Hoyer & Ludwig, the Richmond lithographers, were the first to receive a contract from the Confederate States Post Office Department. They were neither experienced in stamp printing nor equipped for the job. The scarcity of printing stones forced the firm to recycle each stone after completion of an order, resulting in a new transfer whenever an order for stamps was received from the Confederate Post Office. In addition, inks were mixed in small quantities, causing a wide inconsistency of shades. As a result, the lithographed stamps of the Confederacy present an intriguing challenge to philatelists.
The first Confederate issue, a 5-cent green imperforate bearing the portrait of President Jefferson Davis, appeared on October 16, 1861. Davis was the first living president to appear on a postage stamp. In the absence of radio, television, and lavishly illustrated publications, the postage stamp was looked upon as the best means for introducing the leader of the newly-formed Confederacy to his constituency.