Born in Appomattox Virginia in 1834, Charles John Raine arrived in Lynchburg Virginia sometime in the mid-1850s. Shortly after his arrival, he formed a partnership with Robert Henry Glass, and the two men opened a clothing store.
Only a few years later, in December 1859, Raine bought out Glass’ share of the business, and continued the mercantile as a sole proprietorship.
Within a short period of time after taking ownership, it became clear that the nation was heading towards a civil war. Hostilities were brewing between northern and southern states, and talk of secession was spreading throughout the south.
Sensing an opportunity to increase sales and profits, Raine shifted his business’ direction, and began stocking military uniforms and related clothing articles.
Less than two months after he took full ownership of the business, Raine placed an advertisement in the Lynchburg Daily Virginian.
Quickly the strategy paid off. Within a short time Raine cornered the market, and his business became the primary supplier of uniforms in southern Virginia.
A year later Raine took a more direct role in the War. Having shuttered his business, Raine teamed up with Charles W. Statham, and the two men raised and equipped an artillery company for the Confederate Army. The two men entered service with the company, and eventually Raine became an artillery chief in the Army of Northern Virginia.
At the Battle of Gettysburg, Raine received a battlefield promotion. After the death of his commander, he was promoted to senior captain of artillery. A mere five months later, however, he was killed at the Battle of Mine Run.
In 1860 Charles J. Raine issued two varieties of storecards for his clothing business. The first variety was struck in brass and is cataloged as Miller VA-5. The second variety struck in copper is cataloged as Miller VA-5A.
Both examples below are the Miller VA-5 variety.
Notes and Sources
- Multiple Classified Advertisements, Lynchburg Daily Virginian, January 1860
- The Confederate Army 1861-65 (4): Virginia and Arkansas, Ron Field, Osprey Publishing, ©2006
- A Place Called Appomattox, William Marvel, SIU Press, ©2008
- History of Virginia From Settlement of Jamestown to Close of The Civil War, Virgil A. Lewis. Rev. by R.A. Brock. 1888
- United States Store Cards, Edgar H. Adams, 1920
- A Catalogue of U.S. Store Cards or Merchant Tokens, Donald M. Miller, Henry Hall Inc., ©1962
- Standard Catalog of United States Tokens 1700-1900 Fourth Edition, Russell Rulau, Krause Publications, ©2004, pg.403
- The Library of Congress Digital Archives