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Sale 988 — The Steven C. Walske Collection of Civil War Special Routes

Sale Date — Thursday, 27 May, 2010

Category — Southern Letter Unpaid Mail

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
37
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 37, Southern Letter Unpaid Mail"Farnham Va. June 13th 1861", "Farnham Va. June 13th 1861""Farnham Va. June 13th 1861". Manuscript postmark and "Paid 5cts" C.S.A. rate with "10" re-rate on 3c Red on Buff Nesbitt (U10) entire to Louisville, pen cancel on 3c embossed stamp, blue grid cancel and matching "DUE" straightline with manuscript "3" U.S. rate applied at Louisville, pressed-out vertical fold at center and small part of backflap trimmed away

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 On June 15, after the U.S. mail agent had been withdrawn from the Nashville-Louisville route (the last trip was on June 12), the Nashville postmaster, W. D. McNish, started to forward mail to Louisville by using the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.

Ex Gallagher

E. 3,000-4,000
2,500
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