At the beginning the the US Civil War
all mints in the South
came under control of the CSA
. The mint in New Orleans continued to make silver coinage. One die Biesle 5-D was cracked between rim and the bridge of the nose. This obverse was used on the Confederate Half Dollar and as such is the only half dollar of US design that can be attributed to the CSA, although some sources put the CSA output at 87% or 2,202,633 of the 2,532,633 1861O Half Dollars made.
During April 1861 C. G. Memminger CSA Treasury Secretary, requested designs for a true CSA half using the Union obverse. A. H. M. Patterson of New Orleans made the reverse die and four coins were struck. Lack of workable steel and the fall of New Orleans ended any hopes of minting large numbers.
In his book on US coinage, Walter Breen traces them as:
- New Orleans mint, Chief Coiner Taylor, Mason, ANS (proof)
- New Orleans mint, Dr. Ames, his son, pvt. coll., Elder, Granberg, Woodin, Green, Johnson, Newman (EF)
- New Orleans mint, Prof. Biddle, Biddle Family, pvt. coll. (EF)
- New Orleans mint, Memminger, Jefferson Davis, pvt. colls., Bream, his son, “his sister in Ohio”, Schnur, Franklin, Ford (worn)
Taken from Davis when captured by Union soldiers