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

Sale Date — Thursday, 27 May, 2010

Category — Flag-of-Truce Mail: Adams Express P.O.W. Mail

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
90
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 90, Flag-of-Truce Mail: Adams Express P.O.W. MailAdams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 7, 1861, Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 7, 1861Adams Ex. Co. * Louisville, Ky. * Aug. 7, 1861. Mostly clear circular datestamp on buff cover from Private Graves, a Union prisoner at Ligon's Tobacco Warehouse in Richmond to his mother, Mrs. Julia B. Graves, in Vernon Vt., 3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26), straddle-pane margin at left, affixed at origin and tied by "Richmond Va. (date?) 1861" circular datestamp, Richmond "Paid 10" in circle C.S.A. rate handstamp at right, given to Adams Express and carried to Louisville where it entered the U.S. mails, a second 3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26) was required and affixed partly over "Paid 10", tied by blue grid with matching "Louisville Ky. Aug. 7, 1861" double-circle datestamp, with original letter enclosure datelined "Richmond Va. July 24th 1861", reduced at right, lefthand 3c stamp faulty

A VERY EARLY PRISONER-OF-WAR COVER FROM A UNION SOLDIER CAPTURED AT THE FIRST BATTLE OF BULL RUN AND HELD AT LIGON'S TOBACCO WAREHOUSE IN RICHMOND. ONLY THREE ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS COVERS FROM PRISONERS ARE RECORDED -- ALL NORTHBOUND FROM UNION CAPTIVES IN THE CONFEDERATE PRISON AT RICHMOND.

The enclosed letter is written in pencil (as is the address on the cover) and datelined "Richmond Va. July 24th 1861". It is a four-page well-written account of Private Graves' capture three days earlier at the First Battle of Bull Run ("the terrible battle of Manassas"). Private Graves was captured by Confederate cavalry when he and another soldier were carrying a wounded comrade and fell behind the retreating Union army.

This and two other covers are the earliest examples of mail sent from Ligon's Tobacco Warehouse in Richmond, where Union captives from First Manassas were held by Confederates. The three covers are Special Routes Census Nos. N-AD-53 (Richmond Aug. 3, Louisville Aug. 6, sold in a February 2008 Rumsey auction for $19,000 hammer), N-AD-55 (letter dated July 24, Richmond date unclear, Louisville Aug. 7), and N-AD-56 (Richmond Aug. 4, Louisville Aug. 7). The July 24 letter in this envelope provides a definite date of origin. The three covers were apparently postmarked on at least two different days at the Richmond post office.

Illustrated and described in detail in Antrim book (p. 112) and Ashbrook's Special Service (pp. 250-252). Special Routes Census No. N-AD-55 (illustrated on p. 64). Ex Chase, Finney and Antrim

E. 7,500-10,000
5,250
91
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 91, Flag-of-Truce Mail: Adams Express P.O.W. MailPrivate Graves, Prisoner of War, Private Graves, Prisoner of WarPrivate Graves, Prisoner of War. "Adjutant General's Office, Official Business" imprint and signature on cover to Mrs. J. B. Graves, Vernon Vt., "Washington D.C. Oct. 5, 1861" circular datestamp, with original letter on "Head Quarters, Army of the Potomac, Washington" stationery stating that the letter from Mrs. Graves to her son will be sent to Gen. Wool at Fortress Monroe and then by flag of truce to Norfolk, Private Graves was captured at the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861 and sent to Ligon's Tobacco Warehouse prison in Richmond (see previous lot)

E. 200-300
225
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