own machinations that took the state to that point. Furthermore, being a scoundrel is not a sound reason to forcibly oust a legitimately elected government and replace it with an unelected one under a legally dubious interpretation of a defunct convention’s mandate, however cloaked it may be in the language of “saving” the state from enemies both real and imagined.

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                    1. Jim Dick

                      Since Jackson was no longer the governor of Missouri he couldn’t call the legislature into session. He was legally thrown out of office. The missing records will always be a source of speculation, but the facts remain that Missouri did not secede. Actually, no state seceded according to Texas v. White.
                      I don’t care if the CSA recognized secession by Missouri or not. The people of Missouri didn’t support the South as shown by the numbers of men involved. Unfortunately, the history of guerrilla warfare in Missouri makes our state a very different battleground compared to the rest of the country. The quorum issue always goes back and forth, and until the records are found which they probably won’t the matter won’t ever be satisfactorily resolved. Of course even if they are found and the facts shown that a quorum didn’t exist the Lost Causers will still come up with oddball reasons showing Missouri attempted secession.
                      Bob has it down correctly in any event. The Jackson government was booted legally and that’s that.

                    2. Bob Pollock

                      My point regarding the comma was that the Convention did not intentionally leave the comma out as some kind of nefarious way of legitimizing their actions. Although commas can certainly change the meaning of written language, in this case I think adding the comma actually supports the opposite conclusion that you reach. As you say, the Convention was charged with considering the relation between the federal government, (2) the people and governments of other states, and (3) the people and government of Missouri. Jackson was interfering with and disrupting the relationship between the three, therefore, as Gamble argued, it was proper for the Convention to deal with him. Yes, he was elected, but he had betrayed the people’s trust. He had campaigned as a Douglas Democrat, then upon taking office conspired with an enemy of the people. He was interfering with, and in fact trying to destroy, the relationship of the three named parties. He was more than just a “bit of a scoundrel.” If his actions did not justify his removal from office, what would have?

                      Now, granted, when Jackson and the legislature drafted the act that called for the convention they did it in the belief that the Convention would pass a secession ordinance. And, you’re right, it’s doubtful that they expected the act to be used to remove them from office. But, that was their own fault. They were operating under the mistaken impression that the people of Missouri would support secession. Again quoting Gamble: “Now, sir, suppose that instead of passing an ordinance of secession we had passed provisions for arming the State, were we bound to submit that? Suppose we had appointed Commissioners to attend the Confederate Congress or any other body, were we bound to submit that? And yet we are called to take all the measures we shall deem expedient for the purpose of vindicating the honor of the State. I say, therefore, it was another inaccuracy in the gentleman to suppose that we were bound to submit everything, unless we assume that all we had to, was to pass this ordinance of secession. Now, as we do not propose to submit an ordinance of secession, we are not under any obligations, according to that call, to submit what we do to a vote of the people: and if we submit anything at all, it is simply in conformity with the democratic principle of our Government.”

                    3. Bernard

                      Jim Dick -

                      “Since Jackson was no longer the governor of Missouri he couldn’t call the legislature into session”

                      As previously noted, your argument rests on a faulty premise.

                      The carte blanche authority claimed by the reconvened Convention simply isn’t supported by its enabling law. Nor did they even correctly follow that enabling law to carry out what they self-servingly claimed as its authority – they never submitted their actions to a statewide referendum, which was explicitly required by Section 10 of the law.

                      That means the only way Jackson could have legally been thrown out of office was an impeachment proceeding under Article 29 of the Missouri Constitution:

                      “The governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, attorney general, and all judges of the courts of law and equity, shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment in such case shall not extend farther than removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit, under this state. The party impeached, whether convicted or acquitted, shall, nevertheless, be liable to be indicted, tried and punished, according to law.”

                      Article 30 of the same document gave “the sole power of impeachment” to the House, with a required trial in the Senate. As neither of these processes occurred, the removal of Jackson – whether he deserved it or not – could not have possibly been legal.

                    4. Bernard

                      Bob -

                      “Jackson was interfering with and disrupting the relationship between the three, therefore, as Gamble argued, it was proper for the Convention to deal with him. Yes, he was elected, but he had betrayed the people’s trust.”

                      Gamble’s argument that Jackson’s acts merited his removal are immaterial to the discussion unless he used the proper mechanism to affect that removal by expressing those grievances. The Missouri Constitution prescribed that mechanism as impeachment and required that it be conducted in the House and Senate of the legislature. If Gamble did not employ that mechanism to remove Jackson – no matter the merit of his case – then he necessarily acted unconstitutionally, and his government was therefore also necessarily an illegal one.

                      Nor is it legitimate to say that it was Jackson’s “own fault” that the reconvened Convention used a highly contorted rendering of its enabling law to justify its actions. A law cannot authorize a legislative body to act unconstitutionally because such a law would be unconstitutional itself. And by vacating the existing government of Missouri by means outside of those prescribed in the Missouri Constitution, Gamble necessarily acted unconstitutionally.

                  2. Bernard

                    Another point to consider – if the carte blanche interpretation that Gamble made was the “correct” way of reading it, then the law itself would have been unconstitutional as it altered the form of the state’s government by a means outside of the proper procedure for amending the Missouri Constitution.

                    Therefore even if we give Gamble the benefit of the doubt – which is a stretch in its own right – and even if we politely overlook the fact that he failed to meet the referendum requirement of Sec. 10, the matter of constitutionality still remains and nothing in the Gamble government’s actions passes basic constitutional muster.

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                    1. Jim Dick

                      A couple of points here. The first is that Missouri had a convention to decide whether to secede or not. They chose not to secede. A group of former government officials who may or may not had a quorum met after fleeing the military forces of the legal government of the United States and decided that they were going to attempt secession for the state. So unlike the other states who did have conventions that voted to secede, Missouri’s alleged attempted illegal secession was not sanctioned by delegates at a convention.

                      Now as to your argument about the government of Missouri. A state needs a government. Yet, the elected government of Missouri fled the state capital not because of rebellious forces that caused them to flee, but because the military forces of the legally elected government of the United States of America were going to Jefferson City. I can easily see (I’m sure you will not) where it can be inferred that the government of Missouri had abdicated its position as the lawful government of Missouri. Lawfully elected governments wouldn’t have to flee when troops of their own country were coming to uphold the law of that country unless the they had something to fear, which in this case was violating the will of the people of the state that elected them by trying to separate the state from its country.

                      This is part of the crazy stuff that comes with a civil war. I actually can see your point on the legality of replacing the Jackson government. However, when that government is deliberately attempting rebellion against its people and its nation some pretty crazy things start happening and in this state, that’s exactly what happened. You really run into a situation that was never foreseen by anyone with this discussion.

                      Your earlier comment about Jackson and Lyons being scoundrels is dead on. Lyons caused a lot of problems but that’s an entirely different story.

                    2. Bob Pollock

                      Bernard,

                      The Convention discussed these issues at length. Extracts from the legislative sessions in January that called the Convention were included in the Convention record. It seems that the legislature recognized that once the Convention was called it could not be constrained. It was said by Mr. Birch: “It will be seen from the extracts [from the legislative sessions] to which I have alluded that no member of either House of the Assembly doubted the authority of the Convention to do WHATEVER THE PEOPLE could do – even to the unmaking of the Government itself – but that the only question upon that occasion, as upon this, was the policy and propriety of submitting our action to the judgment and decision of the people of the State. After this shall have been done, I shall also be in favor of returning our own authority to the source from whence we received it – leaving to the new Government, which will have been instituted by the people themselves, the responsibilities of the future, whilst assuming my contingent of all the past.”
                      One extract from the legislature said: “By the Constitution of the State such a Convention as that which it is proposed to call has authority to change or amend the Constitition. The people of Missouri, in Convention assembled, according to the Constitution, have the inherent right to make any change in the form of government they please. It is the sum and substance of republican liberty.”

                      That last sentence deserves attention. That is how Conventions were viewed. Once a Convention was called it assumed the sovereignty of the people. Constitutions and legislatures were derived from Conventions. That is why Conventions were used in several slave states to effect secession.

                      I also would point out that even if the Convention was constrained by the legislature (which it could not be), Jackson committed more than merely a misdemeanor. Therefore, Article 29 would not necessarily apply. In a practical sense, how would this impeachment procedure work, given that Jackson had fled? Jim makes an important point – the state needed government and not a government that would be at odds with the people’s will and cooperating with an insurgency. I will concede that it would have been better for posterity, for the sake of this discussion, if they had submitted thier actions to a vote, but then again, how would that have worked in the midst of civil war? Who would have been allwed to vote? Is there any doubt that the vote would have been in favor of the Convention’s actions?

                    3. Bernard

                      “Constitutions and legislatures were derived from Conventions. That is why Conventions were used in several slave states to effect secession.”

                      …and thus we’ve arrived at the heart of the matter at hand.

                      In order to establish the legitimacy of the Missouri provisional government by way of the Missouri convention, you also effectively have to concede the legitimacy of the similar conventions of the seceding states. The mechanism was one in the same for both, with only their chosen courses of action differing.

                      Please note that I make no claims here about the validity of secession. But I will point out that it is not a logically sustainable position to embrace the legitimacy of the Missouri Convention while simultaneously denying that of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, et al, apparently for no other reason than whether you agree or disagree with the outcome taken by each. What’s good for the South Carolina goose is also good for the Missouri gander.

                    4. Bernard

                      “Yet, the elected government of Missouri fled the state capital not because of rebellious forces that caused them to flee, but because the military forces of the legally elected government of the United States of America were going to Jefferson City.”

                      Jim Dick – What you call a legitimate military action by the federal government, I call a rash decision by a rogue and mentally unstable general with a long pattern of willful insubordination to his name. And yes, even the most perfectly law-abiding and loyal unionist member of the Missouri legislature has something to fear when that same rogue general, operating a thousand miles away from a command he doesn’t really listen to anyway on a good day, decides to go Col. Kurtz on the state capitol.

                      Of the Missouri state officers, only Jackson had serious secessionist sympathies at that point, so to call it a state government in rebellion is highly inaccurate. Even Price still fell in the conditional Unionist camp, and had been trying to use his truce with Harney to keep Jackson under wraps in exchange for the federal army not doing anything that would inflame secessionist sentiments. But Lyon broke the truce in the most rash and brazen way imaginable at the Palmer House meeting, and turned his sites not only on Jackson but the entire Missouri government including its Unionists. That much is further attested to by the fact that Lyon also arrested the two overtly Unionist state officers who remained behind, Attorney General J. Proctor Knott and State Treasurer Alfred Morrison, and forced them to vacate their offices.

              1. Bob Pollock

                “In order to establish the legitimacy of the Missouri provisional government by way of the Missouri convention, you also effectively have to concede the legitimacy of the similar conventions of the seceding states. The mechanism was one in the same for both, with only their chosen courses of action differing.”

                This may be true, but there is a fundamental difference here. The Missouri convention merely affirmed the already established relationship the people of the State had with the United States. Conventions in other States attempted to sever that relationship, and for all practical purposes destroy the Federal Government. I would defer to others who know more than I, but I believe in several, if not all the seceding states, a minority of the population drove secession. (Read Stephanie McCurry’s “Confederate Reckoning.”) In contrast, in Missouri the majority prevailed.

                BTW, I disagree with your characterization of Nathaniel Lyon.

                Reply
      2. Bernard

        Missouri is the trickier of the two states from a legal standpoint. Briefly setting aside the legality debate for the matter of secession itself, there is a valid question of which Missouri government had constitutional authority in the state.

        Though it sided with the CSA, the Jackson government was indeed the legitimate government of the state from the 1860 election. The Union Gamble government was installed by the military as a “provisional government” under legally questionable circumstances after the hotheaded Union general Nathaniel Lyon broke the Price-Harney truce and essentially marched his army on Jefferson City, dispersing the state government and legislature.

        Ironically, while Gov. Jackson was personally a CSA sympathizer, the rest of the Missouri government that Lyon forcibly displaced (including future CSA Gen. Sterling Price, who had been placed in command of the state militia by the legislature to maintain Missouri’s neutrality) were moderate Unionists up until that point in the war. Lyon’s rashness pushed them all firmly into the secession column with Jackson, and the result was a reconvened pro-south legislature that set up a new capitol in Neosho. It fled to Little Rock, Arkansas in 1862 as the Union chased Price southward, and then to Marshall, Texas until the end of the war.

        In another sense, Missouri’s situation makes for an interesting counterpart to Kentucky. Whereas Kentucky’s neutrality was violated by the CSA prompting the majority of the elected state government to side with the Union, Missouri’s neutrality was violated by the Union prompting the majority of the elected state government to side with the Confederacy.

        Reply
      3. Woodrowfan

        Didn’t Kentucky provide more troops to the Union that to the Confederacy? That would speak to which side had more support. (not absolute proof, but one more data point)

        Reply
  2. Ray O'Hara

    To their credit they didn’t make any false claims about the value of the coins
    the current price of silver is $29.78. per oz.

    Reply
  3. Corey Meyer

    I am not sure, but is it possible to actually bear witness and create a lasting legacy by purchasing these coins? I think I will just donate $99.00 to the Civil War Trust instead.

    Reply
  4. Scott A. MacKenzie

    Given that they included Kentucky and Missouri in this collection, I doubt they’ll agree to take 1/3rd off the Virginia coin to represent West Virginia.

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      1. Scott A. MacKenzie

        Maybe we could also debase each coin as per the level of Union support in each state. Hey, we’re just trying to be historically accurate! You’d think that the other side would appreciate that! :)

        Reply
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