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Sale 795 — Confederate States

Sale Date — Tuesday, 28 October, 1997

Category — Mails Suspended

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
94°
c
Dead Letter Office P.O. Dept. July 31, 1861. Large bold oval datestamp with "DUE 3 cts" straightline on 3c Red Nesbitt entire, attempted thru-the-lines mailing from Kentucky to Georgia, "Keene Ky. Jun. 8" cds, to Lumpkin Ga., Dead Letter Office sender's identification at left

EXTREMELY FINE. AN IMMACULATE EXAMPLE OF THE RARE NORTHERN DEAD LETTER OFFICE MARKING APPLIED TO SOUTHBOUND MAIL AFTER JUNE 1, 1861. THE ONLY DEAD LETTER OFFICE COVER IN OUR RECORDS ORIGINATING IN KENTUCKY.

Mail originating in the South between June 1st and August 26th was allowed to cross the lines via Louisville - any prepayment was ignored, thus the purpose of the "Southern Letter Unpaid" marking. However, mail addressed from the North to any of the Confederate States was intercepted and sent to the Dead Letter Office. Examples of such letters are rare, and this is the only one we have located that originated in the border state of Kentucky.

Ex Knapp

E. 2,000-2,500
3,500
95°
c
MAILS SUSPENDED. Perfectly struck oval handstamp on cover to Confederate Brigadier General John H. Winder at Richmond Va. "via Washington D.C.", 3c Rose (65), s.e., tied by "Philadelphia Pa. May 16, 1863" cds and placed over coal dealer's corner card; with original enclosure from a "Widowed Mother" enquiring as to the whereabouts of one William Shermer, she asks "...whether you have any knowledge of Wm. A. Shermer of Collis's Zouaves supposed to have been taken prisoner in the late Battle of May 3rd", this being the Battle of Chancellorsville, the woman adds a post-script "Enclosed please find 10c", presumably for Confederate postage; also included is the original Post Office Department Return Letter Office printed envelope used to return this cover and letter (opened roughly at right), the notation "10cts" below the address refers to the money enclosure, 6c postage due was collected from the sender; a few faint toned spots on Mails Suspended cover not affecting stamp or markings

VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE "MAILS SUSPENDED" TREATMENT OF MAIL TO THE CONFEDERATE COMMISSARY GENERAL OF PRISONERS. WITH ORIGINAL ENCLOSURE AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT RETURNED-LETTER ENVELOPE.

The sender, a self-described "Widowed Mother", was evidently not familiar with the procedure for locating Union soldiers taken prisoner by the Confederates. Rather than follow the formal civilian "Flag of Truce" mail procedure, she simply addressed her letter to Brigadier General Winder at Richmond. This attempt to send mail across the lines was rejected and the cover was sent to the Dead Letter Office.

E. 7,500-10,000
9,000
Back to Top
96°
c
MAILS SUSPENDED. Oval handstamp clearly struck on yellow cover from Great Britain to "Major Tait, late of General Longstreet's Staff, Richmond, Confederate States", G.B. 1sh Green tied by "195" numeral oval and red "N. York Am. Pkt. Paid 24 1863 May 22" cds - the year date is in error - backstamped Chipping-Norton (May 10, 1864) and London (May 11, 1864), red "21 Cents" credit hs

VERY FINE AND COLORFUL ATTEMPTED TRANSATLANTIC MAILING TO THE CONFEDERATE CAPITAL THREE YEARS INTO THE WAR. AN EXTREMELY RARE USE OF THE "MAILS SUSPENDED" OVAL ON A TRANSATLANTIC COVER.

The "Mails Suspended" oval was probably applied at the Washington D.C. Dead Letter Office, but there is also the possibility that New York City had the device as well.

E. 3,000-4,000
4,000
Back to Top
97°
c
SENT BACK TO ENGLAND/WITHOUT A REASON/FOR NON-DELIVERY. Three-line handstamp in frame boldly struck in red on cover from Great Britain to New Iberia La., G.B. 1sh Green tied by London Sep. 30, 1862 duplex, red "N.York Am. Pkt. Paid 24" credit cds and "21 Cents" credit, ms. "Received June 23rd, 1863" in the same hand as address, no backstamps, tiny tear at top, Very Fine, choice strike of this rare marking, an interesting usage to a part of Louisiana still controlled by Confederates - the sender, having heard that New Orleans fell in April 1862, probably had the mistaken belief that New Iberia was under Federal occupation

E. 2,000-3,000
3,000
Back to Top
98°
c
MAILS SUSPENDED. Dead Letter Office's oval handstamp clearly struck on 3c Pink entire to Fredericksburg Va., "Phila. Pa. May 11" (1865) cds and target, slight wear and toning at edges, still Very Fine, although the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered a month earlier, there was still no regular mail service between the North and South - a rare example of the "Mails Suspended" marking used very late in the war. Ex Meroni

E. 1,000-1,500
1,050
Back to Top
99°
c
MAILS SUSPENDED. Straightline handstamp on small cover endorsed by member of Illinois Vol. and addressed to Atlanta Ga., "Normal Ill. Oct. 25" cds, part of "Nashville Ten. Nov. 12" double-circle ds on back, reduced about one inch at left, this removed portion was probably marked "Due 3" for a soldier's letter

THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THIS "MAILS SUSPENDED" STRAIGHTLINE APPLIED AT NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE.

Atlanta was captured by Sherman on September 2, 1864. It is likely that this cover was mailed from Illinois in the belief that the postal service in the city would be maintained under Federal occupation, but delivery was not permitted and the letter was stopped at Nashville. Ex MacBride

E. 2,000-3,000
1,900
Back to Top
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