VERY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING EXAMPLE OF GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE'S SIGNATURE IN COMBINATION WITH A CONFEDERATE GENERAL ISSUE STAMP. MAILED DURING THE SIEGE OF PETERSBURG (JUNE 1864 TO MARCH 1865). A MARVELOUS COMBINATION OF HISTORY AND PHILATELY.
General Robert E. Lee's letters sent from the field were enclosed in envelopes signed "R. E. Lee Genl". The letters and other important papers were carried by military courier. Some of these letters were mailed at the post office with postage prepaid; locally-addressed mail was usually delivered by hand, although a few examples were given to the post office.
The Petersburg postmark on this cover is dated December 25. The letter that originally accompanied this cover is datelined "Hd Qrs Near Petersburg 23 Dec '64" and briefly declines an invitation to attend a concert at the college. This is No. 14 in the list of 15 privately-held covers with Robert E. Lee's signature and Confederate postal markings, compiled by Capt. James L. D. Monroe (http://www.jlkstamps.com/csa/archives/lee.htm).
VERY FINE. A SPECTACULAR AND RARE AUTOGRAPHED LETTER FROM THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA COMMANDER ROBERT E. LEE, WITH FASCINATING REFERENCES TO THE WAR.
At the time this letter was written, Lee was serving as president of Washington College, which was later renamed Washington and Lee University. Shortly after the war ended he began to attempt to gather sources that would allow him to write his memoirs. After 1866 he largely put the project aside and never did advance it very far before he died in 1870. This letter, written to the former chief of staff of Lee's most senior subordinate in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1st Corps Commander Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, is an example of Lee's efforts to obtain records that would assist in this effort.
According to a website dedicated to Gen. Longstreet, "Osmun Latrobe began the war as an officer on the staff of D.R. Jones where he provided valuable service. In the Army of Northern Virginia's reorganization after the battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam), Longstreet requested Latrobe to join his expanded staff and assigned him with the duty of assistant-adjutant and inspector general. Due to Longstreet's faith in his abilities, Latrobe's duties continued to expand as the war progressed. Wounded in the hand at the Battle of the Wilderness, Latrobe would recover and accompany Longstreet's ambulance as it took the General off the field. La Trobe then continued to serve as part of the inner core of Longstreet's staff during the final months of the war, succeeding Moxley Sorrel as chief of staff." (http://www.longstreetchronicles.org/graphic60.htm)
With 1980 Charles Hamilton certificate
VERY FINE. A DESIRABLE AND RARE CIVIL WAR LETTER SIGNED BY THOMAS J. "STONEWALL" JACKSON, WITH THE ORIGINAL COVER WRITTEN IN JACKSON'S HAND.
In the Official Records of the Civil War, there is a letter from Jackson written from Winchester, to Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, dated the day before this letter with fascinating content related to military operations near Winchester and Manassas just prior to the start of Jackson's famous Valley Campaign. It discusses fortifications and Lt. Boswell specifically, including "General, First Lieutenant James K. Boswell, of the Provisional Engineers, is directed to report to me for duty. I have plenty of work for him, but if you desire additional fortifications constructed for the defense of Winchester, please state what shall be their character, and I will put him at work immediately after his arrival. The subject of fortifying is of such importance as to induce me to consult you before moving in the matter... I have reason to believe that the enemy design advancing on this place in large force."
Lt. Boswell was with Jackson on May 2, 1863, at the Battle of Chancellorsville, when both were accidentally shot by their own troops. Boswell died instantly, to be followed by Jackson eight days later.
According to the Virginia Military Institute archives, Lawson Botts was a Confederate officer who served with the 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment. Prior to the Civil War he was a lawyer and served as one of the lawyers assigned to defend the abolitionist John Brown. In 1859 Botts became captain of a volunteer company known as the "Botts Grays." When the Civil War began, this unit entered the service of Virginia as Company G, 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment, one of the units that comprised the famous Stonewall Brigade, under Jackson. Botts was mortally wounded in action at 2nd Manassas on Aug. 28, 1862 and died two weeks later, seven months after receiving this letter from Jackson. (http://www.vmi.edu/archives.aspx?id=6507).
Accompanied by an 1863 photograph of Jackson, taken days before his death near Chancellorsville. With 1980 Charles Hamilton certificate
A FINE AND RARE EXAMPLE OF THE "SOUTHERN LETTER UNPAID" HANDSTAMP.
Postmaster General Blair's May 27 suspension order prohibited post offices from forwarding southbound mails to disloyal Southern states. However, northbound mail continued to be sent via Louisville. With the resignation of W. D. McNish as Nashville's Federal postmaster on June 12, "Louisville held the mails still being sent north by the discontinued post office at Nashville. This held mail later became the well-known 'Southern Letter Unpaid' mail" (Walske). On June 24, Dr. J. J. Speed, the postmaster at Louisville, was advised to forward letters from the South to the loyal states after removing postage. With approximately 5,000 such letters accumulating at Louisville by this date, Postmaster Speed employed a more practical means of invalidating postage by creating the "Southern Letter Unpaid" handstamp.
Immediately after receiving instructions from Washington to forward the held mail, the Louisville post office began marking letters. Some of these have circular datestamps (June 27, 28 and 29 being the most common dates), while others have no Louisville datestamp.
Special Routes Census No. SLU-21. With 1988 P.F. certificate.
FRESH AND VERY FINE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE NASHVILLE CIRCULAR "PAID 5" PROVISIONAL HANDSTAMP ON AN ACROSS-THE-LINES EXPRESS COVER. THIS COVER BEARS THE RARER NASHVILLE OFFICE MARKING.
Of the 31 recorded North-to-South covers carried by American Letter Express Co., only three have the "Nashville T. Paid 5" provisional handstamp. Those put into the mails at Nashville usually have the "Paid" straightline in combination with "5" or "10" rate handstamps. It is also an extremely rare example of the American Letter Express Co. Nashville office datestamp.
Special Routes Census No. S-AX-6. Ex MacBride
VERY FINE. CONSIDERED TO BE ONE OF THE FINEST OF THE FEW KNOWN DANVILLE PROVISIONAL ENTIRES.
Fewer than 20 examples are recorded, of which a number are late invalid uses with General Issue stamps.
Ex MacBride, Wiseman and Kilbourne
VERY FINE STAMP AND ATTRACTIVE COVER. PERHAPS SIX OR SEVEN FOUR-MARGIN EXAMPLES OF THE LYNCHBURG PROVISIONAL EXIST ON COVER.
Of the 20 single Lynchburg provisional stamps known on cover, only six or seven have four full margins, while the majority is cut into on one side.
VERY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING CIRCULAR-RATE USE OF THE RARE NEW ORLEANS 2-CENT RED PROVISIONAL. ONLY TEN COVERS RECORDED IN OUR CENSUS.
The New Orleans postmaster, J. L. Riddell, prepared provisional stamps in June 1861 and advertised them for sale on June 12th. The 2c Red stamps were printed without the marginal inscription "Usable exclusively in the New Orleans Post Office". The 5c and subsequent 2c Blue printings all have the imprint. It is the accepted theory that the 2c Red stamps were printed first, before Riddell added the imprint, and were withheld from use until January 1862 when the supply of 2c Blue stamps was exhausted. The Crown book lists six 2c Red covers, while Dr. Hubert C. Skinner (The Congress Book, 1978) recorded eight covers. We record ten.
VERY FINE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED COVERS WITH THE 10-CENT LITHOGRAPH UNOFFICIAL BATON ROUGE PERFORATION -- ALSO A VERY EARLY DATE FOR A BATON ROUGE ROULETTED STAMP. A MAJOR RARITY OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES.
The 10c Lithograph is rare with private perforations. There are three known on cover with Baton Rouge roulettes and five with other private perforations. This cover reached Captain Henry M. Favrot just before the "Delta Rifles" participated in the bloody Battle of Shiloh on April 6-7, 1862.
EXTREMELY FINE. A STUNNING MIXED-ISSUE USE OF THE TWO DIFFERENT 5-CENT STAMPS ON AN IMMACULATE COVER. TRULY AMAZING QUALITY.
Ex Brown, Lehman, Haas and McCarren. With 1980 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN UNUSUAL MIXED FRANKING ON A PRISONER-OF-WAR COVER FROM POINT LOOKOUT THROUGH OLD POINT COMFORT AND RICHMOND.
A description of Point Lookout Prison can be found at the William L. Clements Library website (http://www.clements.umich.edu/Webguides/Schoff/NP/Point.html): "The Point Lookout Prison was built on the tip of the peninsula where the Potomac River joins Chesapeake Bay. In the two years during which the camp was in operation, August 1863 to June 1865, Point Lookout overflowed with inmates, surpassing its intended capacity of 10,000 to a population numbering between 12,500 and 20,000. In all, over 50,000 men, both military and civilian, were held prisoner there. G. W. Jones, a private of Co. H, 24th Virginia Cavalry, described his ominous entrance into the prison amidst 'a pile of coffins for dead rebels,' hearing the lid close shut on his own soon thereafter when he learned that the system of prisoner exchanges had been suspended. Prisoners, who lived sixteen or more to a tent, were subjected to habitually short rations and limited fire wood in winter, and when the coffee ration was suspended for federal prisoners at Andersonville, the Point Lookout prisoners lost theirs as well. The flat topography, sandy soil, and an elevation barely above high tide led to poor drainage, and the area was subjected to every imaginable extreme of weather, from blazing heat to bone-chilling cold. Polluted water exacerbated the problems of inadequate food, clothing, fuel, housing, and medical care, and as a result, approximately 4,000 prisoners died there over 22 months."
Ex Walske. With 2011 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. A PHENOMENAL PRISONER-OF-WAR COVER FROM CAMP SORGHUM TO MASSACHUSETTS WITH A STUNNING CORNER-MARGIN EXAMPLE OF THE 10-CENT DIE B STAMP.
Ex Haas. With 1982 C.S.A. and 2008 P.F. certificates
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.
VERY FINE. ONE OF FIVE RECORDED TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS COVERS WITH ARMY FIELD OFFICE CANCELLATIONS AND THE ONLY ONE OF THESE ORIGINATING WITH THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA.
Listed in Krieger as E53 (p. 53). 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 Simon. With 1983 P.F. certificate