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Sale 1238 — Civil War Special Mail Routes

Sale Date — Wednesday, 23 June, 2021

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Category — Covert Mail

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
305
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 305, Covert Mail2c Brown Red (8), 2c Brown Red (8)2c Brown Red (8). Large margins to just in at right, tied by bold "Mobile Ala. Oct. 27" double-circle datestamp on orange-buff cover originating in New Orleans and addressed to Mobile Ala., manuscript "(La. Com.)" applied by agent for Louisiana Relief Committee, part of top flap missing but "Appd JCD PM" (Mobile Provost Marshal Jules C. Denis) examiner's notation is intact in light ink, small tear at top

VERY FINE. A CHOICE AND RARE LOUISIANA RELIEF COMMITTEE COVER WITH THE 2-CENT RED JACK PAYING DROP-LETTER POSTAGE.

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. With the tacit concurrence of Federal authorities in New Orleans, the Louisiana Relief Committee at Mobile arranged to provide much-needed food and clothing and helped citizens leave New Orleans for the Confederate States. These trips between Mobile and New Orleans via Pascagoula ran along the Mississippi Sound and carried mail, which was not sanctioned by the Federal postal authorities. Jules C. Denis, C.S.A. provost marshal at Mobile, examined the southbound letters. These trips were also used to transmit flag-of-truce mail to and from Confederate prisoners being held in New Orleans. In this case, the letter was addressed in care of a local Mobile firm, and it was put into the mails as a drop letter.

Illustrated in Special Routes book (p. 171). Ex Everett. With 2003 P.F. certificate

Bid on this lot

E. 3,000-4,000
Future Sale
306
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 306, Covert Mail5c Blue, Stone 2 (4), 5c Blue, Stone 2 (4)5c Blue, Stone 2 (4). Horizontal pair, used with pair and single 1c Blue (63), all stamps left uncancelled on small cover with mourning border on flaps (for death of James Henry Caldwell) to Edward H. Caldwell at Mobile Ala., reverse with "Appd. H.M. Porter, P.M. N Orleans" censor mark applied by Major H. M. Porter, Assistant Union Provost Marshal of New Orleans, 1c stamps with straight edge and small perf flaws at top from placement near edge of cover

VERY FINE. A UNIQUE MIXED-FRANKING COVER FROM NEW ORLEANS TO MOBILE, CARRIED EITHER BY THE LOUISIANA RELIEF COMMITTEE OR BY FLAG-OF-TRUCE.

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. With the tacit concurrence of Federal authorities in New Orleans, the Louisiana Relief Committee at Mobile arranged to provide much-needed food and clothing and helped citizens leave New Orleans for the Confederate States. These trips between Mobile and New Orleans via Pascagoula ran along the Mississippi Sound and carried mail, which was not sanctioned by the Federal postal authorities. Jules C. Denis, C.S.A. provost marshal at Mobile, examined the southbound letters. These trips were also used to transmit flag-of-truce mail to and from Confederate prisoners being held in New Orleans.

This cover can be dated to September 1863, based on the death of James Henry Caldwell, who was the father of the recipient, Edward H. Caldwell. This was the period that the Louisiana Relief Committee was in operation and carrying mail from New Orleans to Mobile, although this cover does not have the typical endorsement of such letters. The recipient's father, James H. Caldwell, was known as the "Father of Gas and Light" in New Orleans, and Edward was president of the Mobile Gas Light and Coke Company in Mobile.

Another cover definitely carried by the Louisiana Relief Committee is also addressed to Edward Caldwell (Sale 1043, lot 2603). This dual franking, which might have been applied simultaneously or in succession, was sufficient to pay either U.S. or C.S.A. postage, or both. However, after censoring by the U.S. Provost Marshal, it was evidently delivered to Edward Caldwell without the involvement of either government's post offices.

Ex Corwin. With 2002 P.F. certificate stating "genuine" but declining opinion as to what the cover "represents" (the censor marking and biographical information explain the usage)

Bid on this lot

Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 306, Covert Mail5c Blue, Stone 2 (4), 5c Blue, Stone 2 (4)
Image 2
E. 4,000-5,000
Future Sale
Back to Top
307
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 307, Covert Mail10c Greenish Blue, Die B (12c), 10c Greenish Blue, Die B (12c)10c Greenish Blue, Die B (12c). Two large margins, cut in at bottom and touched at left, tied by "Shreveport La. Oct. (date?) 1863" circular datestamp on yellow cover carried by the Louisiana Relief Committee from a Confederate prisoner in New Orleans, then by C.S.A. Trans-Mississippi mail to Camden, Arkansas, west of the Mississippi, sender's endorsement "From Lieut. Col. Lee, 15th Ark. Regt., Prisoner of War, 21 Rampart St. N.O. La." and addressed to his wife, Mrs. Paul Lynch Lee, at Camden, back of cover with manuscript "Forwarded by the Louisiana Committee at Mobile" and manuscript "Appd. J C Denis PMG" censor marking applied by Mobile Provost Marshal Jules C. Denis, slightly reduced and tiny edge tear at right

VERY FINE. AN IMPORTANT POSTAL ARTIFACT OF THE CIVIL WAR, BEING THE ONLY RECORDED COVER CARRIED BY THE LOUISIANA RELIEF COMMITTEE OUT OF NEW ORLEANS AND THEN TO A DESTINATION WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.

This remarkable cover combines three extraordinary aspects of postal communication during the Civil War. To start, it is an extremely rare example of mail clearly identifiable as originating from a Confederate prisoner held at 21 Rampart Street prison in New Orleans. Second, it was carried from New Orleans to Mobile on a Louisiana Relief Committee trip. Third, it was carried west across the Mississippi River, which was controlled by Federal naval forces, and entered the C.S.A. postal system at Shreveport, Louisiana.

The sender, C.S.A. Lt. Col. Paul Lynch Lee, was a member of the 15th Arkansas Regiment. He enlisted on Oct. 22, 1861, at his home town of Camden, Arkansas and was promoted to Colonel one year later. Col. Lee was captured on Feb. 6, 1862, at Fort Henry, Tennessee, and sent to the U.S. military prison at Alton, Illinois, then to Columbus, Ohio, on Feb. 28, 1862. He was transferred to Fort Warren, Massachusetts, on April 8, 1862, then to Fortress Monroe, Virginia, on July 31, 1862, where he was exchanged. The Port Hudson Hospital Ledger dated May 27, 1863, lists Col. Lee with a wound in his leg. While hospitalized, Col. Lee struck a private with his crutches and was charged with conduct unbecoming an officer. We do not know the outcome of the incident, but Col. Lee returned to battle and was captured again on July 9, 1863, at Port Hudson, Louisiana. He and 403 other C.S.A. officers were sent to New Orleans. Col. Lee was imprisoned at the Customs House in New Orleans from July 16 to Sep. 16, 1863. On Sep. 17 he was moved to 21 Rampart Street, where he stayed until early October. Col. Lee was transferred to Fort Columbus in New York Harbor, then to Johnson's Island, Point Lookout and Fort Delaware. He was released on June 13, 1865.

After this cover reached the Louisiana Relief Committee in Mobile, it was stamped and bundled with letters bound for points west of the Mississippi, then sent to the eastern terminus of the government trans-Mississippi mails at Meridien, Mississippi. Once the courier carried the mail across the river, the letters were unbundled and postmarked at the western terminus at Shreveport, Louisiana, and from there this cover traveled by rail to Camden, Arkansas.

Illustrated in Special Routes book (p. 79). Ex Kohlhepp (see his article on this cover in Confederate Philatelist, Sep.-Oct. 1980, No. 197), Birkinbine and Walske. With 1976 P.F. certificate

Bid on this lot

Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 307, Covert Mail10c Greenish Blue, Die B (12c), 10c Greenish Blue, Die B (12c)
Image 2
E. 4,000-5,000
Future Sale
Back to Top
308
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 308, Covert MailSmuggled Mail from Federal-Occupied New Orleans, Smuggled Mail from Federal-Occupied New OrleansSmuggled Mail from Federal-Occupied New Orleans. Oatmeal cover addressed to "Emile H. Reynes, care Capt. Gustave LeGardeur, Orleans Guards Battery, Charleston S.C.", with sender's directive "Office Prov. Mar. Genl Demopolis, Ala." and "Charge box 71", "Demopolis Ala. Jun. 4" (ca. 1863) circular datestamp and manuscript "Paid 10"

VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE COVER FROM THE WELL-KNOWN REYNES CORRESPONDENCE -- SENT BY COVERT MEANS FROM FEDERAL-OCCUPIED NEW ORLEANS.

The sender of this cover used covert means to carry mail from Federal-occupied New Orleans to the Confederate Provost Marshal at Demopolis, where the letter entered the mails and 10c postage was charged to a box account. The best-known examples of covert mail from New Orleans are the Louisiana Relief Committee covers. This is an excellent example of additional means residents of New Orleans found to communicate with other parts of the Cofederacy.

Ex Dr. Skinner and Dr. Brandon.

Bid on this lot

E. 1,500-2,000
Future Sale
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309
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 309, Covert MailSmuggled Mail from Federal-Occupied New Orleans, Smuggled Mail from Federal-Occupied New OrleansSmuggled Mail from Federal-Occupied New Orleans. 3c Rose (65) with wide straddle-pane margin, tied by brush stroke, bold "Summit Miss." dateless circle handstamp on small cover to Berzelia Ga., manuscript "from Orleans" and "due 10c", additional manuscript "Pd WEL", receipt docketing "Recd 4 Feb/64"

VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE COVER SMUGGLED OUT OF FEDERAL-OCCUPIED NEW ORLEANS AND PLACED INTO THE CONFEDERATE MAILS AT SUMMIT, MISSISSIPPI.

The manuscript "from Orleans" notation applied at the Summit post offices indicates that the postmaster was aware of the letter's origin and familiar with the practice of smuggling mail out of New Orleans where Confederate sympathizers were under the governance of the U.S. military. Because of its location on the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad, the town of Summit, Mississippi, was an exchange point for through-the-lines mail to and from the western Confederacy. The U.S. stamp was affixed in New Orleans, but it served no purpose in the Confederate mail system.

Bid on this lot

E. 1,500-2,000
Future Sale
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310
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 310, Covert Mail10c Rose (5), 10c Rose (5)10c Rose (5). Mostly large margins, clear at lower right, faint gum toning and pre-use crease, tied by light strike of "Morristown Ten. Oct. 6" (1862) circular datestamp, repeated at lower left, manuscript "Bardstown Ky Sept. 27th /62" Confederate occupation postmark at upper left of cover to Canton, Mississippi.

VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE COVERT MAIL COVER, SENT FROM BARDSTOWN, KENTUCKY, DURING THE BRIEF OCCUPATION BY CONFEDERATE FORCES UNDER GENERAL BRAGG (SEPTEMBER 23 THROUGH OCTOBER 3, 1862) AND CARRIED BY PRIVATE COURIER TO THE MORRISTOWN, TENNESSEE, POST OFFICE WHERE IT ENTERED THE CONFEDERATE MAILS.

Generals Braxton Bragg and Edmund Kirby Smith led the 1862 Confederate invasion of Kentucky that began in August. Bragg's forces withdrew to Bardstown, Kentucky, and occupied the city from September 23 through October 3. This cover originated at a field post office in Bardstown and was carried by a private courier to Morristown, Tennessee, where it was placed into the regular mails for Canton, Mississippi. The use of a 10c Rose Lithograph on a cover originating in Kentucky adds to its great rarity.

Ex Gallagher. With 1998 P.F. certificate

Bid on this lot

E. 3,000-4,000
Future Sale
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311
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 311, Covert MailLake City Fla. May 13 (1863), Lake City Fla. May 13 (1863)Lake City Fla. May 13 (1863). Circular datestamp and "Paid 10" handstamp on oatmeal cover to Mrs. E. C. Benton in Federal-occupied Jacksonville, manuscript "Official Business" and charge box notation, original enclosure datelined "Head Quarters Dist. E. Fla., Lake City May 13th 1863", letter grants permission for Mrs. Benton "to go into enemy lines via Fernandina," signed by Adjutant General Wilkinson Call (later a U.S. Senator), cover with minor wrinkling, Very Fine and rare covert across-the-lines cover from Confederate to Federal-occupied Florida, a fantastic use and companion to the cover offered in the following lot, illustrated in Florida Postal History During the Civil War (p. 120), ex Dr. Briggs

Bid on this lot

E. 750-1,000
Future Sale
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312
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 312, Covert MailLake City Fla. May 22 (1863), Lake City Fla. May 22 (1863)Lake City Fla. May 22 (1863). Circular datestamp and "Paid 10" handstamp on cover to Mrs. E.C. Benton in Federal-occupied Jacksonville, manuscript "Official" and charge box notation, original enclosure datelined "Head Quarters Dist. E. Fla., Lake City May 20th 1863", letter is a follow up to the letter offered in the previous lot and grants permission for Mrs. Benton "to pass to the enemy lines via Fernandina where my facility will be offered you by our officers & a flag of truce sent with you," signed by Adjutant General Wilkinson Call (later a U.S. Senator), cover with minor wrinkling and scattered toned spots, still Very Fine and rare covert across-the-lines cover from Confederate to Federal-occupied Florida, the companion to the cover offered in the previous lot, illustrated in Florida Postal History During the Civil War (p. 121), ex Dr. Briggs

Bid on this lot

E. 750-1,000
Future Sale
Back to Top
313
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 313, Covert MailGalveston Tex. Jun. 29, 1862, Galveston Tex. Jun. 29, 1862Galveston Tex. Jun. 29, 1862. Double-circle datestamp with "Paid" and "10" C.S.A. rate handstamps on buff cover to Boston Mass., sender's route instructions "Via Natchadoches & Louisville", Natchitoches La. was near Fort Jessup Ark. and from there the letter could have been carried across Tennessee, except for the Union occupation of Nashville at this time -- probably carried covertly by express to Boston via Louisville -- pencil docketing "Draft" indicates arrival, Very Fine and unusual 1862 cover from Texas to the North, ex Gallagher, with 1998 P.F. certificate stating genuine usage of the stamp "which did not serve any postal duty"

Bid on this lot

E. 1,000-1,500
Future Sale
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314
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 314, Covert Mail3c Dull Red, Ty, 3c Dull Red, Ty3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26) tied by "San Francisco Cal. Jun. 5" (1861) circular datestamp on cover to Raphael Pumpelly at the Santa Rita Mining Co. in Tubac, red docketing, probably carried on the steamer Panama, sailed south to Mazatlan on June 6, taken by stage from San Diego to Tucson, then by Lathrop's Buckboard Mail to Tubac, Very Fine and rare use to seceded Arizona Territory, the four covers offered in Siegel Sale 1189 (lots 1075-1078) are addressed to Raphael Pumpelly, a geologist, engineer, author and later a professor at Harvard, who was associated with the Salero Mining Company, headquartered in Tubac from 1858 to 1861, Pumpelly was recruited to improve the company's performance, but constant attacks by Apache Indians eventually led to the company's demise, as well as the death of one of its principals, Horace C. Grosvenor, ex Birkinbine

Bid on this lot

E. 750-1,000
Future Sale
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315
c
Sale Number 1238, Lot Number 315, Covert MailGoldsborough N.C, Goldsborough N.CGoldsborough N.C. Inner civilian flag-of-truce cover to Greenville S.C., with original letter datelined "San Francisco April 18th 1862", sent to the care of U.S. military governor of North Carolina Edward Stanly, who hand-carried it to Union-controlled New Bern, letter states "I avail myself of the kindness of your old friend Edward Stanly...", manuscript "Examined Asst. Adjt. General" examiner's marking, entered C.S.A. mails with "Goldsborough N.C. Jun. 2" circular datestamp and "Paid" straightline handstamp, Very Fine, a rare flag-of-truce letter originating in California and sent through New Bern and Goldsborough N.C., civilian mail sent by exchange points other than those in southeastern Virginia is very scarce, illustrated in Special Routes book (p. 94), ex Walske

Bid on this lot

E. 750-1,000
Future Sale
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