VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE COVER BEARING THE "MONTGOMERY ALABAMA SOUTHERN EXPRESS" HANDSTAMP -- ONLY TWO ARE RECORDED WITH THE 10-CENT BLUE GENERAL ISSUE.
This cover was carried by the Southern Express Company to Colonel Lomax's regiment in proximity to Norfolk, Virginia. We record five Southern Express Company covers from Montgomery -- all from the Lomax correspondence -- including four with the distinctive "Montgomery Alabama Southern Express" circle, which is unlike any other marking used by express companies throughout the Confederacy. Two have 10c Hoyer & Ludwig stamps (Dec. 18 and the Dec. 22 example offered here), one has the Montgomery postmaster's handstamped provisional (Oct. 25), and the other two have 5c Green Lithograph stamps (Nov. 29 without the smaller circle and Dec. 12). The presence of post office markings on these covers, including datestamps dated the day before the Southern Express datestamp, indicates that the Southern Express agent made arrangements with the post office to carry mail after it had been properly prepaid and postmarked. The agent's endorsement "Brooks" appears on this and other express covers, all of which originated at or passed through Atlanta.
The only intra-CSA Southern Express Company covers known from Alabama are addressed to Colonel Tennent Lomax, a Confederate officer who was killed at the Battle of Seven Pines on June 1, 1862. Colonel Lomax, a resident of Montgomery, led the 3rd Alabama Regiment during the war. His regiment was detailed to defend the naval yard at Norfolk Va., which was held by Confederate forces until May 1862. While in Norfolk, Colonel Lomax received letters and express mail from his wife.
Ex Emerson, Antrim and Wiseman. Raymond Weill backstamp. Illustrated in 1986 Dietz catalog (p. 205)
FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF THE 10-CENT ROSE LITHOGRAPH ON A SOUTHERN EXPRESS COMPANY COVER. THIS IS ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED.
The absence of a mail-registration system in the Confederacy made it necessary to use express companies to transmit valuable letters. Postage was required on all express letters, but the Act of April 1862 changed the law from allowing adhesive stamps to requiring stamped envelopes, which of course the government did not provide. The calculated effect of this regulation was a ban on private express mail, but surviving covers show that the companies continued to carry letters. This is one of only two examples we record of the 10c Rose on a Southern Express Company cover. The other is ex Dr. Brandon and dated July 1, 1862 -- the first day of the uniform 10c rate (Siegel Sale 1087, lot 521).