(clipped lower left corner) Pen-Cancel (not tied) with no postmark.
Period address to Miss Jennie Whittle, Pattonsburgh, Botetourt Co., Va.
Just to the left in the same hand as the address is the word
"Anchorage" which was the name of the Whittle home in nearby Buchanan,
Va owned by William Conway Whittle (1805-1878). He was a pre-war US
naval officer and served in the Confederate Navy as a Commodore
(although other sources say a Captain). The Whittle family was very
large, and Jennie was one of his daughters. His son, Lt William Conway
Whittle Jr CSN, was the executive officer of the CSS Shenandoah. There
is a period routing instruction at upper
left "via Lynchburg" which
indicates that the cover did go through the mail. The stamp has been
lifted and hinged back in place to demonstrate the period gum staining
under the stamp which matches the configuration of the stamp exactly
even to the clippped corner. The clipped corner was therefore a
pre-affixing fault. The gum stains show that this was the only stamp
ever on the cover. Certainly appears to be a genuine use and has a 1997
Certificate which states "Genuine." Since both Pattonsburg and
Lynchburg are on the James River and there is no postmark, this could
be a waterway cover. But that is only speculation and cannot be proven.
Ex-Bush Collection. Also "Guaranteed Genuine" signed
by William O. Belden (I have no idea who he was). Very clean cover.