Arago: Trans-Mississippi Covers

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Trans-Mississippi Covers

Confederate Trans-Mississippi cover

Scott Catalogue CSA: 11
Description:

CSA 10-cent Jefferson Davis (CSA Scott 11), tied by Montgomery, Alabama, September 18, circular date stamp on homemade envelope, addressed to Galveston, Texas. Vertical pair and two singles. These four stamps paid the forty-cent postage for the Trans-Mississippi express service rate.

One aspect of the Union's military strategy was to the control the Mississippi River. The Confederate Congress passed a bill on May 1, 1863, to establish express mails. After the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, Postmaster General John Reagan expanded the duties of his special mail agents, who employed contractors to transport mail across the river and in October 1863 established the express mail across the Mississippi. On March 12, 1864, President Jefferson Davis appointed Dr. James H. Starr the postmaster of the Trans-Mississippi Post Office Department at Marshall, Texas.

At the lower left, the letter is endorsed "Via Brandon, Miss. Express Mail" According to Richard Krieger in his 1984 book "The Trans-Mississippi Mails After the Fall of Vicksburg", the earliest fully dated use of this Trans-Mississippi service is November 2, 1863 and the latest use in May 1865. This cover is thus most likely used September 18, 1864, although the cover is not otherwise dated. This cover is not listed in Krieger.

Date:
September 18, 1864
Medium:
paper; ink
Museum ID:
0.242715.1
Place of Origin:
Montgomery, Alabama
Place of Destination:
Galveston, Texas

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