VERY FINE. EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF CONFEDERATE MAIL TO LOUISVILLE AFTER SUSPENSION OF THE NASHVILLE-LOUISVILLE MAIL ROUTE. THIS IS A "SOUTHERN LETTER UNPAID" COVER.
The U.S. May 27 suspension order prohibited post offices from forwarding southbound mail to disloyal Southern states. However, northbound mail continued to be sent via Louisville. Through June 6, northbound mails were forwarded to Louisville from Memphis or Nashville. From June 7 through 12, only the Nashville post office forwarded mail to Louisville, and Louisville continued to forward mail north. On June 15, after the U.S. mail agent had been withdrawn from the Nashville-Louisville route (the last trip was on June 12), the Nashville postmaster, W. D. McNish, started to forward mail to Louisville by using the American Letter Express Company, who brought the mails across the lines and deposited them in the Louisville post office. This letter was in one of the daily mails forwarded by express under this unusual arrangement, arriving in Louisville on or about June 18.
United States postage stamps and stamped envelopes used from the South were regarded as contraband and were refused as prepayment. The familiar "Southn. Letter Unpaid" handstamp was used by the Louisville post office on mail sent north, but letters addressed locally were marked "Due" for unpaid postage. Examples of "Southern Letter Unpaid" mail delivered in Louisville are exceedingly rare.