THE EARLIEST RECORDED COVER FROM CONFEDERATE KENTUCKY, POSTMARKED JUST TWO DAYS AFTER THE SEPTEMBER 3, 1861, INVASION OF KENTUCKY BY THE CONFEDERATE ARMY.
Kentucky proclaimed its policy of neutrality on May 20, 1861, but the pro-Confederate and pro-Union citizens within the state were wary of an invasion force throughout the summer months, with each side accusing the other of breaching neutrality. Finally, to preempt a Federal occupation of Columbus, General Leonidas Polk ordered General Gideon Pillow to move on Hickman and Columbus; Pillow's troops entered Hickman on the morning of September 3. In response, General Ulysses S. Grant seized Paducah on September 6, and the Unionist movement in Kentucky gained momentum, ending neutrality.
This cover, postmarked at Hickman on September 5, is an extremely early Confederate occupation date. There is no record of an earlier postmark from any Confederate post office in Kentucky. Ex Gallagher.