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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: Petersburg-Old Point Comfort

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
106
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 106, Flag-of-Truce Mail: Petersburg-Old Point ComfortSalisbury N.C, Salisbury N.CSalisbury N.C. Civilian flag-of-truce cover with original letter from Myer Myers datelined "Salisbury N.C. 16th July 62" to Emanuel Hart in New York City, C.S.A. postage paid with 10c Rose (5), full to large margins, small nick at top right just into design, tied by "Salisbury N.C. Jul. 17, 1861 [1862]" circular datestamp with usual year-date error, "DUE 3"%$ handstamp for U.S. postage, manuscript "Exd" examiner's mark, letter reads in part "I have been very much disappointed at my dear wife and children not having arrived on this as there has been several arrivals of Ladies by Flags of Truce in the last three weeks", very slight edgewear, lightened gum stains

FINE AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE NORTHBOUND CIVILIAN FLAG-OF-TRUCE COVER WITH THE 10-CENT ROSE LITHOGRAPH.

It is not clear to us how this flag-of-truce cover was handled. The regulations required the use of two envelopes for flag-of-truce mail. Ordinarily, on a South-to-North letter, the outer envelope would bear Confederate postage and an appropriately worded "Flag of Truce" address. At the exchange point the inner envelope bearing U.S. postage would be removed and put into the Federal mails. In this instance, it appears that the envelope bearing Confederate postage (the 10c Rose) was examined by the Confederate censor (ms. "Exd") and placed into the mails, receiving a Federal "Due 3" handstamp. While the regulations were often breached by placing Confederate and U.S. stamps on one envelope, this usage -- without any Federal postmark other than the "Due 3" -- is enigmatic and obviously extremely rare, if not unique.

Illustrated in Antrim (p. 195)

E. 2,000-3,000
4,500
107
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 107, Flag-of-Truce Mail: Petersburg-Old Point ComfortSalisbury Prison, N.C, Salisbury Prison, N.CSalisbury Prison, N.C. Flag-of-truce cover from Chief Engineer Joseph Parry at Salisbury Prison to his wife in Philadelphia Pa., C.S.A. postage paid by 5c Blue, Stone 2 (4) with two large margins, others cut in and lower left corner slightly clipped, U.S. postage paid by 3c Rose (65), both stamps tied by "Salisbury N.C. Jun. 15, 1861 [1862]" circular datestamp (the year date is inverted and in error as usual), censored in pencil by both the U.S. ("Ex") and C.S.A. ("Ex NK"), some edgewear, slightly reduced and small opening nick at right, 3c perfs slightly trimmed as a result

FINE AND RARE. AN OUTSTANDING MIXED-FRANKING PRISONER'S FLAG-OF-TRUCE COVER SENT VIA PETERSBURG AND OLD POINT COMFORT FROM THE PARRY CORRESPONDENCE.

When Federal troops occupied Norfolk on May 9, 1862, the C.S.A. flag-of-truce exchange point was moved up the James River to Aiken's Landing, Virginia, with the U.S. exchange point remaining across the Chesapeake Bay at Fortress Monroe. Aiken's Landing was used by the C.S.A. for only a short time, after which their exchange point was moved to City Point, Virginia. With the July 1862 implementation of the prisoner exchange cartel, prisoner populations were temporarily drastically reduced and flag-of-truce mail exchanges were virtually eliminated. Because of the very short period of time this route was in existence, mail via Petersburg is among the rarest of prisoners' flag-of-truce mail. These covers also represent the earliest possible mixed-franking covers with U.S. and Confederate stamps.

Joseph L. Parry was chief engineer on the U.S. transport steamer Union when it ran aground on November 3, 1861, on the North Carolina coast. Parry was held at Salisbury Prison until his exchange in September, 1862. The Parry correspondence to and from the prison was described in two outstanding articles by Lawrence Lohr in the Confederate Philatelist in 1995 and 2008.

Ex Hollowbush (who was Parry's grand godson). Illustrated in Special Routes (p. 69)

E. 3,000-4,000
2,000
Back to Top
108
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 108, Flag-of-Truce Mail: Petersburg-Old Point ComfortSalisbury Prison, N.C, Salisbury Prison, N.CSalisbury Prison, N.C. Flag-of-truce cover from Dr. Charles Carroll Gray at Salisbury Prison to Geneva N.Y., C.S.A. postage paid by 5c Light Blue, De La Rue (6), two large margins, cut in at lower right, tied by one of two strikes of "Salisbury N.C. Jun. 22, 1861 [1862]" circular datestamp with usual yeardate error, "Due 3" straightline handstamp for U.S. postage, endorsed "CC Gray US Army, Prisoner of War, Salisbury NC", manuscript "Examined Th H Holmes ADC" censor mark, small backflap tear

VERY FINE. A RARE PRISONER'S FLAG-OF-TRUCE COVER SENT VIA PETERSBURG AND OLD POINT COMFORT.

As described in the preceding lot, the Petersburg-Old Point Comfort route was in use for only a short period of time. As such flag-of-truce covers sent by this route are very rare. Dr. Charles Carroll Gray was a U.S. Army medical officer who saw action at the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas). Upon his capture he spent time in Libby Prison in Richmond, Castle Pinckney in Charleston and Salisbury Prison. He was exchanged in July 1862. His fascinating 1861-1862 diary, housed at the University of North Carolina Library, contains detailed descriptions of prisoner medical conditions and social interactions between prisoners and guards.

Illustrated in Special Routes (p. 63). Ex Emerson and Cole.

E. 2,000-3,000
1,200
Back to Top
109
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 109, Flag-of-Truce Mail: Petersburg-Old Point ComfortPetersburg Va, Petersburg VaPetersburg Va. Flag-of-truce cover addressed to Julien C. Ruffin, a member of the famous Ruffin family, at Garysville Va., franked with 10c Milky Blue, Die B (12a), full margins to slightly cut in, beautiful shade from first printing, tied by blue "Petersburg Va. Jul. 5" (1863) circular datestamp, instructions at top in the hand of Capt. P. P. Oldershaw, Assistant Adjutant-General to Major General Thomas L. Crittenden, commander of the 21st Army Corps in the Department of the Cumberland, "Maj. Genl. Crittenden requests that the Pro Marshal will forward this the first opportunity. Oldershaw AAG", the back is endorsed "Approved, Office Prov Marshal Gen. Dept Cumberland, Wm. L. King Clk." (U.S. Provost Marshal's censor marking) and "Examined H.A.C." (C.S.A. censor marking), the Confederate examiner also wrote "Chg Box 589 HAC" on the front and the post office applied the 10c stamp, small piece out of flap and mucilage smears where sealed after censorship

VERY FINE. AN EXTRAORDINARY NORTH-TO-SOUTH FLAG-OF-TRUCE COVER, WHICH ENTERED THE C.S.A. MAILS AT PETERSBURG FRANKED WITH A GENERAL ISSUE STAMP.

Aiken's Landing Va. (near Petersburg) was the regular exchange point for flag-of-truce mail from May to September 1862, when U.S. authorities stopped prisoners' mail exchange. Because Petersburg was the entry post office for flag-of-truce mail for only a few months, covers carried on this route are rare. This civilian flag-of-truce cover with Major General Crittenden's AAG's instructions to expedite delivery was carried in July 1863. By this time Union prisons filled up again, and prisoners' mail increased in volume. However, the exchange point had been moved to City Point Va., near Richmond (the entry point for C.S.A. mail). This North-to-South flag-of-truce cover was handled through the U.S. Provost Marshal's office and entered the C.S.A. postal system at Petersburg. The use of a Confederate stamp on a North-to-South flag-of-truce cover is unusual. Such covers typically show a due marking for C.S.A. postage.

E. 4,000-5,000
2,100
Back to Top
110
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 110, Flag-of-Truce Mail: Petersburg-Old Point ComfortSalisbury Prison, N.C, Salisbury Prison, N.CSalisbury Prison, N.C. Flag-of-truce cover from Massachusetts to James H. Griggs at Salisbury Prison, U.S. and C.S.A. postage prepaid with 3c Rose (65), cancelled by grid with matching "Dedham Mass. May 20" (1862) circular datestamp and 5c Blue, Stone 2 (4), tied by blue "Petersburg Va. May 28" circular datestamp, docketing at left "Via Fortress Monroe Care of Gen. Wool", cover then turned and used with two 5c Blue, Stone 2 (4) (one with faults) and sent to Clarksville, Va., "Petersburg Va. Jul. 8" circular datestamp and "Missent" straightline, backflap missing and splits from showing cover opened (reinforced with hinges)

AN EXCEPTIONAL MIXED-FRANKING FLAG-OF-TRUCE COVER SENT VIA FORTRESS MONROE AND PETERSBURG, MADE EVEN MORE DESIRABLE BY THE TURNED USAGE.

When Federal troops occupied Norfolk on May 9, 1862, the C.S.A. flag-of-truce exchange point was moved up the James River to Aiken's Landing, Virginia, with the U.S. exchange point remaining across the Chesapeake Bay at Fortress Monroe. Aiken's Landing was used by the C.S.A. for only a short time, after which their exchange point was moved to City Point, Virginia. With the July 1862 implementation of the prisoner exchange cartel, prisoner populations were temporarily drastically reduced and flag-of-truce mail exchanges were virtually eliminated. Because of the very short period of time this route was in existence, mail via Petersburg is among the rarest of P.O.W. mail. These covers also represent the earliest possible mixed frankings with U.S. and Confederate stamps.

James H. Griggs was born in Dedham Mass. and served as a private in the Massachusetts 5th Infantry Regiment from May 1, 1861, to June 24, 1862, during which time he was captured and sent to Salisbury Prison. After exchange in late May 1862, he served with the 33rd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment from August 7, 1862, to March 19, 1863. Finally he is listed as a commissioned officer in Company I of the 37th Regiment of U.S. Colored Infantry starting in 1864.

Illustrated in Special Routes (p. 68). Ex Seybold. With 1998 A.P.S. certificate

E. 4,000-5,000
2,700
Back to Top
111
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 111, Flag-of-Truce Mail: Petersburg-Old Point ComfortSalisbury Prison, N.C, Salisbury Prison, N.CSalisbury Prison, N.C. Incoming cover addressed to "E.B. Gilley Salisbury N.C." and endorsed "Prisoner of War", manuscript "Ex" censor mark in pencil, 3c Rose (65), manuscript cancelled and tied by "Hill N.H. Jun. 25" (1862) circular datestamp, sent through Old Point Comfort Va., entered C.S.A. mails with "Petersburg Va. Jul. 15" circular datestamp, "10" C.S.A. postage due handstamp, some light soiling, Very Fine, scarce flag-of-truce cover through Petersburg which was open as an exchange point for only four months in 1862, see lot 52 for "Mails Suspended" cover from same correspondence, ex Birkinbine, with 1977 P.F. certificate

E. 1,000-1,500
700
Back to Top
112
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 112, Flag-of-Truce Mail: Petersburg-Old Point ComfortSalisbury Prison, N.C, Salisbury Prison, N.CSalisbury Prison, N.C. Incoming folded letter datelined July 4th 1862, addressed to "Capt. A. H. White. 5th N.Y. Cavalry/ Prisoner of War/ Confederate Military Prison Salisbury N.C.", 3c Rose (65) tied by two strikes of "PAID" handstamp, perfect strike of "Canajoharie N.Y. Jul. 7" circular datestamp, manuscript "Ex Jad?" censor mark in pencil, sent through Old Point Comfort Va., entered C.S.A. mails with "Petersburg Va. Jul. 15" circular datestamp, "10" C.S.A. postage due handstamp, Very Fine, scarce flag-of-truce cover through Petersburg which was open as an exchange point for only four months in 1862, A. H. White was a member of Company D of the 5th New York Cavalry and was captured at Front Royal in Virginia, illustrated in Special Routes (p. 240)

E. 1,000-1,500
4,750
Back to Top
113
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 113, Flag-of-Truce Mail: Petersburg-Old Point ComfortCamp Douglas, Ill, Camp Douglas, IllCamp Douglas, Ill. Flag-of-truce cover from R. A. Grier at Camp Douglas, addressed to C.S.A. Vice President Stephens at Richmond, docketed Apr. 30, 1862, U.S. postage paid with 3c Rose (65), tied by "Chicago Ill. Apr. 30" double-circle datestamp and target, manuscript "Examined R Adams Jr." and "Via Fort Monroe for Steamer bearing Flag of Truce" at bottom, blue "DUE" and "5" handstamps for C.S.A. postage, back of cover with blue "Petersburg Va. May 22" datestamp struck partly on backflap which is missing, some edgewear, Fine and rare routing through Fortress Monroe and Petersburg, R. A. Grier was a member of the 7th Texas Regiment and was captured at Fort Donelson Tenn. in February 1862

E. 500-750
600
Back to Top
114
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 114, Flag-of-Truce Mail: Petersburg-Old Point ComfortGovernor's Island (Castle Williams), N.Y, Governor's Island (Castle Williams), N.YGovernor's Island (Castle Williams), N.Y. Buff cover from prisoner to St. Lawrence N.C., endorsed "Prisoner of War Letter", pencil "Ex" examiner's mark, 3c Rose (65) with choice centering, tied by "New-York Jun. 23" (1862) double-circle datestamp, "Petersburg Va. Jul. 17" circular datestamp covers the examiner's mark, matching "10" due handstamp for C.S.A. postage, slight wear and minor edge faults, still Very Fine, a scarce cover sent by flag-of-truce via Petersburg during the brief period when prisoners and mail were exchanged at Aiken's Landing Va., the New York Harbor Governor's Island prisons -- Castle Williams for enlisted men and Fort Columbus for officers -- were first used in August 1861, southbound mail entered the U.S. mails at nearby New York City, and the C.S.A. mails at Norfolk or Petersburg, while six covers are known from the via Norfolk period, we are aware of only this cover from the via Petersburg period, it apparently did not reopen in mid-1863 since no mail has been identified from the via Richmond period, with 1979 C.S.A. certificate, illustrated in Special Routes (p. 68)

E. 1,000-1,500
1,700
Back to Top
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