VERY FINE ROBERT E. LEE AUTOGRAPHED FIELD COVER. A GREAT RARITY.
General Robert E. Lee's letters sent from the field were enclosed in envelopes signed "R. E. Lee Genl". The letters and other important papers were carried by military courier, usually to Richmond to another officer under Lee's command. Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia on June 1, 1862. This is the historical starting point for all of Lee's signed field covers.
VERY FINE. THIS IS THE EARLIEST OF ALL RECORDED ROBERT E. LEE AUTOGRAPHED FIELD COVERS. AN OUTSTANDING HISTORICAL COVER.
General Robert E. Lee's letters sent from the field were enclosed in envelopes signed "R. E. Lee Genl". The letters and other important papers were carried by military courier, usually to Richmond to another officer under Lee's command.
Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia on June 1, 1862. This is the historical starting point for all of Lee's signed field covers. Records indicate that Lee's nephew, Fitz Hugh Lee, received his commission as Brigadier General on July 25, 1862. Therefore, this cover, addressed to Fitz Hugh Lee as Colonel, must have been sent sometime in June or July 1862, making it the earliest of all recorded signed Lee field covers.
Accompanied by a copy of the Confederate Philatelist article (Jan.-Feb. 1981) documenting this cover and providing a transcript of the letter that originated with the cover. Ex Telep.
EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THE FINEST KNOWN EXAMPLES OF GENERAL LEE'S SIGNATURE IN COMBINATION WITH A CONFEDERATE GENERAL ISSUE STAMP. MAILED DURING THE EARLY DAYS OF LEE'S INVASION OF THE NORTH, CULMINATING IN THE HISTORIC BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG. A MARVELOUS COMBINATION OF HISTORY AND PHILATELY.
General Robert E. Lee's letters sent from the field were enclosed in envelopes signed "R. E. Lee Genl". The letters and other important papers were carried by military courier, usually to Richmond. Letters addressed to locations outside Richmond were mailed at the post office with postage prepaid; locally-addressed mail was usually delivered by hand, although a few examples were given to the post office.
The Richmond postmark on this cover is dated June 14, 1863, which coincides with Lee's advance toward the North. The Confederate invasion of the North was stopped at Gettysburg a little more than two weeks later.
THE ONLY RECORDED COVER ADDRESSED BY ROBERT E. LEE WITH A CONFEDERATE LITHOGRAPHED ISSUE, AND THE EARLIEST OF ALL KNOWN CONFEDERATE-PERIOD COVERS ADDRESSED BY LEE. AN OUTSTANDING ITEM OF GREAT HISTORICAL INTEREST.
Charlotte Lee was General Lee's daughter-in-law and one of his most beloved family members. Charlotte was married to William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, whose capture and imprisonment in 1863 caused her such grief and distress that an illness later in the same year led to her tragic death.
While Lee still held the rank of General in April 1862, he was not in command of an army at this time. Early in March 1862, President Davis called Lee to Richmond to serve as an advisor in military operations. In June, after General Joseph E. Johnston was wounded in the Battle of Seven Pines, Lee assumed command over the army that would eventually become the famous Army of Northern Virginia. This cover, posted on April 27, 1862, is addressed in Lee's distinctive hand, but he did not sign the envelope, as became his custom after taking command of the Army of Northern Virginia. Because postage was required on all mail (other than official post office business), General Lee affixed the 5c Hoyer & Ludwig stamp for the proper 5c rate. Remarkably, this is the only Lee cover recorded with the lithographed issue (Scott 1-5). It is also the earliest Confederate-period cover addressed by Lee.
Accompanied by an article and letter from Van Dyke MacBride, in which he concludes "this is a remarkable cover, unique in many aspects, and one of the truly great pieces of Confederate postal history."
A VERY FINE AND RARE ROBERT E. LEE FIELD COVER TO HIS WIFE AT RICHMOND. A DOUBLE SIGNATURE.
Autograph endorsement "R. E. Lee Genl" on brown field cover addressed in his hand to "Mrs. R. E. Lee" on Franklin Street in Richmond. Faint water spot at left. As choice as the double-signature field cover sold in our December 1995 auction for $14,300.