FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF MAIL CARRIED COVERTLY FROM FORT SUMTER AFTER CONFEDERATE FORCES CUT OFF COMMUNICATIONS IN JANUARY 1861.
In retaliation for Union forces moving from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, the governor of South Carolina ordered all mail communication with Fort Sumter suspended on January 1, 1861, but mail exchange was allowed to resume on January 14. This cover was carried privately, as indicated in the copy of the letter (the original is located in the Library of Congress).
Illustrated and described in Confederate Philatelist, Jul.-Aug. 1983, p. 117
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ALMOST CERTAINLY A UNIQUE EXAMPLE OF MAIL SENT BY UNITED STATES ARMY MAJOR ROBERT ANDERSON, ADDRESSED IN HIS HAND AND ACCOMPANIED BY THE ORIGINAL AUTOGRAPH LETTER WRITTEN DURING THE SEIGE OF FORT SUMTER.
According to Wikipedia, on December 26, 1860, U.S. Army Major Robert Anderson abandoned the indefensible Fort Moultrie, spiking its large guns, burning its gun carriages, and taking its smaller cannon with him to be trained on the city. He secretly relocated to Fort Sumter on his own initiative, without orders from Washington. He thought that providing a stronger defense would delay an attack by South Carolina militia. The fort was not yet complete at the time, and fewer than half of the cannon that should have been available were in place, due to military downsizing by President James Buchanan. Over the next few months, calls to turn over the fort to South Carolina were ignored. Union attempts to resupply and reinforce the garrison were repulsed on January 9, 1861 when the first shots of the war, fired by cadets from the Citadel, prevented the steamer Star of the West, hired to transport troops and supplies to Fort Sumter, from completing the task.
Mail exchange was stopped by the Confederates from January 1 to 14, but resumed thereafter. This is a rare example of mail originating from Fort Sumter during the Confederate siege, and it is even more remarkable for the enclosure from Major Anderson. It is accompanied by a cover addressed to Westchester, New York, in Major Anderson’s hand and postmarked at Charleston on January 15, 1861, probably the first postmark date after mail service from the fort was resumed (soiled cover and non-contemporary writing).
With 1990 Brian Green certificate and signed by him.
VERY FINE. A REMARKABLE AND HISTORIC COVER FROM FAMED UNITED STATES ARMY GENERAL WINFIELD SCOTT TO MAJOR ROBERT ANDERSON, COMMANDER OF FORT SUMTER DURING THE CONFEDERATE SEIGE.
The letter from General Scott that was once contained in this cover is now in the Library of Congress (copy accompanies). Brief and to the point, General Scott reprimands Major Anderson for comments he made about conditions at Fort Sumter: "I have heard of your declaration to Col. Lamon, indicating a desperate purpose. I forbid it as your commander, it being against your duty both as a soldier & Christian." On April 11 Beauregard sent representatives demanding the surrender of the fort, and on April 12 Confederate shelling of the fort began?, continuing for 34 hours before Major Anderson agreed to evacuate.
Applying the stamps and writing the address on the back of the envelope were no mistake or indeliberate act on General Scott's part. His long history in military campaigns taught him the value of information, and he was probably (and rightfully) suspicious of Confederate spying through mail tampering. To ensure the integrity of the envelope, the address was written across the flaps and the stamps were affixed over the flaps as well.
VERY FINE. A REMARKABLE ITEM, BEARING SIGNATURES OF THE UNION OFFICERS AT FORT SUMTER WHO WERE PRESENT DURING THE OPENING SHOTS OF THE CIVIL WAR. A WONDERFUL ARTIFACT.
Another officer, 1st Lieut. James Theodore Talbot, was not present during the opening shots of the war, and his signature is not included (a cover addressed by him to his mother is offered in lot 469). Of those that are included, six went on to become Generals. One of the signers, Meade, joined the Confederacy and died of an illness in July 1862.