C. Forbes, Inc. has been chosen to produce commemorative coins for the 150th anniversary of a major historic event. The American Civil War was drawing to a close in April 1865. General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. President Lincoln was assassinated six days later. Beginning on April 17, 1865 and continuing for nine contentious days, negotiations for the largest surrender of the American Civil War concluded on April 26, 1865. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and Union General William T. Sherman met at an unassuming farm house near Durham, N.C., owned by James and Nancy Bennett, known as the Bennett Place. It was there that acceptable terms for the surrender of 89,720 Confederate soldiers in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida were negotiated.
Upon surrender of his army in Greensboro, N.C., General Johnston appropriated Mexican silver 8 reales coins from the Confederate Treasury and paid one coin to each of his soldiers. Mexican silver 8 reales and U.S. silver dollars were exchanged evenly at 1 for 1. The 0.786 troy ounce, 1 ½ inch diameter coin was worth $1.17 in 1865; its silver content today would be valued at $12.81.
To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Surrender at Bennett Place on April 26, 2015, C. Forbes, Inc. has produced replicas of these Mexican silver 8 reales. The obverse of the coin featured a Mexican eagle with a snake intertwined near the neck of the eagle, while the reverse featured a liberty cap with sunburst rays behind. The coins have been customized on the reverse side with the anniversary date and location. Nine days of exhibitions and activities, including re-enactments, will take place April 17-April 26, 2015 at Bennett Place State Historic Site.
Civil War buffs, and challenge coin collectors alike, may be interested to know that General Beauregard himself saved his share, “planning to have a small medal made of it as a memento of the last days of the Confederacy.” Even 150 years ago, the connection between challenge coins and the military was evolving.
C. Forbes, Inc. is proud to play a small role in the commemoration of this historic anniversary, and equally proud to have created challenge coins for the 150th Anniversary of the Commencement of the Civil War (1861-2011), which are available for purchase. To find out more about Bennett Place, please visit their website. For more information on our products and services, please contact us.