The best guess for the Major General James B. McPherson Patriotic Civil War Token is that the sinker, George H., expected a gathering of veterans from the Army of The Tennessee for a tenth anniversary in Washington, D.C., at which the equestrian statue of McPherson would be unveiled. This was an opportunity to produce and sell tokens as souvenirs; the reverse was blank and used for personal engraving. Of course, George H. felt the need to produce a few rarities for collectors, so he proceeded to strike a few mulings in very limited numbers using his Pater Patriae die and General Ulysses S. Grant die! While shown as a Patriotic Civil War Token only in brass, this token is also found in white metal and copper. These are frequently classified as medalets, instead of tokens.
McPherson dies in 1864. The problem is that the statue was erected in 1876, which would put any McPherson equestrian statue tokens well after the Civil War. In this author’s opinion, this token is questionable being attributed as a Patriotic Civil War Token.
Both of these token dies represent the support for the Navy. The styles are miles apart as the top die (F-478) presents the “primitive” style for engraving a token. The lower die (F-481) flourishes with detials such as: the twists in the rope, the stylized shield behind the anchor (representing the Union), and the message of hope. The lower token die was made by Emil Sigel, which shows a lot of his distinctive styles, a bold and even strike, yet somewhat empty fields. The reason for the 1844 date on the lower token is unknown, but I would be happy to take suggestoins.
A significant portion of the Civil War trade currency were being manufactured in the city of New York. George Glaubrecht and Emil Sigel generated this simple message to indicate the origin of the token. The distinctive craftmanship of eacbh is portrayed by the tokens below. Especially the Emil Sigel token, where the fields are somewhat plain and the strike is bold and even. George Glaubrecht designed with more flourish, but the letter alignment and position of the wreath are somewhat off.