Even though South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860, and the Confederate States of America (CSA) created its own post office department the following February, mail stamped with U.S. stamps traveled north and south until June of 1861. But by October of that year, the CSA began to issue its own stamps.

Unlike Union stamps, which were essentially high-quality prints taken from engraved plates, the first CSA stamps were simply lithographed. Between 1861 and 1865, 13 different stamps were issued and used. Some were printed by more than one printer in more than one color, and a 14th stamp depicting South Carolina’s John C. Calhoun was printed but never issued.

The first piece of CSA postage, issued on October 16, 1861, was a green, five-cent stamp bearing the bust of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy. More than nine million of these stamps were printed by Hoyer & Ludwig of Richmond, Virginia. Less than a month later, the same printer produced 1.4-million ten-cent stamps featuring Thomas Jefferson—though dead since 1826, Jefferson was a Virginian and a slave owner, so the CSA claimed him as a son of the south.

By the spring of 1862, Hoyer & Ludwig had printed two-cent CSA stamps with Andrew Jackson on them, a five-cent blue Jefferson Davis, and a rose-colored version of the 10-cent Thomas Jefferson. In July of 1862, a new printer, J.T. Paterson and Co. of Augusta, Georgia, issued 4.6-million additional Thomas Jefferson stamps, which can be difficult to distinguish from the ones lithographed by Hoyer & Ludwig.

That same spring, the Confederacy went abroad to get some of its printing done, hiring De La Rue & Co. of London to print 12 million five-cent Jefferson Davis stamps by means of typography. Engraved stamps were finally issued in April of 1863 by Archer & Daly, another Richmond printer. Andrew Jackson got a two-cent stamp but Jefferson Davis was placed on the three different types of 10-cent stamps, while George Washington was placed on a 20-cent stamp.

As for that 14th stamp, only 400,000 were printed by De La Rue & Co., but these one-cent John C. Calhouns were never issued—by the time they were delivered from England, the two-cent stamp had been declared the Confederacy’s smallest denomination.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Stamp Collecting Round-up

The Stamp Collecting Round-up

Don Schilling's long-running, in-depth blog on stamp collecting and postal operations. Schilling stays up on all th… [read review or visit site]

National Postal Museum

National Postal Museum

If you're into postal history or collectibles, check out the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum. This extensive s… [read review or visit site]

R. A. Siegel Auction Galleries

R. A. Siegel Auction Galleries

This auction house site offers an extensive online database of US stamp information. Includes PDF catalogs of past … [read review or visit site]

Post Office in Paradise

Post Office in Paradise

Post Office in Paradise showcases Hawaiian postal history from the years before Hawaii became a part of the United … [read review or visit site]

Private Die Proprietary Stamps

Private Die Proprietary Stamps

Bob Hohertz's impressive database of U.S. Private Die Proprietary stamps from the Civil War and Spanish American Wa… [read review or visit site]

Alphabetilately

Alphabetilately

First shown in 2008 to celebrate the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's 15th anniversary, Alphabetilately is esse… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Civil War Letter 1864 Confederate Prisoner Of War Fort Delaware Lt. Bedford VtgNystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 3 Mint With Gum H $950Confederate States 10c Sc# 5 H Sc $1750Confederate Flag & State Flag Stamps Scott # 1633-1682 (9 Full Sheets) ($65.00)U.s. Confederate States - #2 Unused, Cat. $ 175.00Nystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 2a Used $200Nystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 8 Used $350Ckstamps: Us Confederate States Stamp Collection Csa Scott#9 Unused NgNystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 5 Used $500Civil War, Battle Of Five Forks, Confederate Flags, Postcard, Maximum Card(3) 1860's Confederate States Postage Stamps Two, Five And Ten CentConfederate States Of America Stamp LotNystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 1 Used $175Us Stamp:#csa​6 10c 1862 Confederate State Altered Plate Stamp BrownUsa Used Stamps Confederate States Grouping 123 0615Nystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 13 Mint With Gum H $451 Mnh #csa11 Confederate Postage StampNystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 12 Mint With Gum H $201951 2nd Day Cover, United Confederate VeteransNystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 8 Mint Og Nh $160 PrCarthage Tennessee 1860s Paid Cancel On Confederate Cover FrontCkstamps: Us Confederate States Stamp Collection Csa Scott#13 Unused NgScott 12 10 Cent Milky Blue Unused Confederate Stamp No GumScott 998 United Confederate Veterans May 30 1951 Norfolk Va. W/ Blk 4;artmast Ckstamps: Us Confederate States Stamp Collection Csa Scott#11a Mint Nh OgCsa Confederate Cv Petersburg Virginia To Mills Cove North CarolinaNystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 7 Used $221929 "confederate Veteran's 39th Reunion"charlotte,nc/postmark,nice Stamp,cover!Appomattox, Civil War 1865, Confederate Graves And Flags, Maximum CardNystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 11 Mint With Gum H $16Nystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 7 Used $22Nystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 12b Used $20Nystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 6 Mint Og H $16Nystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 11c Mint Og H $17Nystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 6 Mint Og H $16Ckstamps: Us Confederate States Stamp Collection Csa Scott#11b Mint H OgNystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 10c Unissued Essay Reprinted By Ohio MuseumNystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 12 Mint With Gum H $20Ckstamps: Us Confederate States Stamp Collection Csa Scott#11c Mint H OgNystamps Us Csa Confederate Stamp # 13 Mint With Gum H $45Ckstamps: Us Confederate States Stamp Collection Csa Scott#11d Mint H OgFirst Day Cover- 3c Confederate Vets. United States .-f-mar 30, 1951Ckstamps: Us Confederate States Stamp Collection Csa Scott#6 Unused Ng