lower basin Lynchburg 1880
Lynchburg ca. 1880

Lynchburg was an important center for the exchange of goods in the region and of value to the Confederacy because of its position on the James River and its proximity to three different railroads.  Goods exchanged through Lynchburg often included tobacco, pork, corn, and a plethora of other crops native to the area as well.

Tobacco Break-Harper's Weekly
Lynchburg flourished economically due to its production and distribution of tobacco. These images from a Harper’s Weekly article written in 1870 demonstrate different stages in the tobacco industry that dominated the city’s business. Donated by Peter W. Houck.


Ferdinand C. Hutter transportation notice, 1864 December 13
This document is written regarding the transportation of tobacco from F.C. Hutter in Lynchburg to N. B. Williams in Bristol.  Lynchburg was considered a “tobacco city” at this time, and documents like this were common for the area.


-These documents note mass purchases of pork by two different members of the Lynchburg Community.  One of these documents is regarding an order of 1500 lbs of pork which is to be granted to Samuel Davis Preston for the use of his family, according to what appears to be a Justice of the Peace.  The other is a receipt for the purchase of 1000 lbs of pork purchased by a man named Stephen before Notary Public John Y Maurice.  This pork too was for the man’s own use, and not for him to sell.  Pork was a common good to be exchanged in Lynchburg among the civilians, as it was a cheaper meat which could be cured and thus last longer.

– Pictured above are War Bonds of the Confederacy.  Lynchburg was an important city within the Confederacy, and these bonds depict that level of importance.  Confederate currency suffered from very high inflation rates, and these bonds were used as a way for the Confederacy to raise money for the war effort.  These specific bonds range from $100-$500 and have an interest rate indicated of 4% per year.



-This document details a Confederate request for food made by L. L. Armistead in Lynchburg on November 27, 1864.  This document shows that Armistead has purchased 40 bushels of corn for his family’s use, and not to sell.  It also details a request for a barrel of beef.  In the commercial world of Lynchburg on the homefront during the Civil War, requests for food such as this were common due to the high cost of goods and the limited rations not only on the front lines but at home as well.