Demand and Interest-Bearing Notes: Financing the Union

In 1862, the U.S. Treasury placed into circulation its first paper currency, Demand notes, to help finance the Civil War. Printed in $5, $10, and $20 denominations, Demand notes – also known as “greenbacks” – were redeemable in coin on demand.

Interest-bearing notes, issued from 1861 through 1865 in denominations ranging from $10 to $10,000, are the rarest of all U.S. currency issues. Like Demand notes, Interest-bearing notes provided financing for the final years of the Civil War.