Lot 598Fort Buchanan N.M. May 5, complete circa 1860 cds on 3¢ red (U10) buff Nesbitt entire addressed in the hand of Captain Richard S. Ewell (commander 1st Dragoons, U.S. Army, later a general in C.S.A. Army), to his niece Elizabeth in Williamsburg, Virginia, endorsed "Via Washington D.C.", carried by Military Express to Tubac, then by Lathrop's Buckboard Mail to Tucson, and from Tucson to St. Louis by Butterfield Overland Mail, docketing note on back "Relating to child captured from Indians", Very Fine and choice, ex-Birkinbine.
Estimate $2,000 - 3,000.
A CLEAR STRIKE OF THE RARE FORT BUCHANAN, NEW MEXICO CDS ON A COVER FROM CAPTAIN RICHARD "OLD BALDY" EWELL - LATER A CONFEDERATE GENERAL.
According to the Siegel Auctions catalogue of the Birkinbine Collection, "The sender of this cover, Captain Richard S. Ewell, arrived in the area of southern Arizona in November 1856 with Major Enoch Steen and the 1st Dragoons. They established Camp Moore in mid-November 1856, which was relocated and renamed Fort Buchanan in mid-1857. This May 1860 cover from Capt. Ewell was carried by military express from Fort Buchanan to the post office at Tubac. It was carried from Tubac to Tucson by S. H. Lathrop, who was under contract to transport mail once a week between the two towns. At Tucson the cover was put on the eastbound Butterfield Overland Mail stage to St. Louis via Fort Smith.
In early 1860 Captain Ewell successfully negotiated the release of eleven-year old Mercedes Sias Quiroz, one of two young women abducted by Pinal Apaches (the other was seriously injured and returned to camp after Mercedes's release). In recognition of his efforts, one of four Arizona territorial counties was named Ewell. In May 1860, around the time this cover was postmarked, he inspected the site where Fort Breckinridge was eventually established to prevent Apache attacks. Before construction of the new fort was completed, Ewell returned east in January 1861 due to recurring malaria infections. The note on back indicates that Ewell's letter contained a report of the recovery of the young hostage.
S. H. Lathrop's Buckboard Contract Mail -- The Overland Mail route passed through Tucson, but not Tubac, which lies approximately 45 miles south on the Camino Real. The Tubac postmaster, D. F. Hulseman, contracted with S. H. Lathrop, treasurer of the Sonora Exploration and Mining Co., to carry mail on weekly buckboard trips between the two towns.".
Lot 599(Fort Buchanan) Inbound to Fort Buchanan, Arizona, yellow cover bearing 3¢ dull red (26), trimmed perfs, tied by "Hornellsville N.Y., Jul 2" cds endorsed "via St. Louis O.L.M." for Overland Mail to Tucson, then by mining wagon to Tubec and then military courier to Fort Buchanan, Very Fine use.
Estimate $200 - 300.
Lot 600Fort Defiance, N.M. Jan 14, cds on cover bearing 10¢ Green, types III/II/III (33/32/33) vertical strip of three, bottom stamp reperfed at bottom and faulty, on 1859 cover to Sessenheim, France, carried from Fort Defiance to Albuquerque by military express, then by stage to Santa Fe and by Hall-Porter contract mail to Independence Mo., red "New York 'Paid 12' Feb 19" credit exchange cds, black Calais "Et-Unis Serv. Am. A. C. (3.2.59) entry cds and matching "P.D." framed handstamp, Paris transit backstamp; lightly cleaned to remove some soiling, Very Fine appearance, ex-Birkinbine.
Estimate $3,000 - 4,000.
AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE COVER FROM FORT DEFIANCE IN NEW MEXICO TERRITORY TO EUROPE.
Fort Defiance, the first military post in present-day Arizona (then part of New Mexico Territory), was established on September 18, 1851, by Col. Edwin V. Sumner during his campaign against the Navajo. The conflicts with Navajo, generally over use of land for grazing and theft of livestock, escalated into two major attacks - one in 1856 and another in 1860. In 1861, with the start of the Civil War, the U.S. Army abandoned Fort Defiance. It was reestablished as Fort Canby in 1863. The fort did not have a U.S. post office until the appointment of John E. Weber as postmaster on April 9, 1856. The post office was discontinued on October 21, 1863. There was no mail contract for service to and from the fort, so military couriers were used to bring mail to Albuquerque, where it was carried by stage to Santa Fe and from there by the Hall-Hockaday contract mail stage to Independence.
References: Illustrated in Brookman, Vol. I (p. 225).
Lot 601(Fort Yuma) Incoming Military Mail to Fort Yuma, turned orange cover bearing 10¢ green (68), perfs trimmed at bottom, tied by "Unionville Ct., Oct 25" cds to Soldier at Headquartered 5th Inft. Cal. Vol. Co H, via San Francisco Cal., black "San Francisco Cal., 1863, 19 Nov" double-circle duplex with matching "Forwarded" ribbon and "FREE" handstamps to Camp Drum, San Pedro, forwarded again to Fort Yuma, inside use bearing 10¢ green (68) tied by "Los Angeles Cal., Apr 10" cds back home to Tariffville Conn.; cover open on three sides for display, F.-V.F.
Estimate $300 - 400.
Lot 602"Santa Fee/Nov 6 }", manuscript Military Express endorsement clearly written on greenish-blue folded letter datelined "Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 22nd 1847" from 1st Lieutenant and Adjutant William F. Snyder in Hook's Company E, 1st Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, to his brother John in Belleville, Illinois, carried east by military express on the Santa Fe Trail, it entered the mails with "Independence Mo. Nov. 16" cds and manuscript "10" due rating; small piece of last page missing, but almost all of the content is intact, Very Fine, ex-Irwin Vogel, Birkinbine.
Estimate $10,000 - 15,000.
THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED MARKING OF ANY KIND APPLIED AT SANTA FE TO MAIL CARRIED BY MILITARY EXPRESS, WHICH WAS THE ONLY MEANS BY WHICH LETTERS COULD BE SENT TO OR FROM THIS ARMY-OCCUPIED NEW MEXICO TOWN.
After General Stephen W. Kearny occupied Santa Fe on August 18, 1846, a military express was established over the Santa Fe Trail. Mail was carried over this route via Bent's Fort (or the Cimarron Cutoff), and eastbound letters entered the mails at Fort Leavenworth or Independence, Missouri. On May 11, 1850, the contract for monthly mail service on the same route was awarded to Waldo, Hall and Company commencing July 1. Examples of military express mail typically do not have any markings applied at Santa Fe. The "Santa Fee Nov. 6" postmark is dated the day the express departed, two weeks after the letter was written.
This chatty letter between brothers mentions the names of no less than fifteen enlisted soldiers and officers in the 1st and 2nd Regiments of the Illinois Volunteers. Lieutenant Snyder enlisted at Alton, Illinois, on May 26, 1847, and arrived in Santa Fe (Military Territory of New Mexico) on September 16, 1847. He was discharged at Alton on October 14, 1848.
Lot 603"Tucson NM, May 15.", manuscript postmark by Mark Aldrich on buff cover addressed to General James W. Denver as Commissioner of Indian Affairs (April-June 1857) in Washington, D.C., carried by military express to Santa Fe, instead of entering the regular mails there, it was carried in a military pouch to Washington, D.C., Very Fine, ex-Birkinbine.
Estimate $3,000 - 4,000.
THIS IS THE EARLIEST RECORDED UNITED STATES POSTMARK FROM ARIZONA.
Mark Aldrich was a wealthy Arizona merchant who facilitated the mails even before he was officially appointed postmaster. Before Aldrich settled in the West, he lived in Illinois. He was one of five tried and acquitted in the murder of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith in 1844. After becoming very wealthy as a merchant, he became Tucson's unofficial first mayor and served as the postmaster (he was officially appointed November 11, 1857).