1890 Two Dollar Treasury or Coin Note

US currency 1890 Two Dollar Treasury or Coin Note
1890 Two Dollar Treasury or Coin Note
1890 2 Dollars Treasury Note
1890 $2 Treasury Note
1890 Two Dollar Treasury or Coin Note

The Series 1890 Two Dollar Treasury or Coin Note was ranked 15st most beautiful note in the book 100 Greatest American Currency Notes compiled by Bowers and Sundman.

Obverse: Bust of Major General James B. McPherson, Union Army general and a hero of the Battle of Vicksburg. Engraved by Charles Burt. 
Reverse: The word "TWO" - The face value spelled in large letters and surrounded by an ornate design that took up almost the entire note.
Signatures: (as depicted) William Starke Rosecrans, Register of the Treasury and Enos H. Nebeker, Treasurer of the United States.

Inscriptions: Series of 1890 - Legal Tender Act July 14 1890 - Bureau, Engraving & Printing - Register Of The Treasury - Treasurer Of The United States - Treasury Note - The United States Of America Will Pay To Bearer Two Dollars In Coin Washington, D.C. - Amer Septent Sigil Thesaur - This Note Is A Legal Tender At Its Face Value In Payment of All Debts, Public and Private, Except When Otherwise Expressly Stipulated In The Contract.

 1890 - 1891 Series
The Treasury Note (also known as a Coin Note) was a type of representative money issued by the United States government from 1890 until 1893 as a result of the Legal Tender Act of July 14, 1890 (Sherman Silver Purchase Act). This Act authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to issue these notes in payment for silver bullion purchased by the Treasury Department. The entire issue of these notes thus became backed by metallic reserves. The notes were redeemable in actual coin, but whether silver or gold coin should be paid out was left to the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury.
  The coin notes were issued in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, and $1000 Dollars of the series of 1890 and 1891. A 500 Dollar note with portrait of General Sherman was also authorized and a plate made, but only a proof impression of the note is known; it was not placed in circulation.
  The obligation on the Treasury or Coin Notes is as follows: “The United States of America will pay to bearer ...... Dollars in coin ... This note is a legal tender at its face value in payment of all debts public and private except when otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract.”

  A distinguishing feature of the Series 1890 notes (and one that greatly appeals to collectors) is the extremely ornate designs on the reverse side of the notes. The intent of this was to make counterfeiting much more difficult, but opponents of the design argued that the extensive detail would make it more difficult to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit notes. Consequently, the reverse designs were simplified on the Series 1891 Treasury Notes issued the following year.

  The Treasury Note was issued by the government to individuals selling silver bullion to the Treasury. Unlike other redemption notes like silver and gold certificates (which stipulated whether the note was backed by and redeemable for silver or gold coin, respectively), Treasury Notes stipulated only that they were redeemable in coin. This allowed the Treasury to fulfill the note's obligation in silver coin, gold coin, or both, at its discretion when the note was redeemed. This flexibility allowed the Treasury some control over releasing gold or silver when the relative value of the two metals fluctuated. The origin of the term "Coin Note" to describe the note is unclear – it may refer either to the coin it could be exchanged for, or derive from the fact that it was issued to pay for silver that would later be turned into coins.

1890 Issue

1 Dollar   2 Dollars   5 Dollars   10 Dollars   20 Dollars   100 Dollars   1000 Dollars

1891 Issue

1 Dollar      2 Dollars      5 Dollars      10 Dollars      20 Dollars      50 Dollars     

100 Dollars       1000 Dollars

United States 2 Dollar Bills

United States 2 Dollar Bill, Treasury or Coin Note, Series 1890

Major General James B. McPherson
James Birdseye McPherson (November 14, 1828 – July 22, 1864) was a career United States Army officer who served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. McPherson was on the General's staff of Henry Halleck and later, of Ulysses S. Grant and was with Grant at the Battle of Shiloh. He was killed at the Battle of Atlanta, facing the army of his old West Point classmate John Bell Hood, who paid a warm tribute to his character. He was the second highest ranking Union officer killed during the war.

Early life and career
McPherson was born in Clyde, Ohio. He attended Norwalk Academy in Norwalk, Ohio, and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1853, first in his class, which included Philip H. Sheridan, John M. Schofield, and John Bell Hood; Hood would oppose him later in the Western Theater. McPherson was directly appointed to the Corps of Engineers with the rank of brevet second lieutenant. For a year after his graduation he was assistant instructor of practical engineering at the Military Academy a position never before given to so young an officer.
  From 1854 to 1857 McPherson was the assistant engineer upon the defenses of the harbor of New York and the improvement of Hudson River. In 1857 he superintended the building of Fort Delaware, and in 1857–61 was superintending engineer of the construction of the defenses of Alcatraz Island, at San Francisco, California.
  In 1859, while in San Francisco, he met Emily Hoffman, a woman from a prominent merchant family in Baltimore who had come to California to help care for her sister’s children. They soon became engaged and a wedding was planned, but ultimately put off by the onset of the Civil War.

Civil War
At the start of the American Civil War, McPherson was stationed in San Francisco, California, but requested a transfer to the Corps of Engineers, rightly thinking that a transfer to the East would further his career. He departed California on August 1, 1861, and arrived soon after in New York. He requested a position on the staff of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, one of the senior Western commanders. He received this (while a captain in the Corps of Engineers), and was sent to St. Louis, Missouri. In 1861 he was made captain, serving under Maj.-Gen. Henry Halleck. Halleck appointed him to the command of the Department of the West in November, where he was chosen aide-de-camp to Halleck while also being promoted to lieutenant-colonel.
  McPherson's career began rising after this assignment. He was a lieutenant colonel and the Chief Engineer in Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's army during the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson in February 1862.
  In September 1862, McPherson assumed a position on the staff of General Grant. For his bravery at Corinth he was promoted to major-general, dating from Oct. 8, rising to that position soley on merit. From that time till the close of the siege of Vicksburg, where he was in commanded of the center. Upon Grant's recommendation McPherson was immediately confirmed a brigadier general in the regular army, dating from Aug. 1, 1863, and soon after led a column of infantry into Mississippi and repulsed the enemy at Canton.
  During the days that led up to the Battle of Shiloh, McPherson accompanied Sherman questioning people in the area and learned that the confederates were bringing large numbers of troops from every direction by train to Corinth, Mississippi, which was itself an important railroad junction.
  Following the Battle of Shiloh, which lasted from April 6–7, he was promoted to brigadier general. On October 8 he was promoted to major general, and was soon after given command of the XVII Corps in Grant's Army of the Tennessee. On March 12, 1864, he was given command of the Army of the Tennessee, after its former commander, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, was promoted to command of all armies in the West. He then requested leave to go home and marry his fiance Emily Hoffman in Baltimore, Maryland. His leave was initially granted, but quickly revoked by Sherman, who explained McPherson was needed for his upcoming Atlanta Campaign. McPherson's army was the Right Wing of Sherman's army, alongside the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of the Ohio.
  Sherman planned to have the bulk of his forces feint toward Dalton, Georgia, while McPherson would bear the brunt of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston's attack, and attempt to trap them. However, the Confederate forces eventually escaped, and Sherman blamed McPherson (for being "slow"), although it was mainly faulty planning on Sherman's part that led to the escape.[citation needed] McPherson's troops followed the Confederates "vigorously", and were resupplied at Kingston, Georgia. The troops drew near Pumpkinvine Creek, where they attacked and drove the Confederates from Dallas, Georgia, even before Sherman's order to do so. Johnston and Sherman maneuvered against each other, until the Union tactical defeat at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. McPherson then tried a flanking maneuver at the Battle of Marietta, but that failed as well.
  Confederate President Jefferson Davis became frustrated with Johnston's strategy of maneuver and retreat, and on July 17 replaced him with Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood. With the Union armies closing in on Atlanta, Hood first attacked George Henry Thomas's Army of the Cumberland north of the city on July 20, at Peachtree Creek, hoping to drive Thomas back before other forces could come to his aid. The attack failed. Then Hood's cavalry reported that the left flank of McPherson's Army of the Tennessee, east of Atlanta, was unprotected. Hood visualized a glorious replay of Jackson's famous flank attack at Chancellorsville and ordered a new attack. McPherson had advanced his troops into Decatur, Georgia, and from there, they moved onto high ground on Bald Hill overlooking Atlanta. Sherman believed that the Confederates had been defeated and were evacuating; however, McPherson rightly believed that they were moving to attack the Union left and rear. On July 22, while they were discussing this new development, however, four Confederate divisions under Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee flanked Union Maj. Gen. Grenville Dodge's XVI Corps. While McPherson was riding his horse toward his old XVII Corps, a line of Confederate skirmishers appeared, yelling "Halt!". McPherson raised his hand to his head as if to remove his hat, but suddenly wheeled his horse, attempting to escape. The Confederates opened fire and mortally wounded McPherson. When the Confederate troops approached and asked his orderly who the downed officer was, the aide replied “Sir, it is General McPherson. You have killed the best man in our army.” This was early in the one-day Battle of Atlanta, part of the Atlanta Campaign that led to the surrender of Atlanta a month later. General Otis Howard succeeded him as commander of the Army and Department of the Tennessee.

His adversary, John Bell Hood, wrote,

  I will record the death of my classmate and boyhood friend, General James B. McPherson, the announcement of which caused me sincere sorrow. Since we had graduated in 1853, and had each been ordered off on duty in different directions, it has not been our fortune to meet. Neither the years nor the difference of sentiment that had led us to range ourselves on opposite sides in the war had lessened my friendship; indeed the attachment formed in early youth was strengthened by my admiration and gratitude for his conduct toward our people in the vicinity of Vicksburg. His considerate and kind treatment of them stood in bright contrast to the course pursued by many Federal officers.

  When Sherman received word of McPherson's death, he openly wept. He then penned a letter to Emily Hoffman in Baltimore, stating:

  My Dear Young Lady, A letter from your Mother to General Barry on my Staff reminds me that I owe you heartfelt sympathy and a sacred duty of recording the fame of one of our Country's brightest and most glorious Characters. I yield to none on Earth but yourself the right to excel me in lamentations for our Dead Hero. Why should death's darts reach the young and brilliant instead of older men who could better have been spared?

  McPherson was the second highest ranking Union officer to be killed in action during the war (the highest ranking was John Sedgwick). Emily Hoffman never recovered from his death, living a quiet and lonely life until her death in 1891. Incidentally, this was the year of Sherman's death as well.

  Fort McPherson in the Atlanta, Georgia, area was named in Gen. McPherson's honor on February 20, 1866.
  McPherson Square in Washington, D.C., and its Metro rail station are named in the general's honor. At the center of the square is a statue of McPherson on horseback.
  McPherson County, Kansas, and the town of McPherson, Kansas, are named in his honor. McPherson Township, Blue Earth County, Minnesota is also named for him. There is also an equestrian statue of him in the park across from the McPherson County Courthouse.
  McPherson County, South Dakota, founded in 1873, and organized in 1885, was also named in his honor.
  McPherson County, Nebraska, and Fort McPherson National Cemetery, located near Maxwell, Nebraska, were named in his honor, and the National Cemetery was established on March 3, 1873. This 20-acre (81,000 m2) cemetery is located two miles (3 km) south of Interstate 80, near Exit 190.
  A monument marking the death of McPherson was established at the location of his death in East Atlanta, at the intersection of McPherson Avenue and Monument Avenue. McPherson Avenue in Atlanta was named for him. The spot is marked by a Union cannon once placed at Glenwood Road and Flat Shoals Road to protect the flank of the front line and return fire against the defensive positions built by Lemuel P. Grant.
  A distinctive engraved portrait of McPherson appeared on U.S. paper money in 1890 and 1891. The bills are called "treasury notes" or "coin notes" and are widely collected today because of their fine, detailed engraving. The $2 McPherson "fancyback" note of 1890, with an estimated 600-900 in existence relative to the 4.9 million printed, ranks as number 15 in the "100 Greatest American Currency Notes" compiled by Bowers and Sundman (2006).
  The James B. McPherson Elementary School in the Ravenswood area of Chicago, Illinois, was named for McPherson.
  In his home town of Clyde, Ohio, James B. McPherson Highway (US-20) was dedicated and named in his honor on 9 August 1941. The McPherson Middle School and McPherson Cemetery are named for him as well. The cemetery was named Evergreen Cemetery, but was renamed McPherson Cemetery on 15 December 1868. There is also a monument that was erected in his honor on 22 July 1881 at the McPherson Cemetery. President Rutherford B. Hayes gave the dedication speech during the ceremony for the monument. There were many US Civil War officers in attendance for the dedication of the monument, including General William Tecumseh Sherman. His childhood home on E. Maple Street in Clyde, Ohio is now owned by the Clyde Heritage League and is a museum that can be toured by appointment.

In popular media
The alternate history novel Never Call Retreat: Lee and Grant: The Final Victory, by Newt Gingrich, and William R. Forstchen, includes McPherson as a major character.
  In another alternate history, If the South Had Won the Civil War by MacKinlay Kantor - in which the war ended in 1863 with a decisive Confederate victory - McPherson survived to become President of the United States for two terms in the 1880s and strongly pursue a line of reconciliation with the Confederate States.
  McPherson and his hat also feature prominently in the book Map of Thieves, by Michael Karpovage.