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

Sale Date — Thursday, 27 May, 2010

Category — Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
262
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 262, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express5c Blue, Local (7), 5c Blue, Local (7)5c Blue, Local (7). Contiguous "C" shaped strip of seven and horizontal strip of three, large margins to slightly in, small faults, tied by multiple strikes of brownish-black "Black Hawk Miss." dateless circle handstamp on front only to Miss Mary E. Compton in Chappel Hill, Washington County, Texas, backflaps have been masterfully added to restore this front to envelope form, pressed crease (affecting two stamps), repaired tear in cover (does not affect the stamps)

A REMARKABLE FRANKING PAYING THE 50-CENT "PREFERRED MAIL" RATE THAT WAS ANNOUNCED IN APRIL 1863 AND SUPERSEDED BY THE 40-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS MAIL RATE ONE MONTH LATER.

Black Hawk, Mississippi, lies about 90 miles north of Brandon, where mail was accumulated for westbound express runs across the Mississippi River. Very few examples of Confederate mail postmarked at Black Hawk are known (this and a larger dateless circle are recorded). Based on the use of the 5c Local (Richmond) print, it seems likely that this was used in early 1863, prior to the October 1863 "Express" period (for which the 40c rate was intended). Only five "Preferred Mail" covers are recorded, and this, although undated, is considered to be the earliest.

Illustrated in Krieger book (No. E50) and Special Routes (p. 103). Ex Everett and Birkinbine

E. 5,000-7,500
3,500
263
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 263, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express10c Blue, Die A (11), 10c Blue, Die A (11)10c Blue, Die A (11). Horizontal pair and strip of three, large margins, tied by two strikes of "Marion Va. May 21" (1864) circular datestamp on cover addressed to "W. W. Heartsill C.S.A., Care Bradfield & Tully, Marshall Tex." with sender's routing "C.S. via Meridian Miss", skillfully treated by a paper conservator to remove stains and improve appearance

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN OUTSTANDING EAST-TO-WEST TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS COVER PAID AT THE 50-CENT "PREFERRED MAIL" RATE.

By May 1864, when this cover was mailed at Marion, Virginia, the Trans-Mississippi Express had been operating for seven months. Early advertisements announcing the 50c "Preferred Mail" rate were apparently still in circulation, as evidenced by the few recorded covers showing 50c prepayment.

The addressee, William Williston Heartsill, was one of the first Confederate soldiers to enlist, joining W. P. Lane's Texas Rangers. In 1862 his Texas unit moved into Arkansas as a cavalry unit and were soon overwhelmed by a Union force. Heartsill was taken prisoner and transported to a Federal prison camp. In April 1863, he and other members of Lane's Rangers were exchanged for Federal prisoners. The men joined Gen. Braxton Bragg's army in Tennessee and fought in the bloody battle of Chickamauga. Under Bragg the Texas men were split amongst various units and dismounted, presenting intolerable conditions for them, and resulting in the men disappearing from their units and walking from Tennessee back to Texas. Once reunited there, the unit was placed in charge of Camp Ford, a prison for Federal troops, at Tyler, Texas (the cover offered here was sent to Heartsill while he was at Camp Ford). In July 1864 the unit joined General E. Kirby Smith in Louisiana and spent the remainder of the war there and in Arkansas. The unit was disbanded on May 20, 1865. After the war, Heartsill sold groceries and saddles in Marshall, Texas. Heartsill published his Civil War diary Fourteen Hundred and 91 Days in the Confederate Army, which can be viewed on the Library of Congress website at http://lccn.loc.gov/a14002842

Illustrated

in Krieger book (No. E22). Ex Seacrest

E. 7,500-10,000
6,000
Back to Top
264
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 264, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express20c Green, Horizontal Half Used as 10c (13d), 20c Green, Horizontal Half Used as 10c (13d)20c Green, Horizontal Half Used as 10c (13d). Bottom half used with full 20c Green (13) and 10c Blue, Die A (11), each with clear to full margins, 10c small corner crease, the 20c bisect and single are tied together by "Alexandria La. Oct. 17" (1864) circular datestamp, rim of datestamp used to lightly cancel 10c stamp on buff cover to Mrs. C. M. Dent at Livingston Ala., entered the mails at Alexandria, then carried east across the Mississippi River and on to Alabama, backflap removed

VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED FULL COVER WITH A 20-CENT BISECT USED TO PAY PART OF THE 40-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS RATE. ONE OF THE GREATEST GENERAL ISSUE COVERS EXTANT.

A letter written by August Dietz (quoted previously but no longer with the cover) presents a scenario that this cover was brought to the post office with the 10c stamp affixed by the sender in the upper right corner. When the decision was made to use the more reliable Trans-Mississippi Express service, the additional postage was applied by the postal clerk, using a 20c stamp and half of another to make up the 40c rate. The C.S.A. Post Office Department had difficulty keeping offices west of the Mississippi supplied with stamps, which explains the disproportionately greater use of 20c bisects in that region. Another cover (front) from this correspondence, bearing a strip of 10c postmarked at Alexandria on February 10, 1865, is listed in Krieger census (No. W18).

Illustrated in Krieger book (No. W15) and Special Routes (p. 109). Ex Myerson. With 1973 and 2006 P.F. certificates

E. 15,000-20,000
13,500
Back to Top
265
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 265, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express10c Blue, Die B (12), 10c Blue, Die B (12)10c Blue, Die B (12). Horizontal strip of four, large margins, beautiful deep shade, neatly cancelled by tiny X's on each stamp and manuscript "Parkersville Texas/9th March 1865" postmark on blue and white wallpaper cover to Mrs. Thomas C. Robertson at Jackson Miss., sender's routing "Express Mail via Shreveport", side flap folded over for display

EXTREMELY FINE. A VISUALLY STRIKING WALLPAPER ADVERSITY ENVELOPE AND ONE OF THE LATEST RECORDED WEST-TO-EAST TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS COVERS -- ITS SIGNIFICANCE IS MATCHED BY ITS IMPECCABLE CONDITION.

The latest recorded Trans-Mississippi Express cover is a westbound use from Mobile, Alabama, with the undated double-circle handstamp that was used during the Siege of Mobile, March 27 to April 12, 1865. The cover offered here was postmarked at Parkersville, Texas, on March 9, 1865, and carried by express across the Mississippi River, then to Jackson. It is the second latest eastbound use.

Illustrated in Krieger book (No. W20) and Special Routes (p. 108). With 1980 P.F. certificate

E. 7,500-10,000
8,000
Back to Top
266
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 266, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express"Via Confederate Goverment Mail, Shrevesport, La, "Via Confederate Goverment Mail, Shrevesport, La"Via Confederate Goverment Mail, Shrevesport, La." Manuscript route designation and "paid 40 cts" rate on blue folded cover addressed in another hand to "Doug. J. Carter, 19th La. Regt., Gibson's Brigade, Stewarts Division" with "Richmond Va." added as a fifth line in the same hand as Trans-Mississippi routing and rate, crossed out and, in a third hand, redirected to "Army of Tenn.", which routed the cover to Jonesborough Ga., reinforced with document repair tape along top and bottom folds (slight staining)

VERY FINE AND THE ONLY RECORDED COVER WITH THIS "CONFEDERATE GOVERNMENT MAIL" ROUTE DESIGNATION.

Douglas John Carter was enlisted with the 3rd Regiment Texas Cavalry in 1861 and transferred to the 19th Louisiana Infantry in June 1862. Carter served as its Chief Musician until the unit's surrender in May 1865. Carter's residence was in DeSoto Parish La., and this cover probably originated there in August 1864. Historical background is provided in "An Unusual Trans-Mississippi Express Mail Cover" by Brian and Patricia Green, Confederate Philatelist, May-June 1973.

Illustrated in Krieger book (No. W40) and Special Routes (p. 105). Signed Brian Green. Ex Murphy.

E. 3,000-4,000
0
Back to Top
267
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 267, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express5c Blue, Local (7), 5c Blue, Local (7)5c Blue, Local (7). Block of four, ample margins to slightly in, pre-use creases, slight stains and small faults, manuscript cancels, paying 20c of 40c Trans-Mississippi Express rate with manuscript "Due 20" on eastbound cover to "Col. W. B. Whitehead, Mossingford, Charlotte County, By the way of Shrievesport, Va.", slightly toned

FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTRAORDINARILY RARE FRANKING FOR 40-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS RATE, COMBINING A BLOCK OF THE 5-CENT RICHMOND PRINT WITH A 'DUE 20" MARKING.

The use of the 5c Local (Richmond) print from west of the Mississippi points to an 1863 use.

Unlisted in Krieger. Ex MacBride

E. 1,500-2,000
1,000
Back to Top
268
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 268, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express5c Blue, Local (7), 5c Blue, Local (7)5c Blue, Local (7). Eight stamps comprising strip of three, two pairs and single, margins to slightly in, rich color, uncancelled and affixed to back of cover with comprehensive address for Trans-Mississippi transit: "Capt. J. A. Formwalt, Comds. Co. In 6th, 10th, and 15th Texas Regiments, Smith's Brigade, Cleburn's Division, Hardee's Corps, Johnson's Army" and routing "Via Shreveport La.", confirmation of 40c prepayment "Postage on opposite side", opened for display, minor wear

VERY FINE. A MOST UNUSUAL COVER FROM THE FORMWALT CORRESPONDENCE. FRANKED FOR THE GOVERNMENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS BUT CARRIED BY ANDERSON'S PRIVATE EXPRESS.

The letter from Mrs. Formwalt that was contained in this cover (which no longer accompanies) is datelined at Lonely Cottage, Texas, on March 31, 1864, and states that she is sending this letter and $1.00 to Mr. Anderson, who is waiting at Fairfield, Texas, for letters to take east.

At the start of the Civil War, Maj. Formwalt enlisted as a private in Capt. William Shannon's company and was soon promoted to captain in command of his own company in Col. Nelson's 10th Regiment Texas Infantry. Maj. Formwalt was captured on January 11, 1862, at Arkansas Post, and imprisoned at Columbus, Ohio, for five months. After he was exchanged he joined the Army of the Tennessee. At the battle of Franklin, Tennessee, in November 1864, Formwalt, as a senior captain, was wounded while leading his regiment in the charge. Shortly after he was promoted to the rank of major.

Illustrated in Krieger book (No. W7) and shown on the back cover of that publication. Accompanying 1974 C.S.A. certificate notes "Probably carried privately rather than by C.S.A. postal system". Ex Corwin

E. 1,500-2,000
1,000
Back to Top
269
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 269, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express20c Green (13), 20c Green (13)20c Green (13). Horizontal pair, large margins all around, tied by "Jackson Creek Feby 1" (South Carolina) pencil manuscript postmark on homemade buff cover to Dr. James S. Milling, Collinsburgh La., from his wife Mary near Camden, peculiar notations at left appear to be in the same hand as address, some minor cleaning and skillful cosmetic edge improvements along bottom edge and top right corner of cover (not affecting stamps)

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. A REMARKABLY CHOICE PAIR OF THE 20-CENT GENERAL ISSUE PAYING THE 40-CENT GOVERNMENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS RATE ON A WESTBOUND COVER FROM THE MILLING CORRESPONDENCE.

James S. Milling was a physician and planter in Fairfield District S.C. In 1859, Milling moved his slaves to a plantation in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, where he spent the Civil War years while his wife (also his cousin), Mary W. Milling, and their children remained with her family near Camden S.C. The Milling letters are available at the Library of the University of North Carolina, and some can be found on the internet at www.docsouth.unc.edu.

Other Trans-Mississippi Express covers from the Milling correspondence are listed in the Krieger census as Nos. E18, E19 and E36. This is illustrated as No. E60, and the Krieger entry mentioned an eight-page letter enclosure that is no longer with this cover.

Ex Birkinbine. With 1982 P.F. certificate (showing cover before it was cleaned and treated)

E. 7,500-10,000
5,250
Back to Top
270
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 270, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express20c Green (13), 20c Green (13)20c Green (13). Horizontal pair, large margins all around, tied by "Marietta Ga. Jun. 6" (1864) circular datestamp on buff cover to Mrs. D. R. Rakestraw, Fairfield Tex., endorsed at left "G. A. Rakestraw, Co. G, 7 Reg. Texas Vol., Granburys Brig., Cleburnes Division, Army of Tenn." and light pencil "Via Meridian" routing, turned use with other side addressed to G. A. Rakestraw and endorsed by another soldier, pencil note about "Yanks" losing a battle, restored extensively but skillfully (some paper added to flap and edges reseamed)

FINE APPEARANCE. A DESIRABLE EAST-TO-WEST TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS COVER WITH FIVE-LINE SOLDIER'S ENDORSEMENT, A PAIR OF THE 20-CENT GENERAL ISSUE AND "TURNED" FOR RE-USE.

No more than twenty covers with a pair of the 20c Green paying the 40c Trans-Mississippi Express rate are known (see The Trans-Mississippi Mails After the Fall of Vicksburg, Richard Krieger).

Ex Hill

E. 4,000-5,000
3,500
Back to Top
271
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 271, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express20c Green (13), 20c Green (13)20c Green (13). Horizontal pair, slightly irregular but mostly large margins all around, tiny tear at lower left, tied by "Richmond Va. Nov. 15" (1864) circular datestamp on homemade cover to "1st Engineer B. S. Herring, Confederate States Navy, Shreveport, Louisiana", carried by express to Shreveport, then forwarded to Herring at Mobile (he served on the C.S.S. gunboat Morgan), receipt docketing "Received at Mobile, March 13th 1865", backflap removed, lightened stains and some modest cosmetic edge improvements

FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE EAST-TO-WEST TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS COVER, BEARING A PAIR OF THE 20-CENT GENERAL ISSUE AND CARRIED BACK EAST TO REACH A NAVAL ENGINEER AT MOBILE, ALABAMA.

The addressee, Benjamin Simms Herring, served as the second Engineer on the C.S.S. Virginia, better known as Confederate iron-clad Merrimac during the battle with the U.S.S. Monitor at Hampton Roads on March 8-9, 1862. Following the Union naval victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864, the port of Mobile was closed to Confederate blockade-runners. On March 24, 1865, Maj. Gen. Dabney Herdon Maury and the remnants of his army evacuated Mobile, and the city surrendered on April 12. This cover reached Mobile just before Confederate forces evacuated. Herring served on board the C.S.S. gunboat Morgan.

Illustrated in Krieger book (No. E37). Accompanied by an adversity cover to Herring at Mobile with 10c Blue, Die A (11) tied by indistinct datestamp.

E. 3,000-4,000
1,600
Back to Top
272
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 272, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express10c Greenish Blue, Die B (12c), 10c Greenish Blue, Die B (12c)10c Greenish Blue, Die B (12c). Horizontal strip of four, large margins to touched at right, tied by "Richmond Va. Nov. 11, 1863" circular datestamp on cover to Mrs. A. M. Falconer, Morganza La., in care of Major Phillips, the Chief of the C.S.A. Subsistence Department at Alexandria, La., sender's routing "Via Brandon Miss." and "Please forward", very slight waterstains

VERY FINE. ONE OF THE FINEST TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS COVERS EXTANT. AN EARLY USE OF THE GOVERNMENT EXPRESS, WHICH COMMENCED IN OCTOBER 1863.

Illustrated in Shenfield book (p. 86) and Krieger book (No. E7). Signed Ashbrook. Ex Emerson, Brooks, Weatherly and Corwin.

E. 5,000-7,500
12,000
Back to Top
273
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 273, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express10c Blue, Die A (11), 10c Blue, Die A (11)10c Blue, Die A (11). Horizontal strip of four, mostly large margins except at bottom left where touching, tied by four clear strikes of Army of Northern Virginia 10-Bar Unframed Grid cancel on yellow cover to Miss Eliza Davis in Sumpter Tex., minor edgewear and light soiling

VERY FINE. ONE OF FIVE RECORDED TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS COVERS WITH ARMY FIELD OFFICE MARKINGS AND THE ONLY ONE OF THESE ORIGINATING WITH THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

Listed in Krieger as No. E53. Four of the five covers recorded by Krieger with army field cancellations come from the Army of Tennessee. Only this cover has the grids used by the Army of Northern Virginia in the field. Three other covers have targets or grids of uncertain origin.

Ex Haas. With 1983 P.F. certificate

E. 5,000-7,500
3,000
Back to Top
274
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 274, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express10c Greenish Blue, Die A (11c), 10c Greenish Blue, Die A (11c)10c Greenish Blue, Die A (11c). Vertical strip of three and single, huge margins all around, tied by light strikes of "Chattanooga Ten. Nov. 2" (1863) "roving" army field post circular datestamp on westbound Trans-Mississippi Express cover to John B. Brown in Cibolo Selma Tex., endorsed "Via Meridian Miss.", single stamp with faults, barely reduced at left, expertly repaired at bottom

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A WONDERFUL WESTBOUND TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS COVER TO TEXAS FROM THE ARMY OF TENNESSEE AFTER EVACUATING CHATTANOOGA.

The "roving" Chattanooga datestamp was taken from the city post office after evacuation and used as an army field office marking from September 1863 to January 1864. It is extremely rare on a Trans-Mississippi Express cover.

Illustrated in Krieger book (No. W-2). Ex Boshwit. With 1984 P.F. certificate.

E. 4,000-5,000
0
Back to Top
275
c
Sale Number 988, Lot Number 275, Trans-Mississippi Routes: Government Express10c Blue, Die A (11), 10c Blue, Die A (11)10c Blue, Die A (11). Three huge margins, full at right, tied by "Richmond Va. Jul. 3" (1864) circular datestamp on homemade cover to "Capt. J. L. Kirby, Trans Miss Dept, Care Genl. J. B. Magruder, Shreveport La., Via Brandon Miss.", manuscript "Due 30" making up 40c Trans-Mississippi Express rate

EXTREMELY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS COVER WITH "DUE 30" AND PART PREPAYMENT BY STAMP FOR 40-CENT RATE.

This cover is not listed in the Krieger book on Trans-Mississippi Express Mail, but a few covers to Capt. J. L. Kirby are recorded by Krieger, most of which are completely unpaid and were presumably carried by courier.

Illustrated in Special Routes (p. 107). Signed Brian Green. Ex Alex Hall

E. 3,000-4,000
2,800
Back to Top
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