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Sale 1104 — Civil War and Confederate States

Sale Date — Wednesday, 24 June, 2015

Category — Trans-Mississippi Express

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
2403
c
Sale Number 1104, Lot Number 2403, Trans-Mississippi ExpressE. H. Cushing Express, E. H. Cushing ExpressE. H. Cushing Express. Black on white newsprint label, Type III with Aug. 17 date (Type C in the new C.S.A. catalogue), affixed to back of cover originating west of the Mississippi River, 20c Green (13) affixed on front at upper right and uncancelled, addressed to a Captain T. T. Clay in the 5th Texas Volunteers, Gregg's Brigade, Longstreet's Corps, Richmond Va., cover slit at sides for display and with some wear and small edge tears, the label is intact

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN OUTSTANDING COMBINATION OF THE RARE CUSHING TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS LABEL AND THE 20-CENT GREEN ISSUE.

E. H. Cushing, publisher of the Houston Daily Telegraph, commenced his express service after New Orleans fell to Federal forces in April 1862. In an effort to improve communications between Texas regiments in the East and their relations at home, as well as secure safe lines for news transmission, Cushing established routes with pony riders and other means of conveyance necessary to cross the Federal lines. Cushing's agents affixed labels to the backs of envelopes carried by express. These were intended to inform patrons and advertise the service. Approximately 20 examples (of all varieties) are believed to exist.

Ex Wishnietsky.

E. 4,000-5,000
5,250
2404
c
Sale Number 1104, Lot Number 2404, Trans-Mississippi Express10c Blue, Die A (11), 10c Blue, Die A (11)10c Blue, Die A (11). Four singles, mostly large margins, right stamp defective, cancelled by "Shelby Springs Ala. 30th October 63" manuscript postmark on cover to Major Charles B. Moore in Major General Price's Division in Arkansas, two stamps tied by "Meridian Miss" dateless handstamp, manuscript "To be forwarded by the Trans-Miss Express mail to Shreveport La.--P.M. at Shreveport will please forward immediately", also endorsed "Via Meridian Miss. Shreveport La." at lower left, part of top flap replaced, some expert restoration mostly around edges and sealing tear at left

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED USE OF A COVER PAYING THE 40-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS RATE, AND ONE OF ONLY TWO COVERS BEARING THE MERIDIAN, MISSISSIPPI TRANSIT MARKING. ONE OF THE GREATEST TRANS-MISSISSIPPI EXPRESS COVERS IN EXISTENCE.

The Mississippi River and inland waterway routes were essential lifelines within the Confederacy. Early in the war, Federal naval strategy focused on control of the Mississippi, and, by the spring of 1862, key port cities were captured by Federal forces, giving them control of the river. With the Southern states divided between East and West, the Confederate government was forced to devise special measures to maintain transportation and communication along the trans-Mississippi routes. Surreptitious traffic across the river was carried on by private and government couriers, and the post office was authorized to appoint agents to ensure that the mail lines remained open. In April 1863 the Confederate Congress authorized a "preferred mail" across the Mississippi River and established a 50c rate per half-ounce. The act was revised to create an "express mail" without a fixed rate of postage, but instead limited to no more than a dollar per half ounce. By October 1863, Postmaster General Reagan secured a contract to have mail carried across the Mississippi at the rate of 40c per half ounce. Meridian and Brandon, Mississippi, were chosen as the eastern terminal points. Shreveport and Alexandria, Louisiana, were chosen as the western terminal points. This is the earliest recorded use of the "express mail" service.

Ex Walske. Illustrated in Special Mail Routes of the American Civil War by Walske and Trepel on p. 122.

E. 10,000-15,000
7,000
Back to Top
2405
c
Sale Number 1104, Lot Number 2405, Trans-Mississippi Express10c Blue, Die B (12), 10c Blue, Die B (12)10c Blue, Die B (12). Large margins, tied by "Mobile Ala. Jul. 22" circular datestamps on turned cover to the naval hospital at Mobile and forwarded to navy yard at Gunboat Landing on the Tomigbee River in Alabama, originating in Arcadia La. with manuscript "Greene-Arcadia, Bienville P. La. 1864 June 24-July 27" at left, privately transported from Shreveport to Mobile, manuscript "Mailed by La Relief Committee at Mobile" at top indicates the 10c forwarding postage was paid by the committee, inside of cover with manuscript name and address (hand carried), minor edgewear, small ink erosion spots

VERY FINE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF MAIL SENT TO A CONFEDERATE DOCTOR IN THE NAVY, WHICH WAS FORWARDED BY THE LOUISIANA RELIEF COMMITTEE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF AN EASTBOUND TRANS-MISSISSIPPI RELIEF COMMITTEE USE.

On May 31, 1863, a group of expatriate New Orleans citizens in Mobile, Alabama, organized a committee to alleviate the suffering of poor citizens who remained in U.S.-occupied New Orleans, Louisiana. With the tacit concurrence of Federal authorities in New Orleans, they arranged shipments of food and clothing to New Orleans and helped citizens leave New Orleans for the Confederate States. These “Louisiana Relief Committee at Mobile” trips between Mobile and New Orleans via Pascagoula ran along the Mississippi Sound and carried letters which were not sanctioned by the U.S. Jules Denis, C.S.A. provost marshal at Mobile, examined the southbound letters. The U.S. also used these trips to transmit P.O.W. flag-of-truce mail to and from prisoners in New Orleans. The latest known Louisiana Relief Committee cover was postmarked in Mobile on September 2, 1864.

The Committee also handled the forwarding of mail addressed to C.S.A. military personnel in Mobile. This type of mail typically did not originate in New Orleans, and is considerably rarer. In addition, since it did not cross the lines, it was not censored by the provost marshal at Mobile. The Committee apparently paid the C.S.A. postage on these letters as a favor to the senders, including the 2¢ C.S.A. drop letter rate on mail addressed to Mobile. The Committee undoubtedly carried mail from Mobile to New Orleans, but none has been identified. Apparently for security reasons, the Committee did not endorse westbound letters, and they would have no postal markings since they were hand-carried all the way to New Orleans addressees.

From a June 6, 1985 Robert Kaufmann auction. Ex Birkinbine and Walske.

E. 7,500-10,000
0
Back to Top
2406
c
Sale Number 1104, Lot Number 2406, Trans-Mississippi Express2c Brown Red (8), 2c Brown Red (8)2c Brown Red (8). Full to large margins, tied by "Mobile Ala. Nov. 2" (1863) circular datestamp on cover to addressee within Mobile, originated in New Orleans, manuscript endorsement "Mailed by La Relief Committee, 34 North Royal Street" at top, backflap removed, top edge repaired, sealed cuts around 2c stamp as if someone started to cut out stamp and stopped (or was shot, justifiably), still Fine appearance and a rare Louisiana Relief Committee use

E. 750-1,000
2,000
Back to Top
2407
c
Sale Number 1104, Lot Number 2407, Trans-Mississippi ExpressPioneer Express Company, Mobile, Ala. 1862, 11 May, Pioneer Express Company, Mobile, Ala. 1862, 11 MayPioneer Express Company, Mobile, Ala. 1862, 11 May. Clear strike of greenish blue circular datestamp at top right of large cover, addressed to Jackson Miss., manuscript "By Express" at bottom left, cover with various faults along edges and slightly reduced, Fine strike of this incredibly rare express marking of which only two or three examples are believed to exist from Mobile

E. 400-500
450
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