“Souvenir” brought back by William C. Harris, Co. H, 71st Pa. Infantry after being released from Prison in Richmond, Va. – He had been captured in the Ball’s Bluff Disaster
William C. Harris enlisted on June 4th, 1861 into Company H of Col. Baker’s California Regiment. On October 21st, 1861 the 71st was one of the unlucky regiments to meet a superior Confederate force. The regiment lost 312 men out of 520 in action. Their colors were lost in mid-stream by the Color-Sergeant and never recovered. Col. Baker fell while cheering his men on. William Harris was taken prisoner and sent to Richmond where he was confined in the Liggon Tobacco Factory.
When Harris was released from prison in early 1862, he found a souvenir to take with him… a 25 cent “York River Oysters” paper note. Printed on the note: “Richmond Feb’y 1st, 1862, 25 cts.” “Always on hand a very superior lot of YORK RIVER OYSTERS, fish and other luxuries.” “Good for 25 cents, at the Rough & Ready Saloon, corner of Main & 9th Sts.” and signed by A. B. & A. J. Hall.
So William’s souvenir turns out to be a very rare Confederate trade note. What is really great is what is written on the reverse in nice dark ink:
Wm. C. Harris
former Lieut. Co. H
Col. Bakers Calif. Regt.
Feby 22nd, 1862
We took a color photo of the front of the note for display so that both sides can be seen. A really great piece of Civil War history.
#A573 PA – Price $950