Civil War 25-Cent Sutler Token from L. Goldheim of J.E.B. Stuart's 1st Virginia Cavalry

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Lazarus Goldheim, a Jewish peddler from Baltimore, became L. Goldheim, a Cavalry sutler in Virginia, with the advent of Civil War - and thus an integral, if unglamorous, part of the one of the Confederacy's most celebrated fighting units, J.E.B. Stuart's 1st Virginia Cavalry. This token, stamped "L. Goldheim - 1st Va. Cavalry" bears witness to that marvelous transformation.

 

Sutler tokens in the Civil War solved a three-fold problem, effecting both sides in equal measures.  Soldiers were paid in the field, in gold and silver coins, in denominations as large as possible. There was, as a direct result, a terrific shortage of small change. Johnny Reb or Billy Yank might then, on payday, exchange part of his private's rank $7.00-a-month salary for sutler tokens in the small amounts necessary to purchase the 5, 10, 25 and 50 cent items he was mostly likely to want. Thus regiments had, essentially, their own coinage, and a soldier might easily spend his money piecemeal, as he pleased.

1st Virginia Cavalry War Sutler token. L. Goldheim / 25 Cents/ 1st Virginia Cavlary. Reverse: Federal-style eagle, wings spread, arrows and olive branch in talons, 13 stars around. Brass. 18mm. Not more than, and possibly less than, ten exist.

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Transcript

[obverse]

L. Goldheim

25

1st Va. Cavalry