1861-Dated General Beauregard Silver "Dime" XF45 NGC
Ex: Ford Collection. 17.7 mm. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was a Louisiana-born author, civil servant, politician, and first prominent general for the Confederacy. Beauregard was trained as a civil engineer at the United States Military Academy and served with distinction as an engineer in the Mexican-American War. Following an extremely brief tenure as the superintendent of the Military Academy in 1861, he became the first Confederate brigadier general and commanded the defenses of Charleston, South Carolina, for the start of the Civil War at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Three months later he was the victor at the First Battle of Bull Run.
His greatest achievement was saving the city of Petersburg, Virginia, and thus the Confederate capital of Richmond, from assaults by an overwhelmingly superior Union Army in June 1864. However, his influence over Confederate strategy was marred by his poor relationships with Confederate President Jefferson Davis. In April 1865, Beauregard and his commander, General Joseph E. Johnston, convinced Davis and the remaining cabinet members that the war needed to end, and the majority of the remaining confederate armies were subsequently surrendered to Sherman. Following his career, Beauregard was one of the few wealthy Confederate veterans because of his role in promoting the Louisiana lottery. He died in 1893 and is buried in New Orleans.
Breen's Encyclopedia classifies this as a Confederacy-associated "small silver medalet", listed under his entry (c). where it is described, "Head l, G.T.BEAUREGARD. BRG.GEN. CSA. around; below, signature C.R. Rev., within wreath MANASSAS/21/JULY/1861. Silver, reeded edge...Called the 'Beauregard dime,' from the size." Breen goes on to say, "Various small silver medalets have been claimed as Confederate dimes and half dimes, largely from a combination of wishful thinking and greed. Nothing is known of their origin. The only reason to believe that they might have circulated as money is their worn state. All are of extreme rarity..." These fantasy pieces have long intrigued collectors for their Civil War association, no matter how tenuous. Deep argent-gray with some lighter accents in selected recesses of the design. Our research shows this is one of the finest known examples as most have been holed or defaced in some way. Sharp details remain and there are no disturbing marks or other distractions on either side. An extremely rare offering for the collector of Civil War memorabilia.