The United States Postal Service continued to operate without interruption in the seceded states through 31 MAY 1861 with United States rates and stamps being valid through that date. The dates of secession as well as the dates that individual southern states joined the CSA are extremely important. The use of United States stamps between the date of secession and the date the state joined the CSA is termed INDEPENDENT STATE USAGE . The use of United States Stamps between the date the state joined the CSA and 31 MAY 1861 is termed US USED IN THE CSA.


Extremely scarce FREE usage of a Confederate Patriotic

Virginia seceded from the Union on 17 APR 1861 and joined the CSA on 7 MAY 1861. This cover dated 29 APR 1861 from Fredericksburg, Va falls into the INDEPENDENT STATE USAGE period for Virginia. The "FREE" and the address to the postmaster in Plantersville, Va indicate official US Postal Service usage prior to the establishment of the Confederate Postal Service.

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