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

Sale Date — Thursday, 27 May, 2010

Category — Louisiana Relief Committee Mail

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
291
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 291, Louisiana Relief Committee Mail10c Greenish Blue, Die B (12c), 10c Greenish Blue, Die B (12c)10c Greenish Blue, Die B (12c). Two large margins, cut in at bottom and touched at left, tied by "Shreveport La. Oct. (date?) 1863" circular datestamp on yellow cover carried by Louisiana Relief Committee from a Confederate prisoner in New Orleans, then by C.S.A. Trans-Mississippi mail to Camden, Arkansas, west of the Mississippi, sender's endorsement "From Lieut. Col. Lee, 15th Ark. Regt., Prisoner of War, 21 Rampart St. N.O. La." and addressed to his wife, Mrs. Paul Lynch Lee, at Camden, back of cover with manuscript "Forwarded by the Louisiana Committee at Mobile" and manuscript "Appd. J C Denis PMG" censor marking applied by Mobile Provost Marshal Jules C. Denis, slightly reduced and tiny edge tear at right

VERY FINE. AN IMPORTANT POSTAL ARTIFACT OF THE CIVIL WAR, BEING THE ONLY RECORDED COVER CARRIED BY THE LOUISIANA RELIEF COMMITTEE OUT OF NEW ORLEANS AND THEN TO A DESTINATION WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.

This remarkable cover combines three extraordinary aspects of postal communication during the Civil War. To start, it is an extremely rare example of mail clearly identifiable as originating from a Confederate prisoner held at 21 Rampart Street prison in New Orleans. Second, it was carried from New Orleans to Mobile on a Louisiana Relief Committee trip. Third, it was carried west across the Mississippi River, which was controlled by Federal naval forces, and entered the C.S.A. postal system at Shreveport, Louisiana.

The sender, C.S.A. Lt. Col. Paul Lynch Lee, was a member of the 15th Arkansas Regiment. He enlisted on Oct. 22, 1861, at his home town of Camden, Arkansas and was promoted to Colonel one year later. Col. Lee was captured on Feb. 6, 1862, at Fort Henry, Tennessee, and sent to the U.S. military prison at Alton, Illinois, then to Columbus, Ohio, on Feb. 28, 1862. He was transferred to Fort Warren, Massachusetts, on April 8, 1862, then to Fortress Monroe, Virginia, on July 31, 1862, where he was exchanged. The Port Hudson Hospital Ledger dated May 27,1863, lists Col. Lee with a wound in his leg. While hospitalized, Col. Lee struck a private with his crutches and was charged with conduct unbecoming an officer. We do not know the outcome of the incident, but Col. Lee returned to battle and was captured on July 9, 1863, at Port Hudson, Louisiana. He and 403 other C.S.A. officers were sent to New Orleans. Col. Lee was imprisoned at the Customs House in New Orleans from July 16 to Sep. 16, 1863. On Sep. 17 he was moved to 21 Rampart Street, where he stayed until early October. Col. Lee was transferred to Fort Columbus in New York Harbor, then to Johnson's Island, Point Lookout and Fort Delaware. He was released on June 13, 1865.

The Louisiana Relief Committee was formed on May 31, 1863, by a group of expatriate New Orleans citizens in Mobile, Alabama, to alleviate the suffering of poor citizens who remained in U.S.-occupied New Orleans. With the tacit concurrence of Federal authorities in New Orleans, they arranged shipments of food and clothing to New Orleans and helped citizens leave New Orleans for the Confederate States. These "Louisiana Relief Committee at Mobile" trips between Mobile and New Orleans via Pascagoula ran along the Mississippi Sound and carried letters which were not sanctioned by the U.S. authorities. Jules C. Denis, C.S.A. provost marshal at Mobile, examined the southbound letters. The U.S. also used these trips to transmit flag-of-truce mail to and from prisoners in New Orleans.

Once this cover reached Mobile, it was stamped and bundled with letters bound for points west of the Mississippi, then sent to the eastern terminus of the government trans-Mississippi mails at Meridien, Mississippi. Once the courier carried the mail across the river, the letters were unbundled and postmarked at the western terminus at Shreveport, Louisiana, and from there this cover traveled by rail to Camden, Arkansas.

Illustrated in Special Routes (p. 79). Ex Kohlhepp (see his article on this cover in Confederate Philatelist, Sep.-Oct. 1980, No. 197) and Birkinbine. With 1976 P.F. certificate

E. 7,500-10,000
4,250
292
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 292, Louisiana Relief Committee Mail10c Greenish Blue, Frameline (10b), 10c Greenish Blue, Frameline (10b)10c Greenish Blue, Frameline (10b). Half of top frameline and tiny bit of left frameline showing, tied by bold "Mobile Ala. Jul. 30, 1863" double-circle datestamp on brown cover carried by Louisiana Relief Committee from a Confederate prisoner in New Orleans to Prattville Ala., sender's endorsement "Per Flag of Truce", endorsed in another hand "from Prisoner of War" (Lieut. M. E. Pratt, Co. K, 1st Ala. Regt.), manuscript "ex X" examiner's mark on front, additional censor markings on back "Examined and approved by Segt John Kane" (censor for Union prison located in a private residence at 21 Rampart St. in New Orleans) and "Forwarded by Louisiana Committee at Mobile", final "J.C.D. PM" examiner's mark applied by Jules C. Denis, Provost Marshal at Mobile

A VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE USE OF THE 10-CENT FRAMELINE ON A LOUISIANA RELIEF COMMITTEE COVER SENT BY A PRISONER HELD AT 21 RAMPART STREET PRISON IN NEW ORLEANS.

The Louisiana Relief Committee was formed on May 31, 1863, by a group of expatriate New Orleans citizens in Mobile, Alabama, to alleviate the suffering of poor citizens who remained in U.S.-occupied New Orleans. With the tacit concurrence of Federal authorities in New Orleans, they arranged shipments of food and clothing to New Orleans and helped citizens leave New Orleans for the Confederate States. These "Louisiana Relief Committee at Mobile" trips between Mobile and New Orleans via Pascagoula ran along the Mississippi Sound and carried letters which were not sanctioned by the U.S. authorities. Jules C. Denis, C.S.A. provost marshal at Mobile, examined the southbound letters. The U.S. also used these trips to transmit flag-of-truce mail to and from prisoners in New Orleans.

A death notice found at http://www.africanaheritage.com gives some biographical information about the prisoner who sent this letter, Lieut. Merrill E. Pratt: "November 29, 1889: We never had a sadder duty to perform than to chronicle the death of our beloved townsman and foremost citizen, Hon. Merrill E. Pratt, which sad event occurred at his residence in Prattville last Saturday morning... He was confined to his (bed) not more than a week with pneumonia... Mr. Pratt was born in Temple, New Hampshire, February 23rd, 1828, and came to Alabama when 12 years of age, casting his lot in this lovely village, which his famous uncle, the lamented Daniel Pratt, had founded a few years before. He served as First Lieutenant of Company K, First Alabama Regiment, in the late war. He was captured at Port Hudson and languished many months in Johnson Island prison... He was unanimously elected two years ago to the general assembly where he made a faithful representative of the state and county... the deceased leaves behind a most estimable wife, two sons, and three daughters." Lieutenant Pratt was captured at Port Hudson on July 7, 1863, and sent to Rampart Street prison before being transferred to Johnson Island.

Illustrated in Shenfield (p. 96) with a U.S. 3c 1861 uncancelled but tied by three cuts (stamp is now missing, but the cuts remain).

E. 4,000-5,000
3,500
Back to Top
293
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 293, Louisiana Relief Committee Mail5c Blue, Stone 2 (4), 5c Blue, Stone 2 (4)5c Blue, Stone 2 (4). Horizontal pair with right sheet margin, other sides mostly full, tied by "Mobile Ala. Nov. 10, 1863" double-circle datestamp on Louisiana Relief Committee cover smuggled out of New Orleans to Mobile, sent by mail to Richmond Va., the back has a bold manuscript "Forwarded by the Louisiana Committee at Mobile" endorsement and faint manuscript "Appd JC Denis PM" censor marking applied by Mobile Provost Marshal Jules C. Denis, opening tears in flaps and across lower right corner, small nick at left

VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE USE OF THE 5-CENT BLUE LITHOGRAPH ON A COVER COVERTLY CARRIED ACROSS THE LINES FROM NEW ORLEANS TO MOBILE BY THE LOUISIANA RELIEF COMMITTEE.

On May 31, 1863, a group of expatriate New Orleans citizens in Mobile, Alabama, organized a committee to alleviate the suffering of poor citizens who remained in U.S.-occupied New Orleans. With the tacit concurrence of Federal authorities in New Orleans, they arranged shipments of food and clothing to New Orleans and helped citizens leave New Orleans for the Confederate States. These "Louisiana Relief Committee at Mobile" trips between Mobile and New Orleans via Pascagoula ran along the Mississippi Sound and carried letters which were not sanctioned by the U.S. authorities. Jules C. Denis, C.S.A. provost marshal at Mobile, examined the southbound letters. The U.S. also used these trips to transmit flag-of-truce mail to and from prisoners in New Orleans.

Illustrated in Special Routes (p. 170). With 1976 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
2,000
Back to Top
294
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 294, Louisiana Relief Committee Mail5c Blue, Local (7), 5c Blue, Local (7)5c Blue, Local (7). Vertical pair, large margins to slightly in and nicked in two places, tied by two strikes of "Mobile Ala. Aug. 30" (1863) double-circle datestamp on small mourning envelope to Selma Ala., back is endorsed with manuscript "Forwarded by the Louisiana Committee at Mobile" and pencil "Appd JCD PM" censor marking applied by Mobile Provost Marshal Jules C. Denis, receipt docketing "Rec'd 2nd Sept & answered", cover has been skillfully restored with right edge added, Very Fine appearance, a rare example of mail covertly carried out of New Orleans by the Louisiana Relief Committee, Confederate mourning envelopes are generally scarce and extremely rare when used in conjunction with the Louisiana Relief Committee, illustrated in Special Routes (p. 179), ex Birkinbine, with 1983 P.F. certificate

E. 1,500-2,000
2,200
Back to Top
295
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 295, Louisiana Relief Committee Mail2c Brown Red (8), 2c Brown Red (8)2c Brown Red (8). Large margins to clear at top and bottom, tied by bold "Mobile Ala. Oct. 28" (1863) double-circle datestamp on yellow cover carried by the Louisiana Relief Committee from New Orleans to Mobile, addressed to Mrs. D. Harris in care of Adams & Harris, manuscript "(La. Com.)" applied by agent for Louisiana Relief Committee, pencil "Appd JCDenis PMG" censor marking applied by Mobile Provost Marshal Jules C. Denis

EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE LOUISIANA RELIEF COMMITTEE COVER WITH THE 2-CENT RED JACK PAYING DROP-LETTER POSTAGE.

The Louisiana Relief Committee was formed on May 31, 1863, by a group of expatriate New Orleans citizens in Mobile, Alabama, to alleviate the suffering of poor citizens who remained in U.S.-occupied New Orleans. With the tacit concurrence of Federal authorities in New Orleans, they arranged shipments of food and clothing to New Orleans and helped citizens leave New Orleans for the Confederate States. These "Louisiana Relief Committee at Mobile" trips between Mobile and New Orleans via Pascagoula ran along the Mississippi Sound and carried letters which were not sanctioned by the U.S. authorities. Jules C. Denis, C.S.A. provost marshal at Mobile, examined the southbound letters. The U.S. also used these trips to transmit flag-of-truce mail to and from prisoners in New Orleans.

Illustrated in Special Routes (p. 171). Ex Myerson

E. 2,000-3,000
6,000
Back to Top
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