Tag Archives: Confederate currency

The McCready-Hurley Ledger: Confederate Price List, 1865

The following list of prices appears in the McCready-Hurley Ledger after the official Confederate records, and immediately after a list of notable dates in history (including the dates of many Civil War battles, but also older events like Columbus’s discovery of the Americas, the birth of William Penn, and the Battle of Trafalgar). The latest year listed is 1863, although the preceding official records begin in 1864.

It’s unclear when this list was compiled, or why. Meshack McCready’s journal entries dated 1867 begin two pages later. The evacuation mentioned is assumed to be the evacuation of Richmond in April 1865. The placement of some of the periods/decimals is unclear in a couple of places, appearing under the numbers rather than between them. I confess that I don’t know much about Confederate currency, and am unsure about how to read a couple of these prices, but I’ve transcribed them as written, adding only the colon between each item and the corresponding price.

Note the distinction between sweet potatoes and “Irsh” (Irish) potatoes.

Confederate list of Prices in 1865 just before the evacuation

broad cloth per yard     :     $2..50..00

Silk per yard     :      1..00.00

Home Spun wolen Cloth per yard     :      50..00

Cotton Cloth per yard     :     25..00

Boots per pair     :     800..00

Shoes per pair     :     400..00

Felt hats A peis     :     300..00

Socks and home knit gloves per pair     :     25..00

Groceries , Sugar     :     25..00

Coffee     :     50..00

Flower per barrel     :     1..4..00..00

Corn meal per bushel     :     1..25..00

Corn per Barrel     :     5..25..00

Cabages per head     :     1500

Bacon per pound     :     25..00

Beef per pound     :     20..00

Fresh Shad A peice     :     75..00

Herings per Dozen     :     25..00

Sturgeon per pound     :     10..00

Sweet potatoes per quart     :     10..00

Irsh potatoes per quart     :     5..00

Aples per barrel green     :     2..50..00

Aples Dried per bushel     :     1..50..00

Peaches Dried per bushel     :     2..75..00

Peaches green 12 per Dos     :     12..00

Turnips per bushel     :     80..00

Shirts p A peace     :     200..00

While these numbers might not mean much to us today (particularly since they’re in Confederate dollars rather than U.S. dollars), presumably they indicate runaway inflation, and would have been astonishing to the Virginians of the time.

– Chris Slavens

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Filed under Confederacy, McCready-Hurley Ledger, Virginia, War Between the States