On 1 JUN 1861, the United States Postal Service ceased all operations in the seceded states. The Confederate Postal Service took over all the existing US post offices within the CSA. New rates were also established. The rates instituted by the CSA were very simple:
10 cents per 1/2 oz over 500 miles
2 cents drop letter usage
These rates were in effect 1 JUN 1861 through 30 JUN 1862. On 1 JUL 1862, the 5c rate was eliminated. The standard rate then became a uniform 10c per 1/2 oz for any distance.
Since the CSA had no postal treaties with any foreign country including the United States, there were no separate overseas of foreign rates. Later special Trans-Mississippi and Express rates are beyond the scope of this exhibit as patriotic covers showing these rates are unknown. This collector personally knows of only three patriotic covers which demonstrate the 2c drop letter rate, but there may be others. These three covers currently reside in another private collection.
|Many Confederate post offices were too small to have their own datestamps and rate marks. This necessitated the use of manuscript marks to indicate the town of origin and the fact that the rate was paid. This cover is marked "Fairfax Station (Va) Pd 10." Although no year is given, it is most likely 8 JUL 1862 which shows the uniform 10c rate as the 12-Star Flag did not become official until 18 NOV 1861.|