Sale 988 — The Steven C. Walske Collection of Civil War Special Routes
Sale Date — Thursday, 27 May, 2010
Category — C.S.A. Post Office Mail to the U.S.
EXTREMELY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING COVER POSTMARKED ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES POSTAL SYSTEM AND ADDRESSED TO THE NORTH, BEARING BOTH CONFEDERATE AND UNITED STATES POSTAGE FOR THE FIRST TIME POSSIBLE.
This cover was mailed from Baton Rouge on June 1 and reached Memphis, Tennessee, on June 3, just three days before the U.S. suspended service at that post office. The 10c C.S.A. postage paid the over-500 miles rate, and the sender affixed the 3c 1857 stamp to pay U.S. postage once the letter crossed the border. This date -- June 1, 1861 -- is the earliest that postage of both sides could be used together in a mixed franking.
Illustrated in Special Routes (p. 13). Ex Everett and McCarren
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF THE LAST PIECES OF REGULAR MAIL TO CROSS THE BORDER FROM THE CONFEDERATE STATES INTO THE UNITED STATES.
This cover was mailed from Baton Rouge on June 5 and would normally have passed through Memphis, Tennessee. However, since the U.S. suspended service at that office on June 6, the letter was routed through Nashville and arrived at Louisville around June 10. It was sent north without penalty. The 10c C.S.A. postage paid the over-500 miles rate, and the sender affixed the 3c 1857 stamp to pay U.S. postage once the letter crossed the border.
Ex Everett and Gunter
VERY FINE. A RARE NORTHBOUND COVER THAT CROSSED THE BORDER BETWEEN THE CONFEDERATE STATES AND UNITED STATES AT NASHVILLE JUST PRIOR TO SUSPENSION OF THIS MAIL ROUTE, PREPAID WITH POSTAGE OF BOTH SIDES.
This cover was mailed from Savannah on June 5, passed through Nashville and arrived at Louisville around June 10. It was sent north without penalty, although once it reached Baltimore it was diverted to the Dead Letter Office. The 10c C.S.A. postage paid the over-500 miles rate.
A REMARKABLE POSTAL HISTORY ARTIFACT, BEING ONE OF THE LAST COVERS TO TRAVEL ACROSS THE LINES BY REGULAR MAIL FROM THE CONFEDERATE STATES TO THE UNITED STATES, SHOWING THE POSTAGE RATES OF BOTH GOVERNMENTS.
On June 12, 1861, the U.S. suspended service at the Nashville post office, which effectively closed down the last remaining northbound mail route from the Confederate States. The Nashville postmaster continued to forward northbound mail, but letters were stopped at Louisville starting on June 13. This letter reached Louisville around June 11 and was sent on to St. Louis; however, at that distributing point, it was diverted to the U.S. Dead Letter Office.
The letter enclosure was first dated May 28 at Monroe N.C. and written by the addressee's sister. It is an articulate and heartfelt commentary on wartime preparations: "Tailors were hired to cut & fit, while the ladies of Monroe made up a suit apiece for all of them beside the tents, towels, knapsacks &c. necessary for a camp equipage. The poor fellows left yesterday, & a fine looking set of young men can hardly be found. They were the flower of the county." etc. Shortly after, the addressee's brother picked up the pen, noting that his children had scribbled on the letter (a few lines of rebel sentiment) and adding another page of commentary.
In this one cover and letter we have the essential elements of disunion at the start of the Civil War: family members separated by conflict; two separate postal systems using the last thin thread of mail exchange; and the radical change in the cost of sending letters for correspondents in the South.
Illustrated in Special Routes (p. 14).