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19th Century > Union Occupation 1862-1865 > Letters in the Military Mail System
 Union Occupation postal system 1862-1865 Minimize
$0 The situation in Arkansas during the progressive occupation of the state by Union forces led to major disruptions in the delivery of mail.  While some towns were occupied by the Union and remained in Union control for the duration of the war, other towns were fought over and changed hands several times.  Fort Smith was occupied by both sides at least 4 times before the Union finally established control in the Fall of 1863.  There are not a lot of postal history items from the 1862-1865 period with which to trace and understand the mail delivery on the Union side.  The key post office for the correspondence on the Union side in Arkansas was Memphis, TN.  Memphis was occupied by Union forces June 6, 1862.  The Union quickly established a mail distribution point there that handled mail from Arkansas, Mississippi and eventually even some from Louisiana.  Often, the only way to know if mail was from Arkansas is by military unit designations written on the envelope or in the address, and then research where the unit was stationed at the time of the mailing.  Mail went from Memphis north through Cairo, Ill and was then sent to the northern destinations; Southbound mail followed the reverse course.  I include below the following types of Occupation mail: mail to and from individual soldiers, mail between military units, and civilian mail handled within military system.  On a separate page I present the mail from occupied Arkansas mailed after individual post offices like Little Rock and Pine Bluff had been reestablished with their own cancellations and distribution system$0$0New Cover added 2020-11-09 Iowa City, IA to soldier in Helena via Cairo$0$0                                 2020-11-09 Clarida, IA to soldier in Helena$0$0                                 2020-12-02 Official Business Cairo, IL to St Louis Forwarded to LR to Logan Roots$0$0                                 2021-11-29  Brushy Prairie IN to soldier in Devalls Bluff, Jan 1865$0$0                                 2022-04-17  Devalls Bluff via Memphis to Michigan$0$0                                 2023-12-23  Hannibal MO to HQ Dept of Arkansas Little Rock Sept 1864$0$0                                 2024-01-03 Philadelphia to LR HQ  Dept of Arkansas Little Rock July 1864$0$0                                 2024-03-13 Davenport IA to soldier in Helena via Cairo$0$0$0                                2024-06-26 Helena to North Liberty Iowa$0$0$0$0

 Union Soldier's Mail To & From Arkansas Minimize
 Originating Post OfficeSorted By Originating Post Office In Ascending OrderDate MailedRouting and MarkingsDestinationCommentsCover Scan & Source
Batesville via Memphis@7-20-1862Canceled in Memphis 7-24-1862 w Black CDS, black target ties 3c 1861Fairfield, IowaOrigin determined by enclosed letter. Batesville occupied @July 4, 1862Batesville 7-20-1862 via Memphis to Fairfield IA BRoberts Collection.jpg
Batesville vis Memphis   On Union Patriotic, no stamp, address too faint to read, not dateBatesville Soldiers letter on Patriotic ebayLot5661586596.pdf
Bath, New York1-20-1865"Via Cairo" in ManuscriptWhite River Landing, Arkanasasto Capt John Little, Company H, 161st Regmnt, NYBath NY to White River Landing Ark 1-20-1865 BRoberts Collection.jpg
Belvedere, Illinois8-5-1864"Via Cairo"(St Charles Arkansas)Sent to Col Humphreys, 95th Regt Illinois Infantry occupying St. Charles at that dateBelvidere Ill Aug 64 to unit at St Charles BRoberts Collection.jpg
Brownsville Station1865-04-16Memphis Dbl Circle, Due 3 in circle, Iowa City IA 1865-05-07 receivingIowa City, IAYellow cover with contents headed Brownsville Station ArkBrownsville AR 1865-04-16 via Memphis to Iowa eBay 20121112.jpg
Brownsville Station1865-01-28via Memphis with black CDS MEMPHIS/FEB Greenbush, MichiganMs on envelope Brownsville Station ArkBrownsville Station AR 1865-01-28 via Memphis eBay20191202.jpg
Brushy Prairie, Indiana1865-01-21Ms Town Name and date, also in Ms "Follow the Regiment"Devalls Bluff, ArkansasSeller noted this was an EKU for Brushy PrairieBrushy Prairie, IN 1865-01-21 to Devalls Bluff AR eBay 20211129.jpg
Cairo, IL1865-07-21Black CDS, mailed to St Louis, then Forwarded to Capt L Roots in Little RockSt Louis the Little Rock"Official Business" cc. Logar Roots later Congressman from ArkanasCairo IL 1865-07-21 to St Louis forwarded to Logan Roots in LR eBay20201202.jpg
Clarinda, IA1862-12-27Black CDS, Handstamp PAID on yellow envleopeHelena, Arkansasto Harvey Anderson, Co K, 4th Iowa Volunteers, care of Capt CramerClarinda, IA 186x-12-27 to soldier in Helena AR eBay 20201109.jpg
Columbia, Pennsylvania1863-11-03"via Helena"Col in 1st Bridage 1st Anderson Cavalry in the fieldBlack CDS, Black target cancel ties US 65 on yellow coverColumbia PA 1863-11-03 to Officer in the field via Helena eBay20140410.jpg
Davenport Iowa1862-09-02Backstamp "Received/SEP 4/Cairo ILSoldier stationed at or near Helena ArkansasTo Harrison Bruce 3rd Illinois Cavalry Western Division of the ArmyDavenport IA 1862-09-02 to soldier in Helena eBay20240313.jpg
DeValls Bluff via Memphis12-12-1864Memphs CDS. 2c Black Jack on 1c star Die "DUE 2" Hsp later scratched out as 1c SD not demonitized, "Via Cairo"Davenport, IowaOne of two reported uses of the 1 cent Star Die from ArkansasDevalls Bluff 12-12-1864 use of 1c Star Die BRoberts Collection.jpg
Devalls Bluff via Memphis9-6-186xDevalls Bluff docketing on frontCooper, MichiganBlack Memphis CDS ties No 65DeValls Bluff vis Memphis ebayLot5664067440.pdf
Devalls Bluff via Memphis1863-02-043 cent US #65 tied by Memphis Tenn dbl circle CDSSouth Adams, Berkshire Co, MassOrange envelope with enclosed letter (date there from)Devalls Bluff AR 1863-02-04 via Memphis to Mass eBay20170626.jpg
Devalls Bluff via Memphis1865-01-05Memphis Black CDS, Jan 12, ties 2c Black Jack but not 1c star dieDavenport, Iowa2nd of two known uses of the 1 cent star die from Arkansas, Due 2 handstamp applied then marked outdevalls bluff AR posted at memphis 1c Star Die JPalazolo Coll 20131010.jpg
Devalls Bluff via Memphis1864-12-11via Memphis Memphis CDS, Missent in oval and a Michigan town strikeKalamazoo, MichiganLetter accompaniesDevalls Bluff AR 1864-12-11 via Memphis to Kalamzooto Michigan eBay20220417.jpg
Hannibal, Missoouri1864-09-13Dbl Circle Black CDSCaptain care of Gen Steele HQ Dept of Arkansas Little Rock#65 tied by CDS and target cancelHannibal MO 1864-09-13 to Capt Hqrs Little Rock eBay 20231223.jpg
Helena via Memphis9-12-1862Memphis CDS, "DUE 3" Hsp on Union Patriotic EnvelopeOak Hill or Jefferson Furnace, OhioIn the enclosed letter, the writer notes his mother recently moved, so he addressed to both her old and new post officesHelena 9-12-1862 Union Patriotic to Ohio BRoberts Collection.jpg
Helena via Memphis1-27-18633c 1861 rose tied by Memphis CDSMatla, OhioLetter Enclosed shows Helena Origin(Helena) 1-27-63 via Memphis to Ohio ebay 7-17-10.jpg
Helena via Memphis11-29-1862Memphis Black CDS and "DUE 3" Hsps, "Soldier's Letter" EndorsementIndistict Post Office in New YorkEndorsed by DB Green, Captain, 3rd Missouri Infantry commanding Co I.(Helena) 11-29-1862 via Memphis Due 3 to NY APS Richmond 2010.jpg
Helena via Memphis11-5-186xMemphis Black CDS, target cancels 3c 1861, "From the Army at Helena"West Paulet, Vermont ebay 4-6-08 Memphis from Army at Helena.jpg
Helena via Memphis5-5-186xBlack Memphis CDS 5/11 + target tie 3c 1861Captain Duncan, Maj Gen Hadan's(?) escort, 20th Army Corps, Deptment CumberlandOriginating PO from enclosed letter.Helena via Memphis to 20th Army corp BRoberts Collection.jpg
Helena via Memphis12-8-1862C Russell Co. D, 24th Iowa, Helena Ark. Dbl Circle Memphis CDS, targetsAtalissa, MassachusettsUS No 63 + US No 76 rare use of 5c brown from ArkansasHelena 1c+5c via Memphis 12-1862 Labron Harris 8-13-10.jpg
Helena via Memphis1864-10-3Helena via Memphis with Memphis Dbl Circle Black CDS tying US Scott 65Union Mills, Pennsylvania"Camp before Helena Ark Oct 3 1864" ms on front of document, Memphis cancel Oct 7Helena AR 1864-10-3 via Memphis to PA eBay20140110.JPG
Helena Via Memphis1864-12-04Memphis CDS 12-7-64Barabor WisconsinLetter enclosed has Helena date(Helena) 1864-12-4 via Memphis to Wisconsin eBay30160114.jpg
Helena via Memphis1862-12-24Manuscript "C Russell/Co. D., 24th Iowa", Memphis TN Dbl Crcl CDS Dec 28Atalissa, MinnesotaUS 63 and US 76 both tied by target cancels, only use of 76 I have seenHelena 1862-12-24 via Memphis to Atalissa MN BR Collection 20181226.jpg
Helena via Memphis1862-03-x from letter heading and receiving writingthrouh Memphis, partial Memphis CDS w/no date showingNorth Liberty, IowaCover is Union Patriotic, pretty spectacular. Letter enclosed.Helena AR 1862-03-x via Memphis Union Patriotic to Iowa eBay20190104.jpg
Helena via Memphis1863-04-12Memphis Black Dbl Circle CDS ties Scott #65Philadelphia PennsylvaniaManuscript on front" Camp near Helena Ark/April 4 1863"(Helena) 1863-04-12 via Memphis to Philly eBay20190203.jpg
Helena via Memphis1863-03-12Obscure PmkNorth Liberty, IowaNorthern Patriotic of Union Generals, 28th Iowa(Helena) 3-12-1863 to North Liberty Iowa obscure Pmk on envelope eBay20240626.jpg
Iowa City, IA1863-02-03Dbl Circle CDS, US 65 with grid cancel "via Cairo" msHelena, Arkansasto Harvey Anderson, Co K, 4th Iowa Volunteers, care of Capt CramerIowa City, IA 1863-02-03 to soldier in Helena via Cairo eBay20201109.jpg
Memphis Tennessee1864-11-xMemphis Dbl Circl CDS ties 3c 1861Helena ArkansasTo "Capt J.S. Ruckman/Co. B. 3rd Iowa/Inft Via Helena A.Memphis TN 1864-11-x to Helena Military address BRoberts Coll 20181226.jpg
Mouth of the White River10-26-1864Envelope w/cc "Regular White River Packet 'Commercial' uncanceled 3c 1861DeValls Bluff, ArkansasEnclosed letter shows this was between two officers in the same unitMouth of White River 10-26-1864 White River Packet CC Broberts Collection.jpg
Napoleon via Memphis1-27-1863Memphis CDS and "DUE 3" hsp, "Army Letter" endorsementJerome, OhioBy 1863, Soldier's Letters needed endorsement to be maile "Free"Napoloen 1863 via Memphis to Ohio BRoberts Collection.jpg
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania8-22-1864Care of General N Buford, Commandant of Post, Helena, ArkansasLaconia, ArkansasBlack CDS, black target ties 3c 1861Philadelphia 8-22-64 to Laconia via Helena FofT route RSiegel_Sale988_Lot240.jpg
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania1864-07-08Philladelphia CDS ties US #65, HQs Dept of Arkanasas Receiving CDS 25 Jul 1864Little Rock, ArkansasAddressed to Lt Lacey, a.a.a General SteelePhiladelphia 1864-07-08 to LR Hdqs Dept of Arkansas receiveing hdstmp eBay2024-01-03.jpg
Rexford Flats, New York18623-05-21Back Stamp "CAIRO ILL May 23 63". 3c adhesive not tied with pen cancel. ms town and dateHelena ArkansasTo Lt. D.E.Jones, care of Col. BusseyRexford Flats NY via Cairo to Helena 1863-05-21 eBay0181204.jpg
Saint Charles Arkansas1864-10-13via Memphis, Memphis CDS 10-17Roursburg, OhilSource of letter from letter head enclosed, no Ark markings on exteriorSt Charles AR 1864-10-13 via Memphis to Ohio eBay20140608.jpg
Saint Charles Arkansas1864-10-11Via Memphis (CDS OCT 17) West Trinity OhioLetter enclosed with St Charles origin and date(St Charles AR) 1864-09-11 via Memphis to Ohio eBay 20160627.jpg
Saint Louis, Missouri1-28-1864To Sgt Major, 33 Regiment, Missouri Volunteers, "To Follow the Brigade" in manuscriptHelena, ArkansasBlack CDS ties 3c 1861St Louis MO 1-23-1864 to Helena Occupation ebay 1-1-11.jpg
Sandusky, Ohio1-15-1865Prisoner's Letter Examined Johnson's Island, OHGunboat No 3 (Romeo) off Gaines Landing, Arkansasto Captain Thomas BaldwinSandusky OH 2-25-1865 POW letter to gunboat off Gaines Landing rsiegel_sale_766a_lot_1379.JPG
Sandwich, Illinois10-7-1862Company E 13th Regmt Ill volunteers, "via Cairo"Helena, ArkansasBlack CDS ties 3c 1861On Union Patriotic envelopeSandwich Ill Union Patriotic to Helena via Cairo & Memphis BRoberts Collection.jpg
White River Landing10-23-1864Memphis CDS and "DUE 3" Hdsp "Soldier's Letter" endorsementWishaw, Wisconsin23rd Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer InfantryWhite River Landing 10-23-1864 via Memphis to Wisc BRoberts Collection.jpg

 Union Military Unit Mail Minimize
 Originating Post OfficeSorted By Originating Post Office In Ascending OrderDate MailedRoutings & MarkingsDestinationCommentsCover Scan & Source
(Headquarters Department of Arkansas)  2nd Lt A.T. Jackson, PresentProbably Privately CarriedHQ Dept of Arkansas imprinted envelope ebay 408.jpg
?(Eastern Arkansas) via Memphis2-18-186xBlack Memphis CDS + Target tie 3c 1861Washington, D.C.CC "Headquarters/District of Eastern Arkansas/Official Business" to Maj Gen HitchcockCivil War Cover Eastern Arkansas to Gen Hichcock.doc
Boker, Illinois10-6-1894Hd. Qtrs Dept of Arkansas OCT/14/1864 receiving stamp on face, "Care of General Steele"Little Rock, ArkansasImage includes drawing of HQ Marking.HDQtrs Dept of Ark 10-14-64 BRoberts Collection.jpg
Eddyville, Iowa1864-07-05Sent through Memphis, Hand stamp "HD. Qtrs. Dept. of Arkansas/RECD JUL 20 1864/LITTLE ROCK"Little RockUS #65 tied on yelow cover. Letter to Lt Lacy, care of General SteelsHQ Dept of Arkansas 1864-07-20 from Iowa DKelleherSale659 Lot1375.jpg
Memphis11-24-1864Black CDS ties 3c 1861Helenacc "Memphis , Tenn. Ordanance Depot/Official Business" to Lt James W PorterMemphis to Helena 11-24-1864 official business cc ebay 5-8-10.jpg
New York, NY11-22-1862Black New York FREE CDS, Cairo Ill 11-27-1862 backstampHelena, ArkansasSent to "John S. Phelps, M.C." John Phelps was Military Governor of ArkansasNew York 11-22-62 to John Phelps Mil Gov of Arkansas BRoberts Collection.jpg
Not StatedNot Stated"Headquarters, Department of Arkansas"/Official Business" no postage or rates"2nd Lt A.T. Jackson, Present"Probably a private set of orders or other out of mail communicationsHQ Dept of Arkansas imprinted envelope ebay 408.jpg
Oskaloor, Iowa6-25-1864Black Dbl Circle CDS, on Face Headquarters Dept of Arkansas receiving 7-3-1864Little Rockto Lt John F Lacy "Care Maj Gen Steele"HQ Dept of Arkansas June 1864 cover ebay 10-11-10.jpg
Unknown Iowa PO1864-04-xHQ Dept of Arkansas 4-23-1864 Black HSPLittle Rock ArkansasUS 65 pen cancelled "Care of General Steele" to Lieutenent LaceyHQ Dept of Arkansas April 23 1864 from Iowa eBay20130629.jpg
Washington, DC6-24-1865cc "Ordinance Department/Official Business" Little Rock Dbl Circle CDS for forwardingLittle Rock, forwarded to Illinois to Captain QuickLittle Rock 7-1-65 Official Business frwd APS Richmond 2010.jpg

 Business & Civilian Use of Union Military Postal System Minimize
 Originating Post OfficeSorted By Originating Post Office In Ascending OrderDate MailedRoutings & MarkingsDestinationCommentsCover Scan & Source
Helena Via Memphis6-29-186x"Officail Business/H.C.Callicot/Asst Special Agent, Treasury Dept. Helena District"Washington, D.C.Black Memphis CDS+target. Sent to "Hon. J.S. Morrill, M.C."Helena Treasury CC via Memphis to Washington BRoberts Collection.jpg
Little Rock via Memphis3-7-186xcc "Official Business/Loyal Case/Assiistant Special Agent Treasury Department/Little Rock"Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaBlack Memphis CDS ties 3c 1861Little Rock Treasury CC via Memphis BRoberts Collection.jpg
Memphis186xLabel "Forwarded by Parker's Express Company/From Memphis, Tenn". Ms "Paid 2/"Little RockTo "Mr G.W.Craig/Little Rock/Ak/Pilot of Steam Tug Essex"Memphis Parkers Express to Little Rock RSiegel_Sale_907_Lot_2540.pdf
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania8-22-1864Black year-dated CDS + target tie No 65Laconia via Helena"Care of Genl N. Buford, Commandant of Post, Helena Arkansas" 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania8-22-1864Black year-dated CDS + target tie No 65Laconia via Helena"Care of Genl N. Buford, Commandant of Post, Helena Arkansas"