Courtesy of the Smithsonian Digital Collections, Confederate penny and Union $5 “Greenback”

April 13, 2024

On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina, starting the Civil War 163 years ago this week.

The Lee’s Summit History Museum is displaying an exhibit recognizing the Cost and Currency of the Civil War. This is a Freedom’s Frontier traveling exhibit on loan from the Watkins Museum in Lawrence, Kansas. The exhibit describes the challenges both sides had in financing the war and the efforts they took. Did you know the government used postage stamps as currency for a while?

This exhibit will be on display at the History Museum now through the end of May. The museum, located at 220 SW Main Street in downtown Lee’s Summit, is open Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This temporary exhibit is included in the normal admission price of $5. Children 12 and under are free.