Confederate cover with U. S. postal issue used after secession
United States 3-cent George Washington stamped envelope (USA Scott U26), cancelled by a black seven-bar gridiron. Envelope is postmarked by Charleston, South Carolina, February 26, 1861, concentric circle date stamp on white envelope addressed to Washington, District of Columbia.
The sender of this envelope is 1st Lt. Theodore Talbot of the 1st Regiment of Artillery of the garrison within Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. It is addressed to his mother, Adelaide Talbot.
South Carolina was admitted to the Confederacy on February 4, 1861, and therefore this cover represents Confederate State usage of United States postage.
Mail continued to travel uninterrupted under the service of the U.S. Post Office Department until the Confederate Post Office Department officially began service on June 1, 1861. A 3-cent stamp paid the letter rate for a distance less than 3,000 miles.