VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE COVER FROM A PRISONER CAPTURED AT THE BATTLE OF SABINE PASS, TEXAS.
Despite an overwhelming advantage in force against a small Confederate garrison, the Federals suffered a humiliating defeat in the battle at Sabine Pass, Texas, on September 8, 1863. Two gunboats were grounded and surrendered - the U.S.S. Sachem and Clifton - and captured men were moved to prisons at Houston, Hempstead (Camp Groce) and Tyler (Camp Ford). Based on the fewer than ten known covers from prisoners captured at Sabine Pass, it appears that they were moved between these locations over a period of six months. The endorsements, postmark dates and censor markings help identify mail from these prisons. In this case, the February New Orleans datestamp and endorsements point to the prison at Houston.
From a new find and offered for the first time
A FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE USE OF THE 5-CENT BLUE LITHOGRAPH ON A PRISONER-OF-WAR COVER FROM SALISBURY, NORTH CAROLINA.
With original letter enclosure datelined "Salisbury N.C. June 6, '62". Similar content to previous lot (a later letter), but the prisoner adds "I send a Confederate postage stamp which must be put on with ours." There are perhaps fifteen to twenty covers known from Salisbury, but fewer than six have the 5c Blue Lithograph.
From the Dill correspondence and offered at auction for the first time
EXTREMELY FINE APPEARING AND SPECTACULAR STAMP. ONE OF TWO RECORDED PRISONER-OF-WAR COVERS WITH THE 10-CENT ROSE LITHOGRAPH. THE OTHER, KNOWN TO ANTRIM AND PICTURED IN HIS BOOK, WAS DESCRIBED AS "PERHAPS THE MOST DESIRABLE OF ALL THE CONFEDERATE PRISONER-OF-WAR COVERS.
With the original letter enclosure, datelined "Salisbury N.C. June 20, '62", from a prisoner quite content with life at Salisbury. At this point Salisbury held no more than 600 prisoners, who were well fed and housed under satisfactory conditions. Two years later, 10,000 prisoners arrived and turned Salisbury into the "Most lothsome dunguns in Rebeldom". The letter informs his correspondent to leave envelopes unsealed for censoring by U.S. authorities.
From the Dill correspondence and offered for the first time at auction