Two Civil War-era sutlers’ notes were sold for more than $5,000 total
Feb. 5, 2015, during the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Americana auction.
Sutlers were officially sanctioned merchants who followed the troops
to sell them various goods.
An extremely rare Johnson Island, Ohio, POW Camp sutler’s note sold
This sutler note was for use during the Civil War at the Union
prisoner of war camp on Johnson Island, located in Sandusky Bay, Lake
Erie. The piece is not dated.
The catalog described the piece as one of the most important sutler
issues, North or South, as this was a POW camp used mainly for
Confederate officers. “Conditions here, excepting the Lake Erie winter
weather, were better than most POW camps in the war. Over the course
of this Sandusky Bay island’s prison life, some 10,000 men passed
through,” according to the catalog.
Also sold was a very rare Stonewall Brigade sutler’s tent note for $1,880.
The 50-cent piece, graded Fine by the auction firm, was issued for
the Stonewall Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia, March 9, 1863.
“The brigade was named in [Gen. Thomas ‘Stonewall’] Jackson’s honor
in 1863 after he was mortally wounded at Chancellorsville.” Men in the
brigade were from the “2nd, 4th, 5th, 27th, and 33rd Virginia
regiments that had formed up earlier in the war. The nickname given to
the brigade was exclusive and official,” according to the catalog description.