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Sale 795 — Confederate States

Sale Date — Tuesday, 28 October, 1997

Category — James River Steamboats

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
1383°
c
Sale Number 795, Lot Number 1383, James River SteamboatsHowardsville Va. Nov. 26, Howardsville Va. Nov. 26Howardsville Va. Nov. 26. Lightly struck but readable blue cds with brownish-black "Paid" and "5" rate hs on cover to Pattonsburg Va. with illustrated Elsom & Co.'s Mail Packet Line advertisement, list of steamboats Clara, Viola, Percy and Pioneer with their respective captains, identifying service between Richmond, Lynchburg and Lexington, contains original enclosure datelined Howardsville Va., Nov. 25, 1861, from proprietor R. W. Elsom asking for prices on baled hay and a hay-baling machine, minor opening tears in flap

FRESH AND VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF A CONFEDERATE PACKET ON THE JAMES RIVER. AN OUTSTANDING EXHIBITION ITEM.

Examples of Mississippi and Alabama River Confederate packet covers are rare, but a fair number survived in the Carroll Hoy & Co. New Orleans correspondence. The activity on the James River was never nearly as extensive, and no large correspondences containing James River packet covers have been found.

E. 2,000-3,000
3,500
1384°
c
Sale Number 795, Lot Number 1384, James River SteamboatsRichmond Va. Feb. 3 (1863), Richmond Va. Feb. 3 (1863)Richmond Va. Feb. 3 (1863). Bold mostly complete cds with "DUE 10" and "WAY" straightline handstamps on small blue folded letter to H. W. Fry at Richmond, letter written from Fredericksburg Va. in the aftermath of the Battle of Fredericksburg, datelined "Fredbg Feby 2d, 1863" from the "Distributor of R.F." (Relief Fund), whose name is not legible to us, letter requests supplies for the Relief Fund, small tear at bottom where wax seal removed. This is a significant cover, adding another dimension to the theory put forth by the late A. Earl Weatherly that the enigmatic Richmond "Way" marking was applied to soldiers' mail carried by James River packets. In this instance the sender was a Confederate relief organizer in the city of Fredericksburg, which was re-occupied by the Confederates after one of the bloodiest battles of the war. The battle raged for a day on December 13, 1862, and forced a Federal retreat across the Rappahannock River. Although technically a Confederate victory, the casualties were catastrophic for both sides - 1,284 Federals killed, 1,769 missing, 9,600 wounded, and 595 Confederates killed, 653 missing, 4,061 wounded. Under the prevailing conditions in February 1863, extraordinary means to convey letters were required; in this case, the "Way" marking indicates that the letter was brought in by river boat. Although not a soldier's letter, it was accepted by the Richmond post office on the same basis and rated "Due 10" cents. A fascinating postal history usage

E. 1,000-1,500
1,400
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1385°
c
Sale Number 795, Lot Number 1385, James River SteamboatsRichmond Va., Feb. 3 (1863), Richmond Va., Feb. 3 (1863)Richmond Va., Feb. 3 (1863). Bold cds, matching "DUE 10" and "WAY" handstamps on locally addressed cover, some overall toning and minor repair at bottom, appears Fine - same postmark date as previous cover

E. 500-750
600
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