On Wednesday, March 18, 1863 in Paris, France the banking house of Emile Erlanger and Company granted the Confederacy a loan of three million pounds—approximately $14.5 million—based on seven percent bonds payable in twenty years.
Napoleon III of France sympathized with the Confederacy, and Emile Erlanger himself would in 1864 marry the daughter of Confederate commissioner to France, John Slidell.
The most immediate benefit of the loan was restoration of faith in Confederate credit. Southern agents were able to settle old accounts and contract for more war materials on the strength of the loan. The Erlanger bond was the largest, single financial loan procured during the Civil War by the Confederate States of America.