||Fort Bliss, TX - L. Moke & Bro. [Sutlers] $1 May 1, 1862 Medlar UNL Keller SC-100 UNL. PCGS Very Fine 20 Apparent. Texas Civil War era notes are complex, and it can seem that they are endless. Although the discoveries have slowed down to a crawl in the past several years, the Newman Collection notes will yield many exciting finds. This Civil War sutler note issued from Fort Bliss is unpublished and unlisted in all the major Texas references; it is the first we have seen. There was nothing like it in the Grover C. Criswell Sutler Collection sale, sold at the 1977 ANA by Kagin's; nor in the Ford sales (within Part X catalog); or the Schingoethe's Sutler (their Part 7 sale) note sub-collections. The bright and vibrant Newman example is in excellent quality for a note of this genre. This is a locally printed scrip note, without an imprint, on blue paper. The obligation is across the center, with ONE DOLLAR above, and the date 1862 centered at top. At the left end is ornate scrollwork with a starless Seated Liberty dime obverse in the center and, in the corners, the Texas five-pointed star. There is a green protector ONE across the center. Hand dated, numbered "52," and signed at the bottom. There is short, perpendicular endorsement at the center. Apparent, as often seen on these locally made notes, and noted as having "Edge Splits, Tears, and Damage; Stains, Tape on Back." Fort Bliss, at that time, was a staging post (after being abandoned by Union forces in Spring 1861) for Confederate raids into New Mexico and Arizona. Initial successes were eventually erased with the Confederate retreat at the Battle of Glorietta Pass. However, Union forces regrouped under a new column led by Union General Carleton from California and drove the Confederates away the following year, without a fight. L. Moke & Bro were sutlers serving Fort Bliss and Fort Davis in West Texas. In the Keller Sutler book, the 50 cents denomination is listed (under "Moker & Brother") as cited from Medlar. That note is in the Rowe-Barr Collection and does not have a protector, the series style varying from this note. Rowe-Barr also has a $1 note from the same date, but of a different style. This example has three broad margins and minimal old repairs; the mentioned stain is at the widest top margin, not trimmed to preserve its integrity. Southern sutler notes have traditionally been collected with great enthusiasm, as seen at the Stack's Bowers 2014 Americana Sale, but there were no Texas sutler notes in that collection, which was formed across multiple decades. Texas sutler notes are among the rarest, and this discovery Fort Bliss note is a prize. The estimate is conservative compared to its colossal history and rarity. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $5,640.00. Newman VI (Heritage Auctions, 4/2015), lot 19329. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.