CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA
STAMPS AND POSTAL HISTORY
CSA Search Engine Tutorial
27 OCT 2001 -- The CSA Search Engine is capable of searching my entire CSA Postal History and CSA Stamps databases which at this time encompasses about 800 documents and files. The search is performed on the text of my written descriptions of the items both stamps and covers. But in order for the Search Engine to be most useful, it requires that the search strings be formed according to specific formats. I have prepared this short explanation page to assist you in getting the most use that you can from the search engine. You may want to print this out for future reference.
In the Drop Down Box under the Search Box are three choices 1) Find ANY word, 2) Find ALL words, 3) Find EXACT PHRASE.
Quotation Marks can be used in this search engine. All the items within the quotes are interpreted as an Exact Phrase. This can be very useful in forming detailed limited search strings using the Find ALL words option. If using Quotation Marks, DO NOT USE the Find EXACT PHRASE option.
John L. Kimbrough MD
- One Word Searches -- This is the easiest and most popular way to use the search engine. Just type in your one word name or description and see what happens. Some of the more popular one word searches are --
- adversity -- Lists all the Adversity Covers currently in the database.
- wallpaper -- Lists all the Wallpaper Covers currently in the database.
- turned -- Lists all the Turned Covers currently in the database.
- patriotic -- Lists all the Patriotic related items currently in the database.
- pow -- Lists all the Prisoner-of-War related items currently in the database.
- military -- Lists all the covers currently in the database with Military Addresses.
- handstamp -- Lists all the Handstamp PAID covers currently in the database.
- soldiers -- Lists all the Soldiers Due covers currently in the database.
- stephens -- Lists all the items currently in the database related to the "Stephens" family name particularly covers from the Alexander H. Stephens Correspondence.
- pickett -- Lists all the items currently in the database related to Gen Pickett and Pickett's Charge.
- "overpaid drop letter" -- a single phrase enclosed in quotes is treated as a one word search.
- Date Search -- To do a simple search of all items both stamps and covers related to a specific date, use the following format --
- 13 OCT or 13 OCT 1863 with the Find EXACT PHRASE option. Be sure and try the search both with and without the year as many CSA postmarks do not contain a yeardate. All my date descriptions of the postmarks are written with the day first followed by the three letter month abbreviation. Therefore doing a search using 10/13/1863 will produce no results.
- City or Town Search -- The easiest way to do a city or town search is simply to enter the one word name. This will bring up all items associated with that city or town in either the postmark or the address.
- richmond -- Lists all items referring to Richmond in either the postmark or the address.
- new orleans or "new orleans" -- For cities or towns with more than one word in the name, use the Find EXACT PHRASE option or use Quotation Marks just for the city or town name.
- Military Unit Search -- I wrote all my Military Unit Designations in the descriptions using abbreviations. Your best chance of success in searching for a Military Unit related cover is to use the following formats but some trial and error may be in order --
- 20th Tex with the Find EXACT PHRASE option or "20th Tex" with Quotation Marks.
- "2nd Va Cav" -- can use inf for infantry regiment and cav for cavalry unit. But best chance for a seccessful search is to use the number designation and a state abbreviation only (ala, ark, fla, ga or geo, ky, la, miss, nc, sc, ten, tex, va). If the state abbreviation produces no results, then try typing out the name of the state in full.
- Stamp Search -- One of the big advantages to a Search Engine is that detailed searches can be constructed so that you will only look at specific items instead of browsing the entire database. I will use a stamp search to illustrate how this can be done with the CSA Search Engine. I have found that search strings work best when used with Quotation Marks and the "Find ALL words" option.
- "CSA #7" -- All my CSA stamp descriptions begin like this. Entering "CSA #7" with the Quotes and the Find ALL words option will list all the covers related to the CSA #7 stamp as well as all the off-cover CSA #7 stamps in the database.
- "CSA #7" cover -- will list only the covers with the CSA #7 stamp.
- "CSA #7" stamp -- will list only the off-cover CSA #7 stamps.
- "CSA #7" unused stamp -- will list only the off-cover unused CSA #7 stamps.
- "CSA #7" unused pair stamp -- will list only the off-cover unused CSA #7 stamps in pairs.
- "CSA #7" unused "block of 4" stamp -- will list only the off-cover unused CSA #7 stamps in a block of 4.
- "CSA #7" used stamp -- will list only the off-cover used CSA #7 stamps.
- "CSA #7" used Richmond stamp -- will list only the off-cover used CSA #7 stamps with a Richmond postmark.
- "CSA #7" Richmond cover -- will list only Richmond related covers with CSA #7 stamps.
- Using the above format, you can construct all sorts of stamp related searches.
- Here are some search strings related to specific details.
- Suppose you wanted to search for a CSA #12 Keatinge and Ball Stamp on cover. Your search string would look like this: "CSA #12" KB cover using the Find All words option. If you wanted to narrow it to Richmond related covers only, then the search string would look like this: "CSA #12" KB richmond cover using the Find All words option.
- For Archer & Daly printings of the CSA #11 and CSA #12 stamps, use AD in the search string.
- For Keatinge and Ball printings of the CSA #11 and CSA #12 stamps, use KB in the search string.
- Suppose you want to search for a CSA #2 Hoyer & Ludwig Print on Cover. Your search string would look like this: "CSA #2" "H&L" cover using the Find All words option. For a Paterson Print, the search string would look like this: "CSA #2" paterson cover using the Find All words option. When searching for a CSA #2 print, use "H&L" with quotes for Hoyer and Ludwig but write out Paterson completely. The "&" symbol is an idiosyncrasy of the search engine which can have different meanings if the quotes are not used.
- To search only the CSA Postal History Database and not the Stamp Database, add cover to the end of your search string and make sure that you use the Find ALL words option.
- To search only the CSA Stamps Database and not the Postal History Database, add stamp to the end of your search string and make sure that you use the Find ALL words option.
- If you have any questions or if you require a highly detailed search string to locate specific items and are unsure of how to construct such a search string because of the idiosyncrasies of the database descriptions, just send me an E-mail with your request. I will be happy to construct a workable search string for you which you can save and use whenever you want to.
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