Roth Collection

US Mail Service in the Seceded Independent

Republics and Confederate States

December 20, 1860 - May 31, 1861




Use the BACK button to return to the previous page. Use the buttons at the left to navigate the website. If you arrived at this page directly from a search engine or a bookmark and there are no buttons at the left, then click MAIN PAGE to enter the full website.

15 APR 2019 -- The collection (35 premium covers) demonstrates postal use from the time of secession through 31 MAY 1861 the last day that the USPOD operated in the seceded states. The collection contains some trans-Atlantic covers and some waterway covers used to illustrate the postal uses. The covers are all priced to sell individually. The covers may be ordered using my Confederate Order Form (opens in a new window or tab). CSA member and dealer discounts do apply. Because of the significance of these covers and the excellent research, the entire collection will remain posted for study even after the covers have been sold. The collector uses the term "US Mail Service in the Seceded Independent Republics" and "US Mail Service in the Confederate States" as more accurate descriptions of the periods commonly referred to by collectors and catalogs as the "Independent State" period and the "USA Used in the CSA" period. The collector's terminology is continued in the descriptions.

The collection was formed by Steven M. Roth of Washington DC, a good friend of mine. Steven currently serves as a trustee of the Confederate Stamp Alliance and as an active member of the CSA Authentication Service. A succesful author of popular Mystery Novels (opens in a new window or tab), Steven has also published articles and contibuted to and co-authored books on Confederate philately and acted as section editor for the Inland Waterways section in the new Confederate catalog. The entire collection can be viewed in .pdf format with the covers mounted on the original demonstration pages with the collector's research and write-up by clicking the link below (opens in a new window or tab). The write-ups below are an expansion of the collector's research with additional research on certain covers.

-- Roth Collection --


SR1

Trans-Atlantic Folded Letter Complete from London, England, to Richmond, Virginia, in April 1861. The cover is from the well-known and well-documented William Gray Correspondence. The letter is dated 5 April 1861 in London and is a lengthy 2-page business letter. The folded letter was posted in London 6 APR 1861 with routing via Queenstown (Ireland). The cover was carried on the Cunard steamship Niagara which departed Liverpool 4/6/1861 and Queenstown 4/7/1861 arriving in Boston 4/20/1861 receiving the "Boston Br Pkt 24" CDS the next day. The cover was sent unpaid with blue manuscript "24" indicating 24c due which was the trans-Atlantic rate and the Boston handstamp "19 cents" for credit to Britain because the cover traveled via a British steamship. The remaining 5c would be for inland delivery to Richmond as the unpaid rate for US inland delivery was 5c and not 3c. Trans-Atlantic mail at this time was not required to be pre-paid. There is no Richmond receiving mark, but the cover would have reached Virginia after secession (4/17/1861) during the Virginia Independent Republic period. Very Fine. Ex-Brian Green with his note on the reverse and ex-Kaufmann. 

$500.00
SOLD 
SR2

USA Star Die with a Grid cancel and the small double circle Charleston SC CDS at the left 31 DEC 1860 US Mail Service in the Seceded Independent Republic of South Carolina. New Years Eve cover 11 days after secession. Addressed to Doct Jno A. Barksdale, Laurens CH, So. Ca. Backflap opening tears and a little overall light foxing but still a very presentable cover and a scarce Confederate period use at the very end of 1860. $300.00
SOLD
SR3

USA #26 tied by a Grid Cancel with the matching small double circle Charleston SC CDS to the left 25 MAR 1861. US Mail Sevice in Confederate South Carolina to Union New York City. Very Fine. Ex-Kaufmann. $200.00
SR4

USA #26 tied by a light Grid Cancel with the matching Savannah, Ga CDS 11 JAN 1861. From the well-known Manigault Correspondence addressed to Charles Manigault Esqr Care of Messers Middleton & Co, Charleston, South Carolina. Cover is from still Union Georgia (Georgia seceded 1/19/1861) to Seceded Independent Republic of South Carolina. Very clean cover. $50.00
SR5

USA #24 1c Blue Type V tied by the small double circle Charleston SC CDS 13 APR 1861 (one day after the Fort Sumter bombardment) US Mail Service in Confederate South Carolina. Charleston Drop Letter (the US Drop Letter rate was 1c) with Military Address to Mr. Jno C. McClenaghan Care of M. B. Stanley, Capt Marion's Volunteers, Morris Island, Charleston SC. Capt John Charles McClenaghan was mustered into the CS Quartermaster's Department 4/13/1861 (the date of this cover). He is mentioned once in the Official Records cited for bravery at First Manassas while serving as the regimental Quartermaster for the 8th SC Inf. He died of disease on Morris Island 3/15/1863. Part of top back flap missing, and a minor edge repair top center to a very clean appearance. $500.00 SOLD
SR6

USA #26 Grid Cancel with the small double circle Cheraw SC double circle CDS 28 FEB (1861). Addressed to T. B. Fraser Esqr, Sumter SC Confederate States. US Mail Service within Confederate South Carolina. Unusual to have "Confederate States" used in the address. The addressee, T. B. Fraser from the Sumter District, would later serve as a Captain and Quartermaster of the 9th SC Inf. Sealed top edge tear involving the postmark. $50.00
SOLD
SR7

USA #26 (two singles paying a double weight rate) tied together and to the cover by two strikes of the small double circle Cheraw SC CDS 31 MAY 1861. Last Day of  US Mail Service in the Confederate States. Addressed to Miss Sallie I. Graham Care Col B. F. Pegues, Cheraw, So. Ca. An attempt to obliterate the name of the addressee was unsuccessful. Cover has a very clean overall appearance. Ex-Antrim, Ex-Calhoun, Ex-Kaufmann. $400.00
SR8

USA 3c Red Star Die with a Grid Cancel and the small double circle Vicksburg, Miss CDS 29 APR (1861) US Mail Service in Confederate Mississippi to Confederate Louisiana. Addressed to Messers J. T. Hardie & Co, New Orleans, La. Manuscript at lower left “Steamer Fair Play.” The Fair Play was the US Mail Packet Boat designated to carry the cover by the sender on the Mississippi River to New Orleans. Such routing designations were generally honored by the postal service if the cover was not directly placed on the packet boat by the sender himself. The cover may have originated somewhere upriver from Vicksburg at a landing or plantation and placed on the packet as a loose letter and then serviced when it reached Vicksburg, or it may have originated in Vicksburg itself. Difficult to say without the original contents. The Fair Play (built 1859) would soon become a Confederate Mail Packet and supply boat and was captured by the Union 8/18/1862 with a load of rifles and other goods destined for the Confederate forces. The Union converted her into a tinclad that operated on the Ohio River for the remainder of the war. After the war, she was sold to a private owner and renamed “Cotile” and continued to operate on the Mississippi River until dismantled in 1869. Cover with sealed back flap opening tears and very slightly reduced at the top but still with an overall Very Fine appearance. Scarce Confederate period packet boat use. Ex- Brian Green with his note on the reverse. $1,000.00
SR9

USA #26 (pair and single paying triple weight rate) and tied to cover by a somewhat weak but recognizable strike of the scarce BLUE "Steamer Vicksburg" oval handstamp. Period docketing at left dates the cover to 5 MAR 1861 US Mail Service in Confederate Mississippi. Addressed to G. Malin Davis Esqr., Natchez. Routing "Pr Vicksburg" at lower left. The cover was placed as a loose letter on the federal mail packet Vicksburg somewhere on the Mississippi River at either a landing or a plantation. The "Steamer Vicksburg" handstamp was applied to cancel the stamps by a federal route agent on board the steamer before the cover was delivered to Natchez. The Vicksburg (built 1857) would soon become a Confederate packet until destroyed by the Union in February 1863. Few minor sealed edge tears and a missing top back flap. Still a very presentable and clean cover of exhibitable quality. CSA Certificate 2006. $1,500.00
SOLD
SR10

USA 3c Red Star Die with the Jackson, Miss CDS 30 JAN (1861) US Mail Service in the Seceded Independent Republic of Mississippi to the Seceded Independent Republic of Louisiana. From the Carroll, Hoy & Co., New Orleans Correspondence. Usual filing pin holes found with this correspondence, and a light vertical file fold at right center, otherwise Very Fine. $300.00
SR11

USA 3c Red Star Die with two strikes of the Grenada, Miss CDS 6 MAR (1861) US Mail Service entirely in Confederate Mississippi. Addressed to Col John Duncan, Jackson, Miss. John Duncan was a prominent citizen of Jackson whose title of “Col” was honorary and not associated with the Confederate army. Period receiving docketing at left. Minor back flap opening tears, otherwise Very Fine. $250.00
SOLD
SR12

USA 3c Red Star Die Grid Cancel and the small double circle Vicksburg, Miss CDS 31 MAY (1861) Last Day of US Mail Service in the Confederate States. "To be mailed in Vicksburg" across the top, and "Per Emma Bett" at lower left. From the Carroll, Hoy & Co., New Orleans Correspondence. The Emma Bett (built 1858) was a federal packet that worked the Mississippi River between Memphis and New Orleans. The instruction at the top indicates that the cover was placed on the packet somewhere upriver from Vicksburg at either a landing or a plantation as a loose letter and then serviced in Vicksburg on the last day of US mail service in the Confederate States and sent on to New Orleans. The Emma Bett would become a Confederate packet and was siezed and burned by the Union in May 1863. Very Fine packet boat cover. $750.00
SR13

USA 3c Red Star Die with the Montgomery, Ala CDS 13 JAN 1861 US Mail Service entirely in the Seceded Independent Republic of Alabama two days after Alabama secession. Addressed to M. H. Cruikshank Esqr, Talladega, Ala. Marcus H. Cruikshank (1826-1881), the addressee, was a distinguished attorney in Talladega, pre-war mayor of Talladega, and a Confederate Congressman representing Alabama in the 2nd Confederate Congress 1864-1865. Back flap opening tears, otherwise Very Fine. Ex Kaufmann. $300.00
SR14

USA 3c Red 1854 Nesbitt Postal Stationery #U10 with the small double circle Mobile, Ala CDS 22 MAR 1861 US Mail Service in Confederate Alabama to Union New York City. The 1853-1855 Nesbitt envelopes are not listed in the new CSA catalog used from Mobile during this period. Part of back flap missing and nibbled a little at the bottom but on the back only, otherwise a Very Fine appearance. $300.00
SR15

USA 3c Red 1854 Nesbitt Postal Stationery #U10 Grid Cancel with the small double circle Key West, Fla CDS 12 APR 1861 (the day of the Fort Sumter bombardment in Charleston Harbor). Technically, this could be classified as US Mail Service in Confederate Florida. But that is not quite true. Key West was a Union naval base and was in Union hands throughout the duration of the war. The Confederates never exercised any control over Key West. Addressed to Mr. Thomas Dennis, Blakeley, Baldwin Co., Alabama. On arrival in Blakeley, the cover was forwarded to Mobile, Alabama without assessing a forwarding fee. Blakeley was right next to Mobile. Scarce cover that would have traveled on the steamship contract Route 6575 from Union Key West, Florida to Confederate Blakely, Alabama. Minor edge wear at the top, back flap opening tears, part of top back flap missing. Very clean appearance. $500.00
SR16

USA 3c Red 1854 Nesbitt Postal Stationery #U10 with the St. Martinsville, La CDS 9 MAR (1861) to Montgmery, Alabama. US Mail Service within the Confederate States from Confederate Louisiana to Confederate Alabama. The name of the addressee has been partially obliterated as was the common practice of the families when they sold family covers to collectors in the late 1800's and early 1900's. On arrival in Montgomery, the cover was forwarded back to St Martinsville, La with the addition of the Montgomery, Ala CDS 17 MAR 1861 and manuscript "Ford 3c" to assess the forwarding fee. The Union forwarding fee was 3c. Very Fine. Ex-Bogg, Ex-Kaufmann. $500.00
SR17

USA 3c Red Star Die pen-cancel with the usual somewhat weak but legible strike of  the RED Alexandria, La CDS 1 FEB (1861) (three days before the formation of the Confederate government) US Mail Service within Confederate Louisiana. From the Carroll, Hoy & Co., New Orleans Correspondence. Very Fine. Ex-Brian Green. $400.00
SR18

USA 3c Red Star Die Grid cancel with the matching Baton Rouge, La CDS 14 MAR 1861 US Mail Service within Confederate Louisiana. From the Carroll, Hoy & Co., New Orleans Correspondence. Very Fine. $250.00
SR19

Pre-Blockade Cross-Border Cover from Mexico to New Orleans, La. This folded letter complete (1 page business letter) took a round about way from Mexico to New Orleans and took almost 2 months to reach its destination. The letter is datelined "Estate Andria Decr 27th 1860." The cover was sent with no Mexican postmarks or forwarding agent's marks. Therefore, it would have been carried either privately or under separate cover most likely to Havana, Cuba through Vera Cruz, Mexico. On arrival in Havana, the cover, possibly still under separate cover with multiple other letters, was placed into the mail system on the Havana-New York contract steamship mail run. We know this because the "Steamship 10" handstamp is not a New Orleans mark but a New York mark used at this time on incoming unpaid mail from the Havana-New York steamship contract mail run indicating 10c due on delivery. Steamship mail could be sent unpaid at this time, but strictly internal overland US Mail was required to be pre-paid. The cover was then sent from New York to New Orleans overland where on arrival in New Orleans it received the New Orleans CDS 21 FEB (1861) US Mail Service to Confederate Louisiana. The route would easily account for the almost 2 month transit time. Not known why this cover took such a round about route as this is an unusally long transit time. Very Fine. Ex Kaufmann. $500.00
SR20

Pre-Blockade Trans-Atlantic Mail from Paris, France to New Orleans, La. Folded Letter Complete (lengthy 3 page letter in French) datelined "Paris 6 April 1861." The letter was pre-paid with a French stamp (pre-affixing clip to the right lower corner) and posted in Paris 6 APR 1861. Manuscript at top right "Per Steam Ship." Boxed red handstamp "Br. Service" (the red mark indicates fully pre-paid) indicating that the cover traveled most likely through Calais, France to Britian for steamship service to the USA. The cover has a RED "Boston 27 APR PAID 15" mark applied on arrival in Boston again indicating that the letter was fully pre-paid. No Cunard Line packet matches this arrival date in Boston. The only British contract packet that matches the Boston arrival date of 27 APR 1861 was the Columbia from the Galway Line which sailed from Galway, Ireland on 9 APR 1861. The Galway Line was under contract to carry British mail from Galway  to New York, Boston, and St Johns (Newfoundland). So this must have been the trans-Atlantic route for this cover from France because of the dates and the "British Service" mark. From Boston, the cover was carried overland to New Orleans for final delivery. No indication of the actual arrival date in New Orleans. US Mail Service to Confederate Louisiana. Very Fine. $500.00
SR21

USA #26 Grid cancel with the Griffin, Ga CDS to the left 22 JAN (1861 by period receiving docketing at the left) US Mail Service within the Independent Republic of Georgia. Addressed to Col Peeples, Forsyth, Ga. Minor back flap opening tears, otherwise Very Fine. The addressee was an attorney in Forsyth, Ga. The title "Col" was honorary and not associated with the Confederate army. $300.00
SR22

USA 3c Red Star Die pen-cancel and matching manuscript "Graysville, Ga March 28th (1861)" US Mail Service in Confederate Georgia to still Union Tennessee. Addressed to J. H. Gautt Esq, Counsellor at Law, Cleveland, Ten. Minor ink stains in the address, and top back flap missing. Otherwise a very clean cover. Ex Kaufmann. $200.00
SR23

Weak strike of the BLUE Etowah, Ga CDS with manuscript date Feby 11 (1861). Etowah postmaster's free frank signature at upper right "M. A. Cooper PM." US Mail Service in Confederate Georgia to Confederate Alabama. Addressed to Hon Howell Cobb, President, Convention, Montgomery, Ala. Local US postmasters had the free franking priviledge. Since this cover was US Mail Service, the free frank was legal. The postmaster's free frank would not be abolished in the Confederacy until the Confederate Post Office Department initiated service on 1 JUN 1861. This cover was posted one week after the formation of the Confederate government and one week before Jefferson Davis took office as the provisional president. Sealed back flap tears and an unobtrusive sealed tear at the upper left corner. Very Fine Appearance. A local postmaster's free frank cover from this period is not commonly seen. Ex Kaufmann.

Howell Cobb was the most prominent Georgia politician of his day and his history is well known. Former Speaker of the USA House of Representatives, former Governor of Georgia among other offices, and later a CSA Major-General. At the time of this cover, Howell Cobb was serving as the president of the Confederate provisional congress in Montgomery, Ala.
$250.00
SOLD
SR24

USA 3c Red Star Die Atlanta, Ga 31 MAY 1861 US Mail Service entirely within Confederate Georgia. Last Day of US Mail Service in the seceded states. The Confederate States Post Office Department took over the next day on 1 JUN 1861. Addressed to N. L. Hutchens Jr., Esq., Laurenceville, Ga. Cover with a sealed edge tear top center, backflap opening tears, and some minor light soiling. Still a very clean example.of a last day cover. $450.00
SR25

USA #26 (nick out at the bottom edge) tied by a Grid cancel with the matching small double circle Galveston, Tex CDS 25 FEB 1861 (period docketing confirms the year) (month logo is upside down). Addressed to Miss Sarah M. Stone, Middleburg, New Haven County, Connecticut. The Texas Secession Convention adopted the Ordinance of Secession on 1 FEB 1861. The cover is dated on the day the Texas voters approved secession by a referendum vote with the ordinance taking effect 2 MAR 1861 and Texas joining the CSA on 5 MAR 1861. Texas historians and postal historians have always recognized 1 FEB 1861 as the de facto date of Texas secession and the period 1 FEB - 4 MAR 1861 as the Independent period. The older CSA Dietz Catalogs recognized thos dates. However, the new Confederate catalog no longer recognizes this period because of a strict interpretation of the written language of the ordinance and recognizes only a 3 day independent Texas period 2-4 MAR 1861. Texas collectors will have to choose which period to accept - the popular belief supported by Texas historians or the strict legal interpretation of the language of the Texas Ordinance of Secession listed in the Confederate catalog. Either way, this is still an interesting historical cover. Ex Kaufmann. $200.00
SR26

USA 3c Red Star Die pen-cancel with a weak but easily recognizable strike of the RED Oso, Tex CDS 18 APR 1861 US Mail Service entirely within Confederate Texas. Addressed to Messers Webb & Jarmon, La Grange, Texas. Extensive dated period docketing on the face of the cover concerning the original business contents. Reduced at left where the cover was opened not affecting anything. Very clean appearance. Ex-Kaufmann. $400.00
SR27

USA 3c Red Star Die pen-cancel and matching manuscript "Chula Depot, Va Apr 25th  (18)61" at the upper left US Mail Service entirely within the Seceded Independent Republic of Virginia. Addressed to Mrs. Ann F. Booker, Sunny Side PO, Cumberland Co., Va. Very clean cover. $400.00
SR28

USA #26 affixed upside down and tied by a full strike of the Richmond, Va CDS Powell Type 1a 9 MAY 1861 US Mail Service in Confederate Virginia to Confederate South Carolina two days after Virginia joined the Confederacy. Addressed to Mr. John T. Burkett, Bradford Springs, Sumter Dist., So. Ca. Small part of top back flap missing and a little edge wear. Otherwise a Very Fine appearing cover. $200.00
SR29

USA #26 pen-cancel and BLUE Balconey Falls, Va CDS at the upper left corner 6 MAY (1861). Cover dated by period receiving docketing on the reverse. US Mail Service entirely within the Seceded Independent Republic of Virginia on the last day of the Virginia Independent period. Folded lettersheet with the page containing the letter removed some time in the past. Addressed to Mr. J. D. Davidson, Lexington (Virginia). Very Fine. Ex-Kaufmann. $250.00
SOLD
SR30

USA 3c Red Star Die small double circle BLUE Norfolk, Va CDS (double strike) 7 MAY 1861 (year in the CDS) US Mail Service in Confederate Virginia on the day Virginia joined the Confederacy to still Union North Carolina. Addressed to Edw Wood Esq, Edenton, N. Ca. Very Fine. Note on the reverse signed by Brian Green. CSA Certificate 2018. $400.00
SR31

USA 3c Red Nesbitt U10 pen-cancel and the Scupernong NC CDS at the upper left 20 MAY (1861). Cover year dated by period receiving docketing on the face of the cover US Mail Service entirely in the Seceded Independent Republic of North Carolina on the day of North Carolina secession. From the Pettigrew Correspondence addressed to William S. Pettigrew Esq, Raleigh, North Carolina. Molesworth note on the reverse. Very clean secession day cover.

The Pettigrew family was a prominent North Carolina planter family. William Shepard Pettigrew (1818-1900) was a member of the North Carolina Secession Convention and was the older brother of CSA Gen James Johnston Pettigrew (1828-1863) who commanded Heth's Division at Pickett's Charge (Gettysburg) and was killed covering the retreat from Gettysburg a few days later.
$750.00
SOLD
SR32

USA 3c Red Star Die pen-cancel and the Clinton NC CDS at top center 24 MAY (1861) USA Mail Service entirely in the Seceded Independent Republic of North Carolina. The Independent period for North Carolina is very short (20-26 MAY 1861).  Addressed to A. A. McKethan Esqr, Fayetteville NC.  A manuscript "7" is written over the "4" in the postmark date in the same hand and the same ink as the receiving docketing at left indicating that the cover was received 27 MAY 1861 the day North Carolina joined the Confederacy. Top back flap missing, otherwise a Very Fine appearance. $400.00
SR33

USA 3c Red Star Die pen-cancel and the Scupernong NC CDS at the left 31 MAY (1861). Cover year dated by period receiving docketing on the face of the cover US Mail Service entirely in Confederate North Carolina on the last day of US Mail Service in the Confederate States. US Mail Service in Confederate North Carolina is a very short period (27-31 MAY 1861). From the Pettigrew Correspondence addressed to William S. Pettigrew Esq, Raleigh, North Carolina. Very Fine. Ex Bogg.

The Pettigrew family was a prominent North Carolina planter family. William Shepard Pettigrew (1818-1900) was a member of the North Carolina Secession Convention and was the older brother of CSA Gen James Johnston Pettigrew (1828-1863) who commanded Heth's Division at Pickett's Charge (Gettysburg) and was killed covering the retreat from Gettysburg a few days later.
$500.00
SOLD
SR34

USA 3c Red Star Die BLUE Grid cancel and the BLUE Charlotte NC CDS 6 JUN (1861). Addressed to Mr. J. H. Weller, Brinkleyville, Halifax Cty NC. The cover is dated 5 days after the Confederate postal service began operations. But there is no indication on the cover that any Confederate postage was either paid or marked as due. It appears that the cover was allowed to go through with the Star Die accepted as postage. This should not have happened. Either the sending postmaster or the receiving postmaster should have marked the cover as "Due 5c" for the Confederate postage. But they did not. There is no explanation for this. There is reportedly a similar cover treated the same way also from Charlotte NC dated 17 JUN 1861. A very clean cover and a postal enigma.  $300.00
SOLD
SR35

Cross Border and Trans-Atlantic cover from New Orleans to Genoa, Italy June-August 1861. Folded business letter complete, which appears to be in Italian, datelined in Confederate New Orleans 22 JUN 1861. The cover was most likely carried under a separate cover with multiple letters from New Orleans to Nashville with the CSA postage noted on the outside envelope. The outer envelope was opened in Nashville, and the cover carried by Adams Express cross border to Union Louisville where it received the Adams Ex Co Louisville, KY circular mark dated 26 JUL 1861. Cover took more than a month to get to Louisville. Cross border mail was handled privately by the express company on the Nashville-Louisville route beginning 22 JUN 1861 until ended by the US government on 13 AUG 1861. The cover was then carried to New York either by the express company or under a separate cover for the Trans-Atlantic journey to Italy. The cover was fully pre-paid. On arrival in New York, the cover received the RED New York PAID 36 (36c pre-paid) CDS 31 JUL 1861. The only packet that sailed that day for Europe from New York was the British Cunard packet Asia which arrived in Queenstown 10 AUG 1861. Since the New York mark is a French Convention mark, the cover would have been placed in a locked pouch which was not opened in Britain but taken to Calais, France where the pouch was opened. The cover received the Calais, France transit mark dated 13 AUG 1861. The boxed P. D. mark is French indicating again that the cover was fully paid. From Calais, the cover was sent on to Genoa, Italy where docketing indicates that it was received 15 AUG 1861. Cover took about 7 weeks to reach its destination. The cover looks simple but is actually very complicated. I will not presume to know how the 36c postage was divided between the countries involved in this cover's journey since there are no other rate marks on the cover. Very Fine. $1,000.00

Roth Collection - Part II

The Vital Role of Waterways in the

Carriage of Confederate Mail

Part II of the Steven Roth collection (20 premium covers) demonstrates Confederate postal use on the rivers (Mississippi River, Alabama River System, James River, and others) and Trans-Atlantic Blockade Mail. This collection was exhibited by invitation in the Court of Honor at the International World Stamp Show in New York City 28 May-4 June 2016, and at EUROPHILEX London 2015. The covers are all priced to sell individually. The covers may be ordered using my Confederate Order Form (opens in a new window or tab). CSA member and dealer discounts do apply. Because of the significance of these covers and the excellent research, the entire collection will remain posted for study even after the covers have been sold.

The collection was formed by Steven M. Roth of Washington DC, a good friend of mine. Steven currently serves as a trustee of the Confederate Stamp Alliance and as an active member of the CSA Authentication Service. A succesful author of popular Mystery Novels (opens in a new window or tab), Steven has also published articles and contibuted to and co-authored books on Confederate philately and acted as section editor for the Inland Waterways section in the new Confederate catalog. The entire collection can be viewed in .pdf format with the covers mounted on the original demonstration pages as seen in the Court of Honor with the collector's research and write-up by clicking the link below (opens in a new window or tab). The write-ups below are an expansion of the collector's research with additional research on certain covers.



SR36

CSA #62x4 New Orleans 5c Red Brown on Bluish Paper (4-Margin) by the “PD 5 CTS/N.O.P.D.” two line postmaster’s handstamp with the “J. M. Riddell PM” straight line handstamp at the left and the small double circle New Orleans, La River Mail CDS 7 NOV 1861. Scarce use of the postmaster's handstamp to cancel a provisional stamp with only a small handful of covers known and even fewer with the name of the Steamboat. Cover was placed on a steamboat for delivery to G. J. Hook Esq, Providence, La. Manuscript “Quitman” at lower left identifies the steamboat as the General John A. Quitman, a contract Confederate Mail Packet. The last run of the General John A. Quitman was 4/11/1862 not long before the fall of New Orleans to the Union. The General John A. Quitman's captain took the steamboat north of Shreveport up the Red River and hid the steamboat in Twelve Mile Bayou to avoid capture by the Union. The General John A. Quitman remained hidden for the duration of the war. This cover is illustrated on Page 474 of the Inland Waterway Section of the new Confederate catalog. Small reduction at the right but otherwise a Very Fine appearing cover. Ex-Brown, Ex-Hall. $4,000.00
SOLD
SR37

CSA #1 Two Singles paying a double weight rate Stone 1 (not plated) (margins close) tied to each other and to the cover by the New Orleans, La CDS 2 APR (1861). The cover did originate in New Orleans. The cover is dated about three weeks prior to the fall of the city to the Union. Addressed to A. McLeod Jr Esq, Garvins Ferry, Mississippi. Routing instruction at lower left "via Care Steamboat Argo Vicksburg, Miss." Garvins Ferry was a crossing of the Sunflower River in Sunflower County, Mississippi, which no longer exists. If there was a post office there, it is not recorded. The Sunflower River was a tributary of the Yazoo River, and the Yazoo joined the Mississippi north of Vicksburg. The Argo (built 1856) was a packet which operated on the Vicksburg - Yazoo River run and connected with New Orleans packets but did not go to New Orleans herself. The routing instruction indicates that the cover originated in New Orleans and made its way to Vicksburg (most likely by an unnamed packet) where it was to be connected with the Argo at Vicksburg for the Yazoo River run to its final destination on the Sunflower River. In May 1863, the Argo was burned by the Confederates in a small bayou of the Sunflower River to prevent capture by the Union. The Argo is not listed as a Confederate packet in the new CSA catalog. The cover is also an Advertising Cover with a printed corner card upper left "--tle, Noble, & Co., New Orleans, La."  Cover reduced a bit at left where it was opened into the advertising. Some edge wear but still clean and very presentable. Ex-Finney (a collector active in the 1940's).  Scarce Confederate packet boat cover. $750.00
SR38

CSA #1 Stone 2 Position 49 (4-Margin) tied by the small single rim Grand Gulf, Miss CDS 27 DEC (1862). Addressed to C. H. Barland Esq, Port Gibson, Miss. At lower left "per Natchez" which is lined through. Grand Gulf is on the Mississippi River south of Vicksburg. Port Gibson is only a few miles from Grand Gulf but is not on the river but inland. Per the steamboat notation, the cover did not originate at Grand Gulf but was placed as a loose letter on a steamboat somewhere upriver at a landing or a plantation. The sender intended it to go on the Steamer Natchez, but the cover apparently missed that steamer and was put on another unamed steamboat instead so that the Natchez notation was lined through to show that it came on another steamboat instead. The cover was serviced at Grand Gulf as the first post office encountered for the remainder of its short inland journey to Port Gibson. Very Fine Steamboat Cover. $500.00
SR39

CSA #1 Stone 1 Position 13 (4-Margin) pen-cancel and not dated. USA #U10 3c Red Nesbitt postal stationery lined through adversity use paying no postage. Mississippi River Steamboat Cover which did not go through a regular CSA post office, but the proper postage was paid on a contract steamboat by using the stamp. From the Lousiana Raynand Correspondence addressed in French to Bruley Landing. Bruley Landing, on the Mississippi River near West Baton Rouge, was a scheduled stop for the mail contract steamboats plying the river between St. Francisville and New Orleans since the 1850's. Origin of this cover is not known since there is no enclosure, but the cover would have been placed directly on a steamboat, most probably as a loose letter at a landing or a plantation, where the stamp was cancelled and then delivered to Bruley Landing without going through a regular post office. Very Fine. Ex-Tate. $500.00
SR40

CSA #1 Stone 1 (not plated) (margin touches at the top) uncancelled but tied by period staining. Military Address to Mr. John Snow, Capt Lumsden's Lt Art Bat Co F, Mobile, Ala. Pencil date at left "Feb 62" which is most likely period receiving docketing referring to the date of the original letter. Alabama River System Steamboat Cover with steamboat routing manuscript at lower left "Cherokee." The Cherokee (built 1859 and sent to Mobile) is not listed as a Confederate Packet in the new CSA catalog but worked the Alabama River as this cover proves. Cover placed as a loose letter on the Cherokee somewhere on the river and delivered directly to Mobile. The stamp paid the postage and should have been cancelled in Mobile, but for whatever reason was not cancelled. The addresse, John Snow, was the Quartermaster Sergeant of Co F 2nd Ala Battalion Light Artillery commanded by Capt C. L. Lumsden. Information on Alabama soldiers is very sketchy. The unit was organized at Tuscaloosa in November 1861 and assigned to the Army of Mobile January-April 1862. Period ink staining. The stains tying the stamp are clear fingerprints. Minor trimming of the top edge, and top back flap missing. Mobile River (cover most likely orginated near Tuscaloosa as that is where the unit was raised) Steamboat Cover. $500.00
SR41

CSA #11c (AD) Greenish-Blue (4-Margin) tied by the Mobile, Ala CDS (date not apparent). Addressed to Miss Mary E. Matthews Care of Mr Wm Hester, Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama River System Steamboat Cover with steamboat routing manuscript at lower left "per Steamer Sumter." Tuscaloosa is on the Black Warrior River. The Sumter (built 1860 and sent to Mobile) is listed in the new CSA catalog as a known Confederate packet boat but without recorded covers. Now there is a recorded cover. This is also a Turned Cover with an inside use (missing stamp) showing a partial Tuscaloosa, Ala CDS addressed to Gaston, Sumter Co., Ala. Missing top back flap but a very clean overall appearance. Scarce Mobile - Tombigbee - Black Warrior Rivers (river route from Mobile to Tuscaloosa) Steamboat Cover. $400.00
SR42

CSA #11 (AD) (margin touches at the bottom) uncancelled. Addressed to Mrs. R. Horace Browne Care M. Bast, Benton, Lowndes Co., Ala.  Alabama River Steamboat Cover with "Steamer St Nicholas" routing instruction at the lower left. The origin of the cover is unknown as there is no enclosure. The cover was aparently put on the steamer as a loose letter somewhere on the Alabama River with the stamp to pay the postage. Benton in Lowndes County is on the Alabama River, so the cover was delivered directly to its destination by the steamboat. The stamp should have been cancelled on arrival in Benton, but for whatever reason it was not. The St. Nicholas (built in 1856 and sent to Mobile) is not listed as a Confederate packet boat in the new CSA catalog but oviously plied the Alabama River during this time. Top back flap missing but an overall very clean appearance. $350.00
SR43

Folded Letter written on a lined Ledger Page. The letter is datelined "Packet May 10th 1864" which means that the letter was written on board a packet boat. Part personal and part business, the letter does not name the packet but does mention that there are packts on the river as the writer asks if a few pounds of butter can be sent by the next packet. A CSA #11 stamp was used on the back to seal the letter and was partially torn away in opening. The letter entered the mails at Howardsville, Va with the BLUE Howardsville, Va CDS used to cancel the stamp dated 10 MAY, the same day the letter was written. This letter is from a James River packet as Howardsville in Nelson County is on the James River and a port on the Kanawha Canal. Addressed to Mr. Phil B. Cahill, Willow Bank (Va) also in Nelson County. $400.00
SR44

Turned Cover - Inside use handcarried outside the postal system to Mr. Manigault "Present" (Charleston SC) with endorsement "By Boat." Origin of the use is not known, but delivered "By Boat' from somewhere to Charleston Harbor. Flapped over from the lower right corner to demonstrate the "By Boat" endorsement. The second outside use is CSA #6 (single use prior to the rate change) tied by the large single rim Charleston SC CDS 23 MAY 1862. Addressed to Miss Louisa S. Gibbs, Flat Rock, Buncomb County (NC). Cover was not forwarded. A mistake in the address was lined through and corrected to Flat Rock. Very Fine. Ex-Kaufmann. $300.00
SR45

Cross Border Pre-Blockade Cover from Mexico to New York through Confederate New Orleans Feb-Mar 1861. Folded Letter Complete in Spanish datelined "Puebla (Mexico) 14 February 1861." Cover was taken to Vera Cruz where it entered the mails with a Vera Cruz forwarder's blue oval handstamp and the Vera Cruz oval postmark dated 21 FEB 1861. Cover was sent unpaid with no evidence of Mexican or US postage pre-paid. Cover presumed to have been placed on a US contract mail ship the Tennessee of Charles Morgan's Texas Line which serviced Vera Cruz and taken to Confederate New Orleans with the New Orleans, La CDS applied 27 FEB 1861 (US Mail Service in Confederate New Orleans). The "STEAMSHIP 10" was not applied in New Orleans but was a New York mark applied to unpaid mail received from the Havana-New York steamship mail run. So the cover made its way from New Orleans to Havana (possibly under a separate cover or in a locked bag) and then to New York where the STEAMSHIP 10 mark in black was applied indicating 10c due on delivery. Period docketing shows that the letter was received in New York on 6 MAR 1861. Very Fine. $1,000.00
SOLD
SR46

USA 3c Red Star Die uncancelled and paid no postage (Adversity Cover). Cover handcarried to Mrs. Rowland B. Smith, Camden, Arkansas. Manuscript instructions at lower left in the same hand as the address "Will Capt Thomas be kind enough to hand this to Mr Rainey and oblige. R. B. Smith." The sender was Rowland B. Smith (1828-1906) who served as an officer in the 18th Ark Inf and was promoted Major and served as the brigade Commissary Supply Officer and later on the staff of Arkansas Brig-Gen Thomas Pleasant Dockery (1838-1898). Major Smith was severely wounded at the Battle of Mark's Mill (4/18/1864 in Cleveland County, Arkansas). The cover is undated. Because of the instructions on the cover, it is presumed it comes from the time that Major Smith was serving east of the Mississippi River as Major Smith did not enter service until March 1862 (the unit took part in the Battle of Corinth in April 1862 and the Port Hudson Siege in the summer of 1863) and the cover was very likely smuggled across the Mississippi River by the two go-betweens, Capt Thomas and Mr. Rainey. Some light water staining which with a little stretch of the imagination might have been caused by a river crossing. Certainly an interesting Arkansas related cover which bears further research. Major Smith's somewhat extensive wartime letters (1862-1864) to his wife and others are archived at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Ex-Matz, Ex-Kaufmann. $300.00
SR47

North to South Through-the-Lines POW Cover with USA #65 Target Cancel and the Point Lookout MD CDS 25 OCT (1864). Addressed to Mrs. M. H. Dunlap, Box 7, Lexington, Rockbridge County, Virginia. Manuscript "By Flag of Truce Boat." The cover transitted Richmond with a partial strike of the Richmond, Va CDS and a full strike of the Richmond "DUE 10" handstamp Type P to assess the CSA postage. The cover bears the Point Lookout octagonal handstamp "Prisoner's Letter Examined" (PWH-17 Type B) used July 1864 - March 1865. Endorsed at the top "Saml M. Dunlap Co II 4th Va Inft." Samuel McKee Dunlap (1843-1910) entered service as a private in the Va Rockbridge 1st Light Artillery 3/7/1862 and soon transferred to Co I 4th Va Inf 4/27/1862. The 4th Va Inf was part of the famed Stonewall Brigade. Private Dunlap was captured as a POW at Gettysburg 7/3/1863 (Culp's Hill) and confined at Point Lookout until exchanged 2/18/1865. He also had service in Co C 1st Va Cav. After the war, he returned home and farmed for the remainder of his life.  Very Fine. $750.00
SR48

South-to-North Through-the-Lines Civilian Cover Columbia SC to New York. The original letter is with the cover datelined "Columbia Feb 21 64" and identifies the origin of the cover. Addressed to Miss Emma F. Tuthill, East Otto, New York. This is the inside envelope. The outer envelope contained the CSA postage to the transfer point (Aiken's Landing, Va) and was discarded when the cover entered the Union postal system pre-paid by a USA #65 stamp. Old Point Comfort, Va Union CDS with a fancy geometric cork cancel 1 MAR 1864. Routing instructions at top in the same hand as the address "Per Flag of Truce Fortress Monroe Steamer New York Care of Major Mulford." No examiner's mark. Major Mulford was the Union transfer agent in charge of Flag of Truce matters. The New York was a Union steamer that carried POW's and mail between Aiken's Landing, Va (Confederate) and Old Point Comfort, Va (Union). The letter is between two sisters separated by the war. The letter mentions that stamps (Confederate) were included with the letter for return Flag of Truce postage. So it is reasonable to assume that the sister in New York also sent Union stamps south. Top back flap missing, otherwise Very Fine. $500.00
SR49

North-to-South Through-the-Lines Civilian Cover to Danville, Virginia.  Origin in the North is unknown. This is the inside cover with the outside cover showing the Union postage discarded at the Old Point Comfort, Va transfer point. "Per Flag of Truce Boat" at left. The Flag of Truce Boat was the Union Steamer New York operating between Old Point Comfort, Va (Union) and Aikens Landing, Va (Confederate). CSA #7 Pair affixed in advance to the inside envelope to pay the CSA postage to Danville. Cover transitted Richmond where the stamps were cancelled by the Richmond, Va CDS Powell Type 6p 8 SEP (1864). "Approved Horace T. Sanders (handstamp signature) Col & Provost Marshall District of Va." on the back flap. North-to-South civilian mail had to be approved by the Union provost marshall at the transfer point. Horace Turner Sanders (1820-1865) was Colonel of the 19th Wisconsin Infantry and was breveted a Brig-Gen after the war on 4/19/1865 for his service. Addressed to John H. Knowles Care of Major Morfit, Danville, Virginia. Major Mason Morfit commanded the Danville Prison March 1864 - October 1864. John H. Knowles was reportedly a civilian clerk on the prison staff. The cover very likely originated from Baltimore since both Morfit and Knowles hailed from that city. Very Fine. Extensive Molesworth note on the back. Ex-Kaufmann. $500.00
SR50

Incoming Blockade Cover from England to Spartanburg, South Carolina via Charleston from the well-known and well-documented Grimball Correspondence. Cover originated in London, England and was sent in a closed locked mail bag on a Cunard steamer through New York to Nassau, Bahamas where the bag was opened and the cover put on a blockade runner for Charleston. Most likely the cover was carried on the Cunard Blockade Mail run by the Cunard trans-Atlantic Steamship Asia which departed Liverpool 2/13/1864 and arrived in New York 2/28/1864 and then transferred to the Cunard West Indies Steamship Corsica arriving in Nassau 3/4/1864. British postage for the Liverpool to Nassau run would have been pre-paid in England under a separate cover. The final stage was a blockade runner from Nassau arriving in Charleston 3/18/1864 where the cover entered the Confederate mail with the Charleston SC large single rim CDS 18 MAR (1864) and the oval STEAM-SHIP handstamp Type B and manuscript "12" for 12c due on delivery (10c for inland mail delivery to Spartanburg + 2c ship fee paid to the captain of the blockade runner). Period receiving docketing indicates that the original letter was from  "J G (John Grimball)" and dated 24 Jany 1864."  Very Fine. Ex-Kohn.

The cover is from Lt John Grimball CSN to his father. John Grimball (1840-1922) an 1858 graduate of the US Naval Academy and from a very prominent Charleston SC family, was a Lieutenant in the Confederate States Navy. He served on various Confederate vessels until being assigned to England as a navy purchasing agent which would coincide with the time of this cover. Later in 1864, he served on the famous CSS Shenandoah until the ship surrendered in November 1865. Lt Grimball has the distinction of being present at Fort Sumter when the first shot of the war was fired and on the CSS Shenandoah when the last shot of the war was fired in June 1865 when the ship, not knowing the war was over, fired on Union whaling vessels. This cover is listed in the Walske-Trepel book as originating in France. Not true as Lt Grimball was assigned to England arriving in January 1864, and there is no record of his operating in France.
$2,000.00
SOLD
SR51

Incoming Blockade Cover England to Charleston SC. Extensive Walske notation on the back documents the history of the cover and the original enclosure which is no longer with the cover. Addressed to Theo D. Wagner Esq, Messer John Fraser & Co., Charleston So. Ca. The original letter was datelined "Liverpool Jun 5 1863." The letter was sent most likely under separate cover, with the British postage pre-paid, in a closed locked mail bag on the Cunard trans-Atlantic steamship Scotia which departed Liverpool 6/6/1863 arriving in New York 6/16/1863. The locked bag was transferred to the Cunard West Indies steamship Corsica arriving in Nassau 6/24/1863 where the bag was opened. The cover has no postal markings and did not enter the Confederate mail. Manuscript "Baltic" at upper left in the same hand as the address indicates that the sender designated the Baltic as the blockade runner which was to take the cover into Charleston. According to Walske's research, that did not happen. The cover instead was carried on the blockade runner Racoon which ran aground off Sullivan's Island on her thrid run and was burned by the crew. But the mail bag was saved, and the cover handcarried into Charleston. Very Fine. Ex-Walske, Ex-Kaufmann. $500.00
SR52

Incoming Blockade Cover via Wilmington NC to Bolingbroke, Georgia. Origin of the cover is not confirmed as there is no enclosure but most likely from England. Addressed to Col Hallowes, Bolingbroke, St Mary's, Georgia CSA. The letter was sent most likely under separate cover, with the British postage pre-paid, in a closed locked mail bag on the Cunard trans-Atlantic steamship China which departed Liverpool 8/1/1863 arriving in New York 8/11/1863. The locked bag was transferred to the Cunard West Indies steamship Corsica arriving in Nassau 8/19/1863 where the bag was opened. The cover bears the red oval Nassau forwarder's handstamp of Saunders and Son. Carried into Wilmington by the blockade runner Alice where it received the Wilmington NC CDS 12 SEP (1863) and SHIP handstamp with manuscript "12' indicating 12c due on delivery (10c for inland delivery to Bolingbroke, Georgia + 2c ship fee paid to the captain of the blockade runner). The Wilmington postmark partially obscures the forwarder's handstamp. Cover dated to 1863 by period receiving docketing at left. Small cover but complete except that part of the back flap is missing and with embossed flowers on the remaining tip of the top back flap. Cover has small faults and very expert professional edge repairs not involving the postal markings or the manuscripts. Overall Very Fine appearance. Ex-Walske. CSA Certificate 1989.

The Alice was one of the most succesful of the blockade runners making 24 successful runs between May 1863 and March 1865.
$2,000.00
SOLD
SR53

Outgoing Blockade Cover Charleston SC to New York City. The cover is from the well-known and well-documented Wells Correspondence which is known to have originated in Charleston SC. Addressed to Miss Sabina E. Wells, 94 West Eleventh St, New York. According to the Walske research on the reverse of the cover, the cover was carried by the blockade runner Fox from Charleston to Nassau, Bahamas. The Fox departed Charleston 9/9/1864 and succesfully made the run to Nassau arriving 9/12/1864. The cover entered the British mail in Nassau receiving the RED NASSAU PAID  postmark 12 SEP 1864 and manuscript red "4" indicating that 4d was paid in advance for the steamship run from Nassau to New York. The cover departed Nassau on 9/25/1864 on board the Cunard West Indies steamer Corsica which departed Nassau for New York 9/27/1864 arriving 10/1/1864. On arrival in New York, the cover received the black New York Br PKT 5 CDS 1 OCT (1864) indicating 5c due for US inland delivery as the US postage was not paid in advance. Small but complete commercially made lady's type cover with embossed flowers on the back flap. A little minor edge wear, otherwise Very Fine. Ex-Walske, Ex-Kaufmann. $1,500.00
SR54

Cross-Border Cover Monterey, Mexico, to New Orleans via Brownsville, Texas, 1862. Folded Letter Sheet but the page with the letter was torn away. Period receiving docketing confirms that the letter originated 7 JAN (1862) in Monterey, Mexico, and confirms the 1862 year date. The letter crossed the border at Brownsville, Texas. There are no Mexican postal marks or forwarder's marks, so the letter was carried either privately to Brownsville or was more likely sent by a forwarding agent under separate cover with the forwarding agent paying the Confederate postage. The letter entered the Confederate mail in Brownsville and received the RIMLESS Brownsville, Tex CDS 13 JAN (1862) and PAID 10 handstamp Type C and was sent on its way to New Orleans arriving 31 JAN 1862. Note on the reverse "This cover was carried by Antonio Costa - the Blockade Runner in Jany 1862" and is signed by Hubert Skinner in 1976. Also an unsigned Van Dyk MacBride note on the back but does not mention the express service. Antonio Costa's Express was an obscure private express service set up between Brownsville, Texas, and New Orelans beginning in October 1861 and lasting into 1862 perhaps until the fall of New Orleans to the Union for the purpose of circumventing the blockade. The service was endorsed by New Orleans Postmaster John L. Riddell. There are no distinctive marks for this service. Any covers originating outside the Confederacy to New Orleans via Brownsville, Texas, during this time period can be reasonably presumed to have been carried by the Antonio Costa Express. Such covers are scarce. (Reference: Collector's Guide to Confederate Philately Second Edition Page 248). Very Fine. Ex-MacBride, Ex-Skinner, Ex-Kaufmann. $1,000.00
SR55

USA #65 Wilmington, Del, to Philadelphia 4 JUL (no year date). This is strictly a Union cover, but it is related to the topic in that it is addressed to Henry Flanders Esq, U.S. Prize Commisioner, 113 South 5th St., Philadelphia, Pa. Henry Flanders, a maritime attorney and an authority on maritime law, was the commisioner of one of two prize courts (the other prize court was in New York City) that dealt with captured Confederate vessels, particularly blockade runners. Mail captured on a blockade runner would be used as evidence in court to prove that the vessel was indeed a blockade runner and originated in a Confederate port. Henry Flanders would annotate such "Prize Court Covers" in magenta ink and intial them "HF." Such "Prize Court Covers" are scarce. This is an interesting cover related to this topic because of the prize court connection and also because period docketing indicates that the original contents no longer with the cover refers to the Schooner Wonder. Could find no specific reference to the Schooner Wonder, but she may have been an obscure Confederate blockade runner that was captured. Very Fine. $50.00

-- Confederate Order Form --

Return to Top of Page

jlkcsa@aol.com