Until the Confederate government provided adhesive stamps, some postmasters created their own adhesives. Some postmasters reverted to the pre-stamp period practice of stamping the word "Paid" with the appropriate rate on the envelope, a procedure made obsolete by the first issuance of stamps in 1847.
A handstamped provisional envelope was prepared and sold in advance at the local post office with the rate marking and a 'control' marking. When it was taken back to the post office to be mailed, it received a town date stamp. The control marking differentiates a handstamped provisional envelope from one with simple handstamped 'Paid' usage.