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.