Confederate States of America
Postal History
Fakes, Phonies, Forgeries

Fake "C.S.A." Overprint

Left over in many CSA post offices that were former USA post offices was a large supply of the postal stationery envelopes from the 1850's and the Star Dies from 1860. These items of postal stationery were no longer valid for postage within the CSA. Since paper was in short supply, these postal stationery items were salvaged and the envelopes used. Many of these envelopes were overprinted with various Confederate Government Departmental overprints for official usage. These genuine overprinted items that were postally used can be quite valuable. The various official and semi-official overprints are listed and illustrated in the 1986 New Dietz Confederate Catalog and Handbook.

Above is illustrated an 1854 item of USA Postal Stationery (Scott #U10) with the embossing overprinted with an official looking "C.S.A." in Old English style lettering. Below this is a handstamp "10" which was the CSA rate. The cover has an indistinct postmark and is addressed to Watkinsville, Georgia. The address is quite legitimate, and the postmark probably is as well. But the "CSA" overprint and the handstamp "10" are both fakes.

The Confederate Government never used an overprint anything like what appears on this cover. The "10" is also not indicative of a Confederate handstamp but was probably added to give the cover what appeared to be a legitimate rate. In short, this is a genuine pre-war use cover with an indistinct postmark addressed to Georgia to which fake handstamp embellishments have been added as an apparent direct attempt to deceive the collector.

An uninformed collector can easily be taken in by such a cover because it is simply not possible to know everything. This cover was submitted to the Confederate Stamp Alliance Authentication Committee where its fake status was correctly identified.

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