The Home Front: 1861 to 1865

The Price of Things

Do we know of comparable prices for commodities in the South?

Our lists and figures are from a later date. When the war began, life in Richmond seemed normal for a few months, but as the new Confederate government printed money by fiat, the price of everything rose. In the spring of 1864, as things approached a crisis point, the Richmond Enquirer reported the following commodities and prices.

Oysters sold for $16 per gallon, and flour for $120 per barrel. Wheat sold for $16 to $20 per barrel, while coffee—the thing most missed by Richmonders—sold for $11.50 per pound. Brown sugar sold for $3.40 per pound, and crushed sugar for $5.50. Even a cursory examination of these prices suggests that either the Confederate government was, indeed, printing money like wildfire, or most people were simply going without.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Civil War Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App