The Money, Mayhem & Might Saga
a review submitted by Daniel O’Brien
When I was young (64 or 65 years ago), I had an uncle who came to visit. He was a long-haul truck driver and he stayed with us for close to a week (people used to do that back then – come to visit and stay more than a couple of hours), during which time I showed him my coin “collection” a couple of mercury dimes and a few buffalo nickels) which I had pulled from “circulation” (my Dad’s trouser pockets while he was asleep).
My uncle then showed me a small footlocker that he had brought with him which was full of confederte currency. He said he would pick up the currency at various places when traveling “down South”. He was pretty proud of it and I enjoyed looking at some of the curious vignettes. He told us that the money had no value, but he collected the stuff anyway. I was fascinated by the fact that a foot locker full of money could have little or no value (back then). I had always wondered about how he could have come by such a glorious stash of money.
But I was quite young and over the years I didn’t give it much thought. Then, I read the book “Sahara” and, altough the book dealt with Confederate Gold, I recalled the old footlocker full of Confederate currency. It wasn’t until I saw a review of the book “Where did all the Southern Dough go?” in The E-Sylum that I had even considered what people would do about their country’s money if they were facing defeat.
Your books (I have only read two of them so far) highlighted an issue that I had never even considered previously. Your books have really brought the issue to life!
You are very adept at portraying the human interests that were involved and the real-life drama that the individuals involved endured. The detail and imagery portrayed in your books kept me on the edge of my seat. I was unable to put either of the two books down and I read each book in a single sitting. That is why I asked when the movie was coming out! One doesn’t have to take sides (on the North v. South issue) to appreciate and enjoy the heart-stopping action.
Ok, so this is not as short as I had acticipated. I think it was Thomas Jefferson who once said something along the lines: “I am sorry that this letter is so long, but I did not have sufficient time to make it shorter.”
My interest in your stories (to answer your question) stems from the fact that I have now been a coin collector (a few pieces of currency, but nothing to speak of) for over fifty years and I have come to enjoy the stories behind the coins as much or more than I enjoy the coins themselves. I believe that had I read something along the lines of your books when I was young, I would have been a much better student of history and a dedicated numismatist. And I certainly would have tried to pry away some of my Uncle’s stash while it was still intact (he passed forty years or so ago).
This is the long and short of it. Your books hit a nerve and I cannot wait to read more about the adventures of the Confederate Money Train!