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Sale 988 — The Steven C. Walske Collection of Civil War Special Routes

Sale Date — Thursday, 27 May, 2010

Category — Across-the-Lines Private Express Mail: American Letter Express

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
79
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 79, Across-the-Lines Private Express Mail: American Letter Express"Pr Am. Letter Express", "Pr Am. Letter Express""Pr Am. Letter Express". Manuscript express marking (in a hand that differs from address) on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) southbound to Nashville Tenn., from the Knowles correspondence originating at Warren R.I., blue "Nashville Ten. Jun. 20, 1861" circular datestamp, matching "Paid" and "5" C.S.A. rate handstamp (2c drop rate did not apply), Very Fine, this is the interior envelope of an extremely early express usage, apparently pre-dating use of American Letter Express Company handstamps (three recorded with manuscript markings), Special Routes Census No. S-AX-2 (illustrated on p. 58), ex MacBride and Gallagher

E. 1,500-2,000
900
80
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 80, Across-the-Lines Private Express Mail: American Letter ExpressAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky. Jul. 11, 1861, Am. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky. Jul. 11, 1861Am. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky. Jul. 11, 1861. Boldly struck dark blue circular datestamp on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) southbound to Sharon Miss., lightly inked but clear strikes of "Nashville Ten. Jul. 16, 1861" circular datestamp and matching "Nashville T. Paid 5" provisional handstamp (Scott 61XU1)

FRESH AND VERY FINE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE NASHVILLE CIRCULAR "PAID 5" PROVISIONAL HANDSTAMP ON AN ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS COVER. THE ONLY COVER WITH ALL MARKINGS ON THE FACE.

Of the 31 recorded North-to-South covers carried by American Letter Express Co., only three have the "Nashville T. Paid 5" provisional handstamp. Those put into the mails at Nashville usually have the "Paid" straightline in combination with "5" or "10" rate handstamps.

Special Routes Census No. S-AX-12. Ex Ackerman, Knapp, Grant, Meroni and Everett.

E. 5,000-7,500
2,900
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81
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 81, Across-the-Lines Private Express Mail: American Letter ExpressAm. Letter Exp. Co. Nashville, Ten. Jul. 1, 1861, Am. Letter Exp. Co. Nashville, Ten. Jul. 1, 1861Am. Letter Exp. Co. Nashville, Ten. Jul. 1, 1861. Mostly clear strike of blue circular datestamp on backflap of 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) to Montgomery Ala., lightly inked but mostly clear strikes of "Nashville Ten. Jul. 5, 1861" circular datestamp and matching "Nashville T. Paid 5" provisional handstamp (Scott 61XU1), neatly docketed, backflap opened for display (trimmed slightly)

FRESH AND VERY FINE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE NASHVILLE CIRCULAR "PAID 5" PROVISIONAL HANDSTAMP ON AN ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS COVER. THIS COVER BEARS THE RARER NASHVILLE OFFICE MARKING.

Of the 31 recorded North-to-South covers carried by American Letter Express Co., only three have the "Nashville T. Paid 5" provisional handstamp. Those put into the mails at Nashville usually have the "Paid" straightline in combination with "5" or "10" rate handstamps. It is also an extremely rare example of the American Letter Express Co. Nashville office datestamp.

Special Routes Census No. S-AX-6. Ex MacBride

E. 4,000-5,000
0
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82
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 82, Across-the-Lines Private Express Mail: American Letter ExpressAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky. Jul. 22, 1861, Am. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky. Jul. 22, 1861Am. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky. Jul. 22, 1861. Blue circular datestamp clearly struck on 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) southbound to an Assistant Surgeon with the 12th Regt. Miss. Vol. at Union City Tenn., forwarded to Winchester Va., blue "Nashville Ten. Jul. 24, 1861" circular datestamp with matching "Paid" and "5" rate handstamp, manuscript "Due 10" forwarding charge, additional strike of express company circular datestamp on back

VERY FINE. AN ATTRACTIVE AMERICAN LETTER EXPRESS COMPANY COVER FROM THE NORTH TO A MILITARY ADDRESS IN THE SOUTH.

Assistant Surgeon Groves, to whom this cover was delivered, was moved from Union City to Winchester Va. to treat casualties from engagements with Federal troops in the Shenandoah Valley during mid-July 1861.

Special Routes Census No. S-AX-14. Illustrated in Shenfield book (p. 25). Ex Kimmel and Gallagher. With 1976 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
1,000
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83
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 83, Across-the-Lines Private Express Mail: American Letter ExpressAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky., 307 Green, Am. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky., 307 GreenAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky., 307 Green. Blue circular handstamp struck much more clearly than usual on 3c Red on Buff Star Die entire (U27) southbound to Florence Ala., blue "Nashville Ten. Aug. 15, 1861" circular datestamp, matching "Paid" and "5" handstamps

EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE AMERICAN LETTER EXPRESS COVER WITH AN UNUSUALLY CLEAR STRIKE OF THE BLUE CIRCULAR HANDSTAMP.

Special Routes Census No. S-AX-22 (illustrated on p. 57). Illustrated in Shenfield book (p. 26). Ex Kimmel. With 1976 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
1,700
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84
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 84, Across-the-Lines Private Express Mail: American Letter ExpressAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky., 307 Green, Am. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky., 307 GreenAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky., 307 Green. Blue circular handstamp only partly struck on 3c Red on Buff Star Die entire (U27) southbound to Lexington Va., blue "Nashville Ten. Aug. 1, 1861" circular datestamp, matching "Paid" and "10" handstamps, backflap removed, large "Letters Going North" instruction label affixed over back (two creases), some blue ink on label matches Nashville postmark ink, neat receipt docketing, opened for display, small tape stain at lower left, minor wear

FINE. VERY FEW CIVIL WAR ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS COVERS ARE KNOWN WITH THE BROADSIDE LABELS STILL AFFIXED. AN IMPORTANT AND EXHIBIT-WORTHY AMERICAN LETTER EXPRESS COMPANY COVER.

The "Letters Going North" labels were affixed to or enclosed in envelopes addressed to the South. They provided instructions for sending letters north.

Special Routes Census No. S-AX-16. Ex D. Preston Peters and Kilbourne

E. 4,000-5,000
5,000
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85
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 85, Across-the-Lines Private Express Mail: American Letter ExpressAmerican Letter Express Co, American Letter Express CoAmerican Letter Express Co. 3c Red on White Star Die entire (U26) southbound to Mann S. Valentine in Richmond Va., sender's routing "Via Nashville, Tenn.", manuscript "Collect Chgs 55c Due Winston & Johnston" and "Pd 2/- Ch" (two bits, or 25c express fee), we believe this originated in Europe, based on the two enclosures: an envelope addressed to "Mrs. E. A. V. Gray, Care of M. S. Valentine, Richmond, Va., America" and slip of paper with notation "Pay postage 30c, Express charge 25 [Total] 55. John P. Winston"

VERY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING SOUTHBOUND THRU-THE LINES EXPRESS COVER THAT ORIGINATED IN EUROPE AND WAS CARRIED BY THE AMERICAN LETTER EXPRESS COMPANY FROM LOUISVILLE TO NASHVILLE .

Based on the "Pay postage 30c" notation on the enclosure, we can surmise that the original letter was mailed from Europe to the United States. Apparently it was directed to Winston & Johnston, who are listed in the 1861 Williams' Cincinnati directory ("WINSTON & JOHNSTON, John P. W. & AVm. B.J., Wholesale Dry Goods, 113 W. Pearl"). John P. Winston arranged to have the American Letter Express Company carry the letter across the lines to Nashville, where it entered the C.S.A. mails for Richmond. The addressee, Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Valentine Gray, was the daughter of Mann S. Valentine and the wife of William Gray. Later in the war, letters were sent by blockade runners from Europe to Mann S. Valentine, Elizabeth A. V. Gray and William Gray.

Special Routes Census No. S-AX-26.

E. 2,000-3,000
1,300
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86
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 86, Across-the-Lines Private Express Mail: American Letter ExpressAm. Letter Exp. Co. Nashville, Ten., Jenkins and McGill, Am. Letter Exp. Co. Nashville, Ten., Jenkins and McGillAm. Letter Exp. Co. Nashville, Ten., Jenkins and McGill. Full clear strike of blue circular handstamp on small cover southbound to Richmond Va., blue "Nashville Ten. Aug. 13, 1861" circular datestamp, matching "Paid" and "10" handstamps, "Richmond Va. Aug. 23, 1861" circular datestamp, "Advertised 2" framed handstamp

EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS BY FAR THE FINER OF THE TWO RECORDED EXAMPLES OF AMERICAN LETTER EXPRESS COMPANY'S "JENKINS AND McGILL" HANDSTAMP USED BY THE NASHVILLE OFFICE. ONE OF THE MOST ATTRACTIVE AND DESIRABLE OF ALL CIVIL WAR ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS COVERS.

The American Letter Express Company was created by William M. McGill, a former United States mail carrier (Brown & McGill, Louisville), and Thomas E. Jenkins. Financing for the new mail-carrying venture was provided by a prominent Louisville merchant, Nathan Bloom, who arranged for the articles of incorporation in Kentucky and Tennessee (June 28, 1861). Of the various markings used by the American Letter Express Company, the "Jenkins and McGill" circle is by far the rarest. This is the only recorded completely-struck example (two recorded).

Information about the addressee, Captain Fayette (Lafayette) Hewitt, can be found at http://www.touretown.com/pdf/soldiersburied.pdf: "Captain Fayette Hewitt (1831-1909). Headed the Hardin County Academy from the age of 18-20, at which time he established the Elizabethtown Independent School. In 1857 he accepted the position of Postmaster General in Washington D.C. until the Republicans took office. At the request of the new Confederate government, he then undertook the job of establishing the Confederate post office in Montgomery, Alabama. After this task was successfully accomplished, he asked for a field position. In February of 1863 he was assigned to General Breckinridge's command, where he served as Captain of the 6th Kentucky Infantry Regiment. Three horses were shot out from under him during the war and although never wounded, minie balls passed through his hat and clothes numerous times. Captain Hewitt returned to Elizabethtown in 1865, where he continued to improve the school system and practice law. In 1867 he was appointed Quartermaster-General of Kentucky. Two years later he was elected state auditor. His last public office was president of the state bank in Frankfort. He remained active in retirement and at his death was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Confederate Home at Pee Wee Valley."

Special Routes Census No. S-AX-21 (illustrated on p. 58). Illustrated in Shenfield book (p. 25). Ex Emerson (acquired by him in the J. C. Morgenthau Oct. 1924 sale), Knapp (with his note on back "Never saw another"), Richey, Antrim and Kilbourne

E. 7,500-10,000
10,500
Back to Top
87
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 87, Across-the-Lines Private Express Mail: American Letter ExpressAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky, Am. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, KyAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky. Blue circular handstamp with blank center clearly struck on back of buff cover northbound to Little River Me., 3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26) tied by blue grid with matching "Louisville Ky. Aug. 5, 1861" double-circle datestamp, opened for display (back folded in half), slightly reduced at right, stamp faintly creased, otherwise Fine, accompanied by large "Letters Going South" instruction label that was included with northbound letters so that correspondents would know how to send letters to the South, northbound covers with American Letter Express Co. markings are much rarer than their southbound counterparts (only twelve recorded), Special Routes Census No. N-AX-7, ex Gallagher

E. 750-1,000
1,200
Back to Top
88
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 88, Across-the-Lines Private Express Mail: American Letter ExpressAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky., 307 Green, Am. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky., 307 GreenAm. Letter Exp. Co. Louisville, Ky., 307 Green. Blue circular handstamp on back of cover northbound from Nashville Tenn. to Somersett Ky., with 3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26) tied by blue grid, matching "Louisville Ky. Aug. 2, 1861" double-circle datestamp, repaired along left edge where reduced, otherwise Fine, northbound American Letter Express Co. covers are extremely rare (twelve recorded), Special Routes Census No. N-AX-5 (illustrated on p. 50), ex Antrim and Gallagher, with 1973 P.F. certificate

E. 400-500
500
Back to Top
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