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Sale 801 — Confederate States

Sale Date — Tuesday, 9 June, 1998

Category — Red River Express

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
156
c
From Red River Express, Jefferson Texas. Three-line imprint on buff cover to Charlotte N.C. "Care of A. M. Wilson Agt. Shreveport La.", presumably it was Wilson who added "to New Orleans La." to imprint and crossed out original "Collect 4/c" express charge (four bits, or 50c), a stamp was steamed off, the "4/c" crossed out in same hand and "Due .30 cts" added over gummed spot - the stamp was possibly a Confederate 20c Green (50c less 20c equals 30c due) - sent in care of W. R. Myers with pencil docketing on back "William R. Myers 1865" but no further dating, small part of backflap remains from opening

THE ONLY KNOWN RED RIVER EXPRESS COVER, CARRIED DOWN THE RED RIVER FROM SHREVEPORT TO NEW ORLEANS AND FROM THERE OUT OF THE MAILS TO CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA.

This enigmatic cover is the only known example of the Red River Express of Jefferson, Texas, which lies west of Shreveport on the Red River. With the 1865 year-docketing only, and without further research, it is impossible to determine whether this cover was sent early enough in 1865 to pass through areas under Confederate control. Certainly New Orleans was in Federal control, but even months after Appomattox there were pockets of of Confederate loyalists, especially west of the Mississippi.

One significant clue to the cover's status is the altered rating and removal of a stamp. The gum outline shows no trace of perforations, and the only imperforate stamps were Confederate. The "Due 30 cts." applied after the stamp's removal represents a 20c reduction in the original "Collect 4/-" charge (50c) - the only 20c denomination was also Confederate stamp. Therefore, if a Confederate stamp were removed and still valued at 20c by the express agent, then this cover was certainly mailed during the early months of 1865, probably before April.

E. 3,000-4,000
2,400
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