Confederate blockade-run cover
The enclosed letter (not shown), dated December 1864, is from Joseph Hincks to his father. Surprisingly, it bears his own 'Examined' markings. The letter was most likely entrusted to Col. Hatch, C.S.A. Agent for Exchange, who gave it to a blockade runner bound for Cuba, as evidenced by the backstamp. From there, it traveled onboard a regular steamer headed for occupied New Orleans. (However, it is also possible that Hatch handed the letter over to his federal counterpart at Hilton Head, who, as a favor, could have sent it on to Port Royal to be put aboard a New Orleans-bound supply ship.) Upon arrival in New Orleans, it was placed into the regular incoming U.S. mail and marked “collect” ten cents as incoming ship mail.