General Lee Cover Emerges

by Capt. James L.D. Monroe, SC, USN (Ret.)


Lee Cover


Description from the Schuyler Rumsey Auctions catalog for Sale 29, February 16,2008: Confederacy, 1863, 10˘ blue, tied by partial Richmond,. Va. cds on cover addressed and sent by Gen. Robert E. Lee to his wife in Bremo Bluff,, Va., part of endorsement "R. Lee, Genl. " showing at Upper right; small stamp and cover faults, Decent Appearance, still a rare usage from, this great Confederate General. Scott No. 12; Estimate $200-300.


In the September-October 2001 issue of The Confederate Philatelist, I published a com­prehensive inventory of all known General Robert E. Lee field-endorsed (autographed) covers sent through the Confederate postal system which are owned by Confederate philatelists. The last census was done in 1960 by the late General Van Dyk MacBride who listed only six such covers. My 2001 inventory totaled fifteen. I am pleased to report there are now sixteen.

General Brian and Colonel Maria Green recently acquired a previously unknown Lee cover (above), and were kind enough to pass on the information to me so that I could keep my Lee inventory current. The envelope was mailed from Richmond, Virginia, in August 1864, to his wife in Bremo Bluff, Virginia. It has a 10-cent blue (Type II) Scott No. 12 stamp. Regret­fully, a portion of General Lee's field signature in the top right comer of the envelope was tom off when the letter was opened. However, because General Lee personally addressed the envelope to his wife, there is still a nice signature on it.

I consider my General Lee field-endorsed, postally used cover the crown jewel of my col­lection and I have been collecting for over 50 years. I have rarer covers but General Lee is what it is all about. If you learn of one on the market, go for it! It will be something you will cherish the rest of your life.