Question: I recently found on a ranch in west Texas a trade coin from Troop B 15th Cavalry. On one side it reads Exchange Troop B 15th Cavalry on the opposite side it reads Good for 5 in Trade. I know that Gen. Pershing camped there with his troops. What can you tell me about this trade coin?
SutlersÂ were the traveling merchants of their day and primarily serviced army forts and stations during the Civil War and later in the West. They supplied many of the “extras” that weren’t included in the military diet as well as gifts and leather goods. They were the forerunners of the Post Exchange that military personnel enjoy today. Often, they would give change in tokens that were only good at their establishments. The “good for” you describe in your note is a good example.
You are very lucky to have found such an example. There is strong collector demand for such items as they have so much history associated with them.