Items for Sale - Postmasters' Provisionals on Cover, Section Three

New material may be listed in any section, not just in the last section of a category.

15667 15667

Columbus, Ga, 5¢ blue provisional entire #19XU1, no town cancel as frequently the case, but addressed and no doubt delivered to John A. Cobb, Esq., Athens, Ga, to whom it is addressed. Reduced at right with restoration strip at right just into the address. ONLY 27 RECORDED in the Crown surveys. SCV $1,200. $600.

John Addison Cobb, Jr. (1783-1885) was the father of Georgia Governor and Confederate Major General Howell Cobb, as well as Confederate Brig. Gen. Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb who is crediting with writing the Confederate Constitution.

15674 15674

Galveston, Tex 10¢ black provisional entire #98XU3 used with matching town postmark, to J. Ed. Wallis Esq, Chappell Hill, Texas with soldier endorsement of “J. C. W. Augt 26 / 64, Pollard Brigade,” part of back flap missing. ONLY 2 RECORDED in the Crown surveys. SCV $2,750. $1,300.

Joseph Edmund Wallace (1835-1907) was from Chappell Hill, Texas. More info on linked page.

15684 15684

New Orleans, La. 5¢ brown #62X3 tied by usual blurry bold town cancel (canceling device deteriorated with time) on cover to Jas. Elliott, Orchard Green, La. Bit of soiling and edge wear. SCV $450. $350.

15700 15700

Uniontown, Ala, 5¢ green on gray blue #86X3 tied to small pink-lined cover by 10 Mar town cancel, to Porter King, Marion, Ala. 1984 CSA certificate mis-characterized as “genuine stamp with large tear on repaired envelope.” The stamp does not have a tear. The entire right side of the cover and stamp have been restored, including a masterful job of creating a matching right side of the stamp with virtually perfect ink match. ONLY 9 RECORDED in Crown by Hart and Phillips. Ex Hessel. SCV $15,000. $6,500.

15744 15744

Charleston S.C., 5¢ blue #16X1, large margins to in where separated a bit roughly, uncanceled, neat strike of November 24, 1861, double-circle town cancel on ad cover to B. F. Brown, Esq, Anderson S.C., with J. N. Robson Commission Merchant's oval corner card, stamp with some toning, cover expertly repaired at top, otherwise Fine, perhaps 14 such are recorded in the Calhoun census and several are embossed and difficult to see clearly. Ex Calhoun with his owner backstamp. $500.


J.N. Robson & Son was established in 1839; Robson was a pioneer in introducing Western trade into Charleston. Much more information online from various sources.

15682 15682

Mobile, Ala. 2¢ black #58X1 tied neat [J]an Mobile town double circle datestamp on tiny local cover to Miss Anna W. Dorr, Care of S. W. Dorr Esq, Office [Mobile] Advertiser & Register. ONLY 23 RECORDED in the Crown combined surveys. 2016 CSA Certificate stating that stamp has nick at left center and top margin cuts into design; envelope reduced slightly at top and most of top back flap missing. SCV $6,000. $5,000.

15952 15952

Mobile, Ala 5¢ blue postmaster provisional #58X2, superb 4-margin copy tied neat Mobile Sept 22, 1861, double circle datestamp on darling small fancy laid paper envelope to Miss Cecilia Labadie, Galveston, Texas, with fabulous 6-page (4 pages plus 2 cross-written) original letter (extensive file splits that have been repaired with acid-free archival document tape) from a soldier, S. Badie, saying, in part, “We were somewhat alarmed that three nites ago after the federals bombarded Galveston…took possession of Ship Island. Our Confederates had Ship Island but the fire of the enemy was stronger than ours so we abandoned the Island & took our ammunitions & all our property...[a] great battle took place in Kentucky between 1800 Federals & 800 Confederates. Federals completely routed & Confederates Captured 400 stand of arms…on 19th in town of Barbourville in Eastern Kentucky…Captain Alden sent bomb shells in the City…here made by us Mobile at Foundry so we can defy those who enter our City. Old Abe has promised England & France to give them our Cotton but I am afraid he will look out & he will be…a hooter if he comes near this…” and on and on – excellent content. Lovely cover and letter, Ex Markovits. SCV $2,000. $2,750.

Mary Cecelia Labadie was one of the 3 daughters of Physician, businessman, and San Jacinto veteran, Nicholas Descomps Labadie. Much more detailed information on this Texas man on the linked page.

16243 16243

MACON GEO. / PAID 5, 5¢ black provisional entire #53XU1 used with Macon, Ga. Nov 12 [1861] cds, addressed to Messrs McWilliams & Roberts, Griffin, Ga. Lightly cleaned. “Plantation Collection” SCV   $650. CCV $750. $600.

16437 16437

Charleston, S.C., 5¢ blue #16X1 with large margins to just in, tied by bold clear town postmark Oct. 1, 1861, on cover to W. R. Johnston, Petersburg, Va. missing part of back flap and small cover repair at top not near the stamp. SCV $2,500. $1,100.

16439 16439

Macon, Ga., 5¢ black, Comma After "Office" #53X1, Type II, tied by MACON / GA double-circle datestamp on small cover to Mrs. Edward D[orr] Tracy, Huntsville Alabama, original letter enclosed, sister Hattie to sister Ellen, mentions knitting socks for the soldiers by candlelight, slightly reduced at top with top back flap removed, minor edge wear, lightly cleaned, Very Fine appearance.  Ex Everett and Pegram, 2009 CSA Certificate, SCV $7,500. $5,750.

General Edward Dorr Tracy led the 19th Alabama with great distinction at the battle of Shiloh.  He was killed on May 1st, 1863, while leading his Alabama regiments at the battle of Port Gibson. 

16440 16440

Mobile, Ala., 5¢ blue #58X2 tied by MOBILE / ALA // NOV / 8 / 1861 double-circle datestamp on cover to Mrs. R. H. Lee Care of Jabez Curry, Greensboro, Ala., letter enclosure matches handwriting but is from a different cover (based on date), slight stamp toning, cover slightly reduced at top and left, otherwise Very Fine. SCV $2,000. $1,100.

16442 16442

Nashville, Tenn., 5¢ violet brown #61X5 with large margins all around, tied by blue Nov. 26, 1861, town circular datestamp on cover to Mrs. A. E. Bardwell, Macon Miss., care of Lucretius Gillespie, few sealed tears at top from opening, not affecting stamp or mentioned on accompanying 1991 CSA certificate. Ex Caspary and Agre. Worth professional restoration. SCV $4,250. $2,200.

16567 16567

Canton Miss., 5¢ Black entire #14XU1, clear strike of “PAID / 5 / P” Star in Circle provisional handstamp, the "P" in center of the star is the initial of Postmaster William Priestly; light Jan. 17, 1862, cds on cover to Carroll Hoy & Co., New Orleans, usual filing pinholes this correspondence, late use. SCV $4,000.  $2,250.

16568 16568

Canton Miss., 5¢ Black entire #14XU1, clear strike of “PAID / 5 / P” Star in Circle provisional handstamp, the "P" in center of the star is the initial of Postmaster William Priestly; light Dec. 24, 1861, cds on cover to Carroll Hoy & Co., New Orleans, usual filing pinholes for this correspondence, Very Fine. Ex Hall. Undated H.E. Harris certificate, SCV $4,000.   $2,500.

16573 16573

Columbia, S.C., 5¢ blue #18XU1, clear strike of provisional marking; 28 NOV [1861] town postmark and PAID handstamp on entire to S. W. Davis, Esq, President, N.C. Powder Co., Charlotte, N.C., slightly reduced at right, Very Fine, SCV $900.  $750.

S.W. Davis was an attorney who established the North Carolina Power Manufacturing Company. More detailed information on linked page.

16598 16598

Macon, Georgia, 10¢ black #53XU1 on fresh entire to McWilliams & Roberts (a large mercantile firm), Griffin, Ga., used with light town postmark, 15 RECORDED IN CROWN SURVEYS, 1981 PF Certificate. Ex Andy Reis, SCV $500. $550.

16603 16603

Memphis, Tenn., 5¢ red #56X2 pair, large margins to just in, showing part of adjacent stamps at left and bottom, tied by Oct. 2, 1861, town cds on cover to Mrs. M. A. Logan, Georgetown S.C.; slightly reduced at top and small repair at top right edge of cover, ONLY EIGHT PAIRS RECORDED ON COVER, ex Wm A. Fox and Alex Hall, 1993 CSA certificate. SCV $4,000. $3,000.

16609 16609

Milledgeville, Ga., 5¢ black #57XU1 used with Sep. 17 [1861] town postmark, entire addressed to miss S. R. Hawkins, Macon, Ga, Care G. B. Roberts, slightly reduced at top with two small sealed tears, one of which just touches provisional rim, fresh, 1985 PF Certificate, 21 listed in Crown surveys, SCV $500. $250.

16611 16611

Mobile, Ala., 5¢ Blue #58X2, tied by Mobile Oct. 12 [1861] double-circle datestamp on cover to "Miss Lewis, Care of Maj. Gen. Jno. L. Lewis, New Orleans La.", endorsed at left in same hand "Lieut. A.J. Lewis La. Infy", slightly reduced at left and light overall soiling. SCV $2,000. $950.

Andrew J. Lewis served in Company E, 12th Louisiana Infantry. Much more detailed information on linked page.

16612 16612

Montgomery, Ala., 5¢ red #59XU1 with bold strike of provisional marking on somewhat mottled blue-lined entire with black Jun 12 town cds, addressed to Mrs. L. T. Taylor, Pendleton, S.C.; tiny cover faults. 1983 PF Certificate, SCV $1,100. $550.

16630 16630

Tullahoma, Tenn., 10¢ black #111XU1, bold strike of provisional and control markings, Tullahoma Mar 31, 1863 cds on fresh entire to J. J. Miles, Woodlawn, Miss., 1988 CSA Certificate. ONLY TWO RECORDED IN CROWN CENSUS, although at least a few others are now known. Docketing on verso seems to indicate sender was Mary Miles. Miles served in Co. G, Miss. 35th Infantry. Rare! $6,000. $5,000.

15743 15743

Charleston S.C., 5¢ Blue #16X1 tied by neat Charleston, S.C., Oct. 2, 1861, double circle datestamp on cover to Mrs. A. L. Hershman in Camden, So. Ca., with "Office of the Fire Alarm and Police Telegraph, Main Guard House, Charleston S.C." red imprint; left edge of cover restored as well as the stamp, Extremely Fine appearance. One of the two recorded "Fire Alarm and Police Telegraph" imprint covers with the Charleston postmaster's provisional, both from the same correspondence. Ex Calhoun. $2,800


Listed in both Provisionals-3 and Advertising


The Fire Alarm and Police Telegraph system history is recounted in detail on the linked page.

16796 16796

Mobile, Ala., 5¢ blue #58X2 tied neat town double circle datestamp Aug. 23, 1861, on ad cover with blue cameo of Walker, Mead & Co./Mobile in shape of belt, addressed to Mrs. John J. Walker, Choctaw Agency, Oktilbeeka Cty, Miss., 2002 CSA certificate and 2016 PF certificate noting back flap repair but neither the fact that it is also professionally cleaned and address ink reinforced. Ex Haub. $2,500.

16821 16821

Memphis, Tenn., 5¢ red #56X2 with large margins, slightly cut in, minor margin stain, tied by Memphis, Ten., cds on cover to Miss Lou Scott, Care of Capt. [C.C.] Scott, Camden, Ark., with Camden /Ark. / Jul / 15 cds with manuscript "Forwarded, Due 5cts", back flap with ms “Mrs. Martha A. Jones, Memphis Care of Shelton Jones, Tenn,” and sent back to Memphis, slightly reduced at left, Choice, Ex Matz and Littlejohn with Weill and Jakubek backstamps $3,000.  


Captain Christopher C. Scott served in the Camden Knights and was known to his comrades and to Southern historians as "the hero of Hatchie Bridge." Much more detailed information on linked page.

16927 16927

Athens, Ga 5¢ purple #5X1a tête-bêche foot to foot vertical pair used on expertly restored cover, faint cancel visible pair with circular date stamp at left, addressed to “Capt. George Hillyer, 9th Regmt Georgia Vol, Manassas, Virginia” by his father, Judge Junius Hillyer. The Athens provisional stamps were issued during postmaster Thomas Crawford’s term and bear his name. They were printed on white wove paper from a form consisting of two similar but distinctly different woodcut designs. This results in all pairs showing both types. The pair was created by the work-and-turn printing method, as opposed to an inverted cliché among subjects on the plate. All are extremely rare.


ONLY FOUR TÊTE-BÊCHE PAIRS ON COVER are RECORDED. This fourth one surfaced in late 2012. Provenance is from an old-time Atlanta collection; the purchase receipt for this cover from that collector was 1959, hence it was “off the grid” during the period when serious record keeping was taking place. Other Hillyer covers, some with letters, were also part of this recently discovered material including a patriotic from the Hillyer Rifles. This cover was featured in The Confederate Philatelist, July-Sept 2013 2013 CSA certificate. THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED USE ON COVER. Only four post offices are known to have produced tête-bêche pairs. SCV $20,000. $10,000.


Capt. George Hillyer served as a Captain and fourth regimental commander of Company C, 9th Georgia Infantry Regiment, Longstreet’s I Corps, Hood’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia. Much more detailed information on linked page. 

16934 16934

Uniontown, Ala., 5¢ green on gray blue #86X3, position 2, the only one of four positions with lobe ornaments at top and loop ornaments at bottom, tied by usual light strike of Uniontown cds on cover to Mrs. R. A. Cobbs, care of Rev. J. M. Mitchell, Montgomery, Ala. ONLY 13 ON-COVER EXAMPLES OF THE UNIONTOWN POSTMASTER’S 5-CENT PROVISIONAL ON GRAY BLUE PAPER ARE RECORDED in CROWN CENSUS. Although Scott does not distinguish between types, the distinctive typography of position 2 should qualify it as a major variety of Uniontown provisionals. Ex Ferrary, Hind, Hall, Gross, Felton and Warren with the distinctive purple Ferrary circled trefoil handstamp at bottom right. SCV $15,000. $12,000.

The Cobbs correspondence was found by R. S. Nelson of Birmingham, Alabama. Per reports at the time of the discovery, Mrs. Cobbs had been ill in a Montgomery hospital, and her husband wrote to her from Uniontown “daily, and sometimes twice a day, for some three weeks.” (Crown, p. 344).

17039 001 17039

Raleigh, N.C., 5¢ red entire #68XU1, clear strike of provisional handstamp with blue Raleigh N.C. Ju? 20, 1861, double-circle datestamp on light orange all-over lithographed American Tract Society advertising cover with a New York Nassau Street address, illustration of a dove (contemporaneously crossed out) and “Beautiful Useful Books” inscription, to Thos. W. Thompson, Hotel, N.C.; Very Fine and scarce use, "R.H.W. Co." (Raymond H. Weill) backstamp. Lovely! Ex Oswald. $900. 

17029 001 17029

Athens Ga., 5¢ purple #5X1 horizontal pair, left stamp type I, right stamp type II, full to large margins except right stamp just touched at top, tied by grids with Athens Ga. Paid Dec. 17 cds on cover to Col. Howell Cobb, 16th Regt Geo Vol, Camp Bryan, Yorktown, Va.  Small skillful repair at right center of right stamp but it is all but impossible to detect and is not mentioned on accompanying 1997 CSA certificate which does mention the replaced back flap. The Athens provisionals, issued by Postmaster Crawford, were printed from two woodcut typographic engravings. An impression from the plate normally shows the small "Paid" (Type I) at left and the large "Paid" (Type II) at right. Ex Judd. SCV $7,500. $3,250.

17031 001 17031

Canton Miss., 5¢ black provisional entire #14XU1 with bold strike of PAID / 5 / P Star in Circle provisional handstamp, Canton, Miss., Nov. 30, 1861, cds on cover to Carroll, Hoy & Co., New Orleans, usual filing pinholes, Very Fine with a darker strike than many, the "P" in center of the star is the initial of Postmaster William Priestly, 1997 CSA certificate. SCV $4,000. $1,500.

17035 001 17035

Memphis, Tenn., 5¢ red #56X2, with huge top margin including significant portion of adjoining stamp, other sides full to just in at bottom, tied by partly clear strike of Memphis cds on darling small cover to Miss Anna J. Goddard, Camden Ark., Dec. 4, 1861, docketing, stamp with light pre-use crease, Very Fine, ex Brandon. SCV $2,000. $1,200.

17036 001 17036

Nashville, Tenn., 5¢ violet brown #61X5 with full margins to barely touched, beautiful deep shade on blued paper, tied by one of two strikes of PAID straightline, Nashville, Ten., Oct. 3, 1861, cds on fresh cover to D. Cleage, Athens Ga., light horizontal crease across top of cover barely affects stamp, still Very Fine, ex Felton, with 1988 CSA certificate. SCV $4,250. $2,600.

16859 16859

Memphis, Tenn., 5¢ red vertical pair #56X2 with gum stains, tied bold Dec 11 [1861] town cancel on lightly stained cover to John H. Randolph, Esq, Bayou Goula, La, from John Shelby & Co. Ex Matz & Katz. $900.

John Hampden Randolph (1813-1883) was a Louisiana planter. During the Civil War he and a partner took their slaves and valuables to Washington County, Texas.  Much more detailed information on linked page. 

17215 001 17215

Lynchburg, Va., 5¢ blue #52X1, mostly large margins, including small portion of adjoining stamp at upper left, tied by town postmark on neat cover to Dr. George W. Bagby, Richmond, Va. One nicest of the fewer than 30 Lynchburg provisional stamps known on cover. Very Fine. Of the 25 single Lynchburg provisional stamps recorded on cover in the Calhoun census, about one-third have stamps with four full margins, while the majority are cut into on one side. The few known pairs demonstrate the extremely narrow spacing between stamps. Ex Sam Williams. SCV $6,500. $5,000.

George William Bagby  was a physician, editor, journalist, essayist, and humorist. Much more detailed information on linked page. 

17500 001 17500

Raleigh, N.C., 5¢ Red entire #68XU1, usual part strike of provisional handstamp, clear blue RALEIGH / N.C. dateless double-circle handstamp on cover to H[enry] J[ohnson] Spicer, Traphill, N.C., Fine, Traphill was a haven for Union sympathizers during the war. SCV $400. $200.

15187 15187

Thomasville, Ga. 5¢ black handstamped provisional entire #82XU2 (CV $900) with June 13 [1862] town postmark, addressed to Lt. Col. W. D. Mitchell, Cranston’s Bluff, Savannah, Ga. Slightly reduced at left and back opening tears. $600.

William Dickey Mitchell served in Co. G, 29th Infantry (originally in the Savannah area then joined the Army of Tennessee) Much more detailed information on linked page. 

15699 15699

Thomasville, Ga, 5¢ black provisional entire #82XU2, with matching Oct 26 [1861], addressed to Capt. W. D. Mitchell, Camp Lawton, Savannah, Ga; slightly reduced at left. ONLY 37 RECORDED in Crown surveys.  SCV $1,000. $1,000.

William Dickey Mitchell served in Co. G, 29th Infantry (originally in the Savannah area then joined the Army of Tennessee) Much more detailed information on linked page.