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1863-1864 Turned Cover, Rhode Island & Vermont

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Item Number: Mem9512
 

 



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Civil War dated envelope that was mailed two different times

This is an original Civil War dated cover that was postally used on two different occasions. The envelope was first used to send a letter to Mrs. Mary C. Johnson, Providence, Rhode Island, P.O. Box 735. It has a C.D.S., New York, Jul. 18, 1863, with cancelled 3 cents rose George Washington postage stamp. The envelope was completely turned inside out in order to use it a second time, thus comes the term "turned cover." It was then used to send a letter to Miss Olive K. Smith, Swanton Falls, Vermont, with C.D.S., Providence, [R.I.], Aug. 5, 1864, with cancelled 3 cents rose George Washington postage stamp. The envelope shows typical wear and tear for a turned cover with a small piece of the flap missing. Overall this is a fine example of a Civil War turned cover that went through the U.S. postal system two different times during the course of the bloody Civil War. Having two different postmarks, and two stamps is a bonus to find. These turned covers are uncommon to find as they did not always hold up being mailed twice, traveling great distances, and being subjected to the horrors, destruction, and great devastation caused by the war, and the envelopes that survived were oftentimes discarded due to their heavy wear. They are more often found on Confederate covers because as the war progressed the Confederacy was being starved not only of food, but in all types of material, and they had to improvise whenever possible. You do not see as many Northern covers used in this way.

Footnote: This envelope came out of a collection of letters and covers that I had several years ago. I am referring to the soldier letters of Private Augustus Smith, of the very hard fought 1st Rhode Island Cavalry. The recipient of one of the letters mailed in this envelope was Miss Olive K. Smith, in Swanton Falls, Vermont. She was the sister of Augustus Smith. Very desirable 1863-64 turned cover.

Augustus Smith, was a 22 year old resident of New Ipswich, N.H., when he enlisted on December 23, 1861, as a private, and was mustered into Co. M, 1st Rhode Island Cavalry. He was captured on June 18, 1863, at Middleburg, Va., and was killed in action at Columbia Furnace, Va., on October 6, 1864.



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