Sale 1263 — The George J. Kramer Collection of U.S. & C.S.A. Telegraph Covers

Sale Date — Wednesday, 28 September, 2022

Category — Civil War -- Confederate States

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
76
c
Sale 1263, Lot 76, Civil War -- Confederate StatesAmerican Telegraph Company, First Day Confederate Telegram. Blind embossed corner card on cover addressed to James Kilduff, original telegram from Montgomery to Mobile Ala. dated May 13, 1861, and stating "State artillery leave for Pensacola tomorrow seven (7) a.m. all well. Jno Lyons Jr.", bottom with "10.50" referring to the number of words (10) and the charge (50c), cover with some minor waterstaining, Very Fine and desirable early Civil War telegram informing of troop movements, sent one month after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, this can be considered a First Day Confederate telegram as May 13, 1861 was the date C.S.A. Postmaster General Reagan issued a proclamation assuming control of all telegraph operations within the Confederacy, illustrated in Confederate Philatelist (No. 311, p. 177)

E. 500-750
300
77
E
Sale 1263, Lot 77, Civil War -- Confederate States"John H. Reagan, P.M. General". Signature at bottom of Oct. 10, 1862 letter written on Confederate States of America, Post Office Department, Finance Bureau letterhead and addressed to Southern Telegraph Company President William S. Morris, letter states "So much of the order of August 22nd by which the Government took possession of certain telegraph lines as applies to the lines of the Southwestern Telegraph Company has been this day revoked. Please communicate this to those lines by telegraph.", Very Fine and historical letter, Morris was a former director of American Telegraph Co. and then president of Southern Telegraph Co., which took over American's lines and assets, Kramer wrote that the government's confiscation of the Southwestern Telegraph Co.'s lines was originally orchestrated by Morris to eliminate competition, illustrated in Confederate Philatelist (No. 311, p. 172)

E. 1,000-1,500
650
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78
 
Sale 1263, Lot 78, Civil War -- Confederate StatesRobert E. Lee. Clear signature "R. E. Lee" at top of 1864 "The Southern Telegraph Companies Richmond" telegram to General P.G.T. Beauregard, body of the message states "Following dispatch just received from Gen. Wheeler near Sylvania Dec. 7 7am, Davis fourteenth (14th) corps and Kilpatricks cavalry passed down the river road yesterday -- made many enquiries relative to Hudsons Ferry, Braxton Bragg", pencil manuscript at left "Operator will send this dispatch to Gens Hardee & Jones -- if it has not already gone to them -- return this one", and signed twice "GTB" by General Beauregard, finally pen manuscript "copy of this sent to Gen Hardee & Jones 4 PM", file folds and couple small edge nicks

VERY FINE. A HISTORIC CONFEDERATE TELEGRAM SIGNED BY BOTH GENERALS ROBERT E. LEE AND P.G.T. BEAUREGARD AND INVOLVING OR REFERENCING FOUR OTHER CONFEDERATE GENERALS AND TWO UNION GENERALS.

This telegram is a relay of a message from General Braxton Bragg to General P.G.T. Beauregard in December 1864, during General William T. Sherman's "March to the Sea". The message concerns the activities of the Union 14th Corps and U.S. Generals Jefferson C. Davis (no relation to the C.S.A. President) and Hugh J. Kilpatrick. General Beauregard was in or near Charlestown at this time. General Lee reviewed this message at some point during its journey and signed it at top. Copies were sent to Confederate Generals Hardee and Jones. This is an exceptional piece of Civil War and telegraph history.

E. 7,500-10,000
10,000
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79
 
Sale 1263, Lot 79, Civil War -- Confederate StatesP.G.T. Beauregard. Receiving or sending office copy of telegram message from General Beauregard at Meridian Miss. to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, likely late 1864 or early 1865, parts of letter in normal script and parts encrypted, letter reads "Presdt Davis, I regret to inform you that from Gen. Taylor report of the disorganization & demoralization of the Army of Tennessee and from the bad condition of the common roads and railroad hence to (Atlanta?). No reinforcements can be sent in time to Gen Hardee from that army, what does not now number fifteen thousand.", number combination at bottom might be the cipher key, pencil above the encrypted text for translation, Very Fine and historical telegram between General Beauregard and President Davis, illustrated in Confederate Philatelist (No. 311, p. 179)

E. 750-1,000
2,300
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80
c
Sale 1263, Lot 80, Civil War -- Confederate StatesAdams Express Co. Augusta Ga. Oct. 4 (1861). Oval datestamp on American Telegraph Company blind embossed corner card cover to Norfolk Va., manuscript $12.00" at top, red wax seal on back stating "Contents Unknown", missing part of bottom flap and small tears at bottom

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE AND WONDERFUL COMBINATION OF THE AMERICAN TELEGRAPH CO. CORNER CARD AND THE SCARCE ADAMS EXPRESS AUGUSTA HANDSTAMP -- REPRESENTING ON ONE COVER TWO COMPANIES WHOSE OPERATIONS WERE TAKEN OVER BY SOUTHERN INTERESTS AT THE START OF THE CIVIL WAR.

Southern Express took over the equipment and offices of Adams in April 1861. However, the Adams devices were used into September and October 1861 before the Southern Express handstamps became widely available. American Telegraph Co.'s assets were taken over by Southern Telegraph Co. after the May 1861 Act and subsequent order by Postmaster General Reagan. Stocks of embossed corner cards on hand continued to be used.

Special Routes census no. SOU-11. Illustrated in Confederate Philatelist (No. 311, p. 175).

E. 1,500-2,000
2,800
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81
c
Sale 1263, Lot 81, Civil War -- Confederate StatesSouthern Telegraph Company. "Augusta Ga. Aug. 20" (1861) double-circle datestamp with small "Paid 5" handstamp on American Telegraph Company blind embossed corner card cover to Mrs. Howell Cobb in Athens Ga., small bit of staining along a couple edges, still Very Fine and scarce Confederate telegraph cover, American Telegraph Co.'s assets were taken over by Southern Telegraph Co. after the May 1861 Act and subsequent order by Postmaster General Reagan, stocks of embossed corner cards on hand continued to be used, Illustrated in Confederate Philatelist (No. 311, p. 175)

E. 500-750
1,400
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82
c
Sale 1263, Lot 82, Civil War -- Confederate StatesSouth-Western Telegraph Company. Neat wavy-line imprint cover addressed to Oxford Miss., manuscript "1861 Gen. Pettus", Very Fine, Southwestern Telegraph Company operated lines from Louisville to New Orleans, it was taken over by the Confederate government before control was returned in October 1862, as documented in the letter from Postmaster General Reagan offered in lot 77, Edmund Pettus represented Alabama in the United States Senate from 1897 to 1907, he was a brigadier general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, after which he was active in the Ku Klux Klan, serving as Grand Dragon, the Edmund Pettus bridge -- site of the famous 1965 "Bloody Sunday" attack during the Civil Rights movement -- was named for him

E. 400-500
225
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83
c
Sale 1263, Lot 83, Civil War -- Confederate StatesSouth-Western & Western Union Telegraph, Louisville Office. Buff imprint cover, accompanied by telegram dated Jan. 20, 1862, edge wear, nicks and ink smear, otherwise Fine, Southwestern Telegraph Company operated lines from Louisville to New Orleans, it was taken over by the Confederate government before control was returned in October 1862, as documented in the letter from Postmaster General Reagan offered in lot 77, illustrated in Confederate Philatelist (No. 311, p. 178)

E. 200-300
225
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84
c
Sale 1263, Lot 84, Civil War -- Confederate StatesSouthern Express Co. Telegram dated Feb. 27, 1862, manuscript "5/coll 125" at bottom indicating an inflationary 25c per word charge for the telegram (up from 5c), accompanied by adversity envelope made from re-used ledger paper, matching handwriting and addressee as on the telegram but states the charge as "Coll 2.10", cover with typical edge wear, Very Fine and scarce

E. 400-500
0
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85
c
Sale 1263, Lot 85, Civil War -- Confederate StatesMontgomery Ala., 5c Red entire (59XU1). Clear strike of provisional marking, "Montgomery Ala. Jul. 26, 1861" circular datestamp on cover to Griffin Ga., with Southern Telegraph Company telegram dated Savannah July 25, 1861, message states "Stephen is safe", cover with minor soiling, still Very Fine, Griffin apparently did not have telegraph service so this message was sent by wire to Montgomery and then in the mails to Griffin using the Montgomery Provisional entire, Scott value for the entire alone is $1,000.00

E. 1,000-1,500
750
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86
c
Sale 1263, Lot 86, Civil War -- Confederate States2c Green (3). Manuscript "X" cancel with small "NOV" straightline handstamp on printed South Western Telegraph Co. form with written telegraph message sent from Selma Ala. on Oct. 10, 1864, stamp with tears and telegram with faults and mended patches

FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE USE OF THE 2-CENT LITHOGRAPH ISSUE ON A TELEGRAM DELIVERED LOCALLY IN CANTON, MISSISSIPPI.

Confederate telegrams are extremely scarce, particularly with the 2c Lithographed or Engraved issues. It is not clear why the straightline month differs from the dateline on the telegram offered here and on the 2c Engraved telegram offered in lot 90. This is the only 2c Lithograph on a telegram we have encountered and was described as "unique" in the Kramer exhibit.

With 2009 C.S.A. certificate.

E. 1,500-2,000
0
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87
c
Sale 1263, Lot 87, Civil War -- Confederate States5c Blue, Stone 2 (4). Tied by "Augusta Ga. Jun. 30" (1862) double-circle datestamp on adversity cover made from a Southern Telegraph Co. form, addressed to Lexington Ga., Very Fine, a wonderful adversity use sent on the last day of the 5c rate period

E. 300-400
450
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88
c
Sale 1263, Lot 88, Civil War -- Confederate States5c Blue, Stone 2 (4). Two, tied by "Marietta Geo. Jul. 16" (1862) circular datestamp on oatmeal cover to Roswell Ga., manuscript "Telegram" at top, edge repair and some minor staining, right stamp with light creases, still Fine, there may have been an interruption of telegraph service between the two towns causing this to be sent in the mails (telegram no longer present), illustrated in Confederate Philatelist (No. 311, p. 177)

E. 300-400
225
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89
c
Sale 1263, Lot 89, Civil War -- Confederate States5c Blue, Local (7). Horizontal pair, large margins to close in one spot at top right, tied by "Columbus Ga. May 5" (1863) circular datestamp on oatmeal cover to Huntsville Ala., with a Southern Telegraph Companies telegram, message from Milford Ga. to a mother concerns Captain Ferrill, who "yesterday had been through the fight & was well...& the enemy driven back", minor envelope toning and a bit more on the telegram, still Very Fine and wonderful telegraph use sent through the Confederate mails

E. 500-750
550
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90
c
Sale 1263, Lot 90, Civil War -- Confederate States2c Brown Red (8). Large even margins, tied by 4-bar cork grid cancel of Canton Miss., small "OCT" straightline handstamp on printed South Western Telegraph Co. form with written telegraph message sent from Selma Ala. on Sep. 25, 1864, stamp is affixed sealing the telegram but not affected at all, edgewear and minor splits along folds with some skillful mending

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. AN INCREDIBLY RARE USE OF THE 2-CENT ENGRAVED ISSUE ON A TELEGRAM DELIVERED LOCALLY IN CANTON, MISSISSIPPI.

Confederate telegrams are extremely scarce, particularly with the 2c Lithographed or Engraved issues. It is not clear why the straightline month differs from the dateline on the telegram offered here and on the 2c Lithographed telegram offered in lot 86. This is one of only two 2c No. 8 uses on a telegram we have encountered. The other is ex Keeling, Dr. Brandon, Born and Ryterband (last offered in Sale 1196, lot 1023).

E. 2,000-3,000
1,500
Back to Top
91
c
Sale 1263, Lot 91, Civil War -- Confederate StatesThe Richmond and Danville Railroad Telegraph. Oatmeal cover with imprint including "Extending from Richmond to Danville, and connecting at Richmond with the American Telegraph Company" -- "American" crossed out and manuscript "Southern" written above as the American Telegraph Co. assets were taken over by Southern Telegraph Co., 10c Blue, Die B (12) cancelled by pen, cover is addressed to "Capt. E.R. Baird ADC, Drakes Branch RNRR" (Richmond & Norfolk R.R.), original telegram enclosure from General George E. Pickett, sent from Petersburg Va. on May 5, 1864 to Drakes Branch, reads "Capt. ER Baird ADC, You had better come to Petersburg as soon as you can instead of going as you might have understood my telegram of yesterday to Hanover Junction, GE Pickett Genl", manuscript "26/390" indicating a charge of 15c per word for 26 words, cover repeats this with "390 + 10 postage due"

VERY FINE. AN EXCEPTIONAL CONFEDERATE TELEGRAPH COVER AND TELEGRAM FROM GENERAL GEORGE E. PICKETT, SENT TO HIS AIDE-DE-CAMP ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE "BERMUDA HUNDRED" FEDERAL ATTACKS NEAR RICHMOND BY UNION GENERAL BENJAMIN F. "SPOONS" BUTLER. THIS IS ALSO THE ONLY COMPLETE COVER AND TELEGRAM OF THE RICHMOND AND DANVILLE RAILROAD TELEGRAPH.

General Pickett sent this telegram to his aide-de-camp, Captain Edward R. Baird, at the start of the campaigns against Richmond by General Benjamin Franklin Butler. He orders Captain Baird back to Petersburg given the impending conflict. From Wikipedia -- "In the spring of 1864, the Army of the James (Union) was directed to land at Bermuda Hundred on the James River, south of Richmond, and from there attack Petersburg. This would sever the rail links supplying Richmond, and force the Confederates to abandon the city. In spite of (General) Grant's low opinion of (General) Butler's military skills, he was given command of the operation. Butler's force landed on 5 May (the date Pickett's telegram was sent), when Petersburg was almost undefended, but Butler hesitated. While he dithered, the Confederates assembled a substantial force under General P. G. T. Beauregard (including forces under his subordinate General Pickett, who was in charge of troops around Petersburg). On 13 May, Butler's advance toward Richmond was repulsed. On 16 May, the Confederates drove Butler's force back to Bermuda Hundred, "bottling up" the Federals in a loop of the James River. Both sides entrenched; the Federal troops were safe but impotent, and Beauregard sent most of his troops as reinforcements to Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Despite this fiasco, Butler remained in command of the Army of the James."

This is a historic telegram and cover relating to the Bermuda Hundred operations and General Pickett's involvement. This is also the only recorded complete cover and telegram enclosure recorded by Kramer for the Richmond and Danville Railroad Telegraph. It is not clear why the telegram message needed to be mailed to Drakes Branch, but the fact that it was, with a General Issue stamp, adds greatly to the postal history appeal of this lot.

Illustrated in Confederate Philatelist (No. 311, p. 176).

E. 3,000-4,000
20,000
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92
c
Sale 1263, Lot 92, Civil War -- Confederate StatesSouthern Telegraph Company. Oatmeal cover with 10c Blue, Die B (12) tied by unclear strike of circular datestamp (Selma Ala.?) and addressed to Montevallo Ala., original telegram message dated at Atlanta on Aug. 27 (no year date), message reads "Frank was killed on the 24th. He died as he had lived a hero", manuscript "15 73 pay 10" indicates that the recipient was charged only the 10c postage, perhaps due to the nature of the message, ink on telegram causes some paper erosion and a small internal tear, still Very Fine and scarce Confederate telegram and original cover which carried it through the mails, see our website PDF for a scan of the telegram

E. 750-1,000
400
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93
c
Sale 1263, Lot 93, Civil War -- Confederate StatesSouthern Express Company Telegraph. Imprint on cover with 10c Blue, Die B (12), large margins including a chunk of the stamp at left due to careless tearing from the sheet, tied by single pen stroke and addressed to Col. Sharp (future general and brigade commander at Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge) in Statesville N.C., stamp slightly toned and cover with small repair bottom right corner, otherwise Very Fine Confederate telegraph cover, with 2010 P.F. certificate

E. 400-500
170
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