I apologize in the delay since my last post, I did not intend to take this long to post again. I have been doing some research on an article I hope to write before the end of the year about the Union POW Camp in Chicago, Camp Douglas. But the pace has been slower than I planned, so I wanted to give an update on what I have been working on.
Camp Douglas was first opened as a reception and training center for Union troops. The first soldiers arrived in September 1861 from the 9th Illinois Calvary. In these early months of the war, some 40,000 troops would come through Camp Douglas and its satellite camps.
Following the surrender of Confederate forces at Fort Donelson in February 1862, Camp Douglas was selected to house the Confederate Prisoners of War. The first of these POWs would arrive on February 20th.
At some point, a as of yet unnamed Confederate soldier from Kentucky had the misfortune of ending up a POW at Camp Douglas. This soldier wrote a letter back home in November 1863. I have here a cover that was sent from Camp Douglas to a Mr. H.J. Richardson in Hart County, Kentucky. It features a red 3¢ Scott #65 with a blue “P” cancel.
I haven’t posted in a while partly because it’s been a busy last few weeks but mainly because I’ve been doing some research on what I hope will become a longer article that I will publish. But in the meantime, I thought I should share a cover that I recently purchased.
It is addressed to Officer Commanding, Co. G, 5th Confederate Infantry, Army of Northern Virginia. This a semi-official, preprinted envelope (S-NC-29). It features a blue 10¢ CSA 12-AD tied RALEIGH N.C. 26 (no month) and the pencil notation “can’t locate.”
The 5th North Carolina Infantry was organized in May 1861 in Halifax. The regiment was involved throughout the entirety of the war, from 1st Manassas to Appomattox. Co. G included many men from Wilson County. The commanding officer who this cover was addressed to could have been either Capt. James M. Taylor or Capt. Thomas P. Thomson. It is unknown why the officer was unable to be located.
I have been meaning to post about this stamp that at one time would have been on the cover of a letter sent from Fort Delaware which was a Union Prisoner of War camp. Fort Delaware housed Confederate prisoners from early on in the war and by 1865 some 33,000 men had been imprisoned there. It is in northern Delaware located on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River.
Compared to other Civil War prison camps such as Andersonville and Camp Douglas, the conditions at Fort Delaware were fairly good. One prisoner would remark “Things here are not quite as bad as I expected to find them. They are, however, bad, hopeless and gloomy enough without any exaggeration,” The mortality rate was only 7.6% with most of the deaths attributed to an 1863 smallpox epidemic. Many of those who died while imprisoned here are buried at Finn’s Point National Cemetery in Pennsville, NJ.
The stamp (blue CSA #11) that prompted this article was attached to a cover that was sent from the prison. It was likely sent through the lines since there is no other cancel on it. It was my first POW-related piece in my collection. The examined stamp is partially reconstructed for display purposes.
The debate over Confederate monuments in public places continues to rage on. It has become a heated, emotional topic throughout the country, especially in the South. I will not be taking a side in this debate, but instead, I want to share a series of videos about it. I think the best way to understand this is to look to history and historians rather than activists, flag wavers, or politicians.
It’s been a while since I have had a chance to work on my collection let alone post here. I again hope that will change in the near future. I have changed the name on the banner of this blog and the Facebook page. I want to better attract people to the site and I think in today’s climate it is better to not have the word “Confederate” in the title. The focus, however, will basically remain the same. I thought of adding “currency” to the title but decided it against it since I am still new to collecting Civil War currency and do not know much on the subject.
I am hoping in the coming months to post about a few items in my collection. I also am hoping to finally get an exhibit together for Fall 2019. I’ve been wanting to do this since I started this blog but keep putting it off.
So, while there is a slight change in name, my collecting focus will still be stamps and postal history of the Confederate States. This will be supplemented by Civil War currency and general posts about Civil War History.
Well, it has been well over a year now since I have posted anything. In the past year, I have done a 2 month long Spanish immersion and continued on for another year as a graduate student. I haven’t really done much with my collection and never got around to finishing my exhibit. I still hope to do so, but do not have a timetable on that.
In addition to stamps and postal history, I also collect, to a lesser degree, Confederate currency. Here are some notes I recently purchased.
I decided to launch a Facebook page in connection to this blog in order to reach a wider audience. My hope is that more people will be able to learn out Confederate Philately from my small effort. I also hope that others, most especially the Confederate Stamp Alliance, will follow my example.
The page can be viewed by clicking the link on the righthand side of the page or by going to: https://www.facebook.com/CSA.Stamps/