A REMARKABLE FRANKING PAYING THE 50-CENT "PREFERRED MAIL" RATE THAT WAS ANNOUNCED IN APRIL 1863 AND SUPERSEDED BY THE 40-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS MAIL RATE ONE MONTH LATER.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
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
Illustratedin Krieger book (No. E22). Ex Seacrest
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
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
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.
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
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
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)
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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