London, 2015

CSA Annual Convention in
Conjunction with EUROPHILEX
May 13th - 16th, 2015

Plans for our Annual Convention taking place in London, England in 2015 are at an advanced stage. Details are in our newsletter or on our conventions page. Europhilex will mark their 80th year and the 150th Anniversary of the end of The American Civil war. The event will take place at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London. N1 OQH.


National Postal Museum’s Thomas Lera to Retire

Lera Helped Reshape Scientific Analysis in Stamp Collecting

Thomas Lera, the Winton Blount Research Chair at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, will retire Nov. 1. His retirement follows eight years in which he transformed the museum’s scientific direction and established the museum as a global leader in scientific analysis in stamp collecting. 


Prisoners’ Mail from the American Civil War
A New Research Project

Patricia A. Kaufmann

Galen D. Harrison’s outstanding 1997 publication, Prisoners’ Mail from the American Civil War, became and still is the standard reference work on the subject of Civil War Prisoner's Mail. It took Galen a quarter of a century to compile the information for that ground breaking volume. Now it is approaching twenty years since that publication. All the while, he has continued to accumulate information on prison postal history. He has always been generous about sharing information and is a regular consultant to the CSA Authentication Service.

Recently, I suggested that his original opus needed to be updated. Covers from unlisted prisons have been discovered. Covers have surfaced from prisons that had no covers heretofore recorded. The numbers of recorded covers from specific prisons has changed virtually across the board. I offered my services to edit his work, if he so desired. Instead he asked me to be co-author, which I am honored to accept. It will be a fun collaboration.

Now it’s your turn.Those of you who have his book may or may not have new information that should be included in a follow-up volume. If you have a cover you think may fit in this category, please email me at or write me at 10194 N. Old State Road, Lincoln, DE 19960-3644.

We need 300 dpi .jpg or .tif scans. If there are relevant markings on the backs of the covers, please scan those too. If you don’t have a scanner, please mail me a color photocopy of the item and I’ll take it from there. Please provide as much detailed information with it as you can. Thanks for your help!

Confederate Stamp Alliance and Smithsonian National Postal Museum Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for a scholarship for original research and analysis relating to the design and/or printing of a specific Confederate stamp issue(s), the Confederate Post Office Department, or an aspect of Confederate postal history. The scholarship, for a sum of up to $2,000, will be a contribution towards expenses including travel costs for a trip(s) to Washington DC or library with Confederate States archives.  The scholarship is available for all academic, scientific and philatelic scholars.  It is designed to enable one to spend an uninterrupted block of time doing research in the NPM library, other Washington DC libraries, or libraries with Confederate States archives on their projects and discussing their work with others.

Complete information can be found on our Collector Resources page.

The NEW Confederate States of America Catalog & Handbook of Stamps and Postal History
a major success.

The much anticipated update, expansion and re-write of August Dietz classical work on Confederate Postal History has gone from "brand new" to "out of print" in only three months.  This six year endeavor on the part of the Confederate Stamp Alliance and its members has been a tremendous success. Congratulations to the editors Patricia A. Kaufmann, Francis J. Crown and Jerry S. Palazolo and to the many other members who contributed to this important contribution to Confederate philately.

For an illustrated and far more in depth look at both the history of prior catalogs and the marvelous changes in this 2012 edition, see A 21st Century Confederate Catalog.

National Postal Museum Announces Launch of Centralized Gateway to World’s Greatest Philatelic Research
The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum announces the launch of the website, a centralized information gateway to the world’s greatest philatelic research. Click here for more information.

About Confederate Philately

Much of the history of that short-lived political experiment, the Confederate States of America, was reflected in its stamps, covers, and other postal mementos. The bitter Civil War spanned the entire life of the Confederacy -- the four years from 1861 to 1865 -- and the marks and record of that great struggle are nowhere found more clearly than in the postal history of the "Lost Cause." All collectors of Confederate stamps come to realize this very early in their pursuit, and this fact has much to do with the fascination that the Confederate collector invariably experiences.

There are hundreds of varieties of stampless, Handstamp Paid and Manuscript covers as well as Provisional adhesive stamps and envelopes used before the Confederate government could issue regular stamps. There are 17 major varieties of regular issue Confederate States stamps -- also minor varieties and endless shades.

There are Prisoner-of-War and Flag-of-Truce covers, Express Company markings, Blockade-Run covers to and from Europe, College covers, Official and Semi-Official envelopes, Packet and Steamboat covers, Patriotic covers with their war mottos, covers showing use of United States stamps in the Confederacy, and many interesting letters.

Nowhere else in philately can one find such strange usages, makeshifts and evidences of desperate shortages. There are envelopes made of wallpaper, envelopes used twice over, and United States stamped envelopes seized and overprinted for the use of the Confederacy.

Today Confederate items are almost 150 years old. Some are scarce and hard to find, but many are within reach of all.

More has been written about Confederate stamps and covers -- and still is being written -- than nearly any other specialized field.

Ever had a question regarding a Confederate philatelic item and wish you knew someone who could give you an answer? Well, the CSA recognizes this need and has established a "Mentor Program" whereby you can call or email a very knowledgeable Confederate philatelist and fellow CSA member with your question.


Latest News!

January 2015 Newsletter


CSA Mid-Year 2014

Fun in Fredericksburg!

Our 2014 Mid-Year gathering was held in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Lots of dealers, wonderful fellowship and excellent presentations.  Here is a brief summary and photos.

Join the Confederate Stamp Alliance...

The CONFEDERATE STAMP ALLIANCE is a non-sectional, non-political organization for fraternity, research and cooperation among a choice group of hundreds of collectors of Confederate stamps, covers, and postal history. Its members' interests cover all possible phases of the stamps and postal history of the War Between the States, both North and South.

The ALLIANCE'S official publication, THE CONFEDERATE PHILATELIST, is published quarterly and sent to all members. It contains original articles on Confederate philately as well as news of the ALLIANCE and its members.

One of the important services available to members of the CONFEDERATE STAMP ALLIANCE is its Authentication Service. This panel of experts will issue a formal written opinion on any item submitted by a member for a nominal fee. Any authentication issue should be submitted to the CSA Authentication Service for formal expert review.

Each year the CONFEDERATE STAMP ALLIANCE holds its Annual Convention and Exhibition, usually in conjunction with a national or regional show. Anyone who is a student of the War for Southern Independence or who collects or is interested in starting a collection of Confederate or Civil War material in any form will find that membership in Confederate philately's national society provides distinct advantages.

Become A Member.
Please accept our cordial invitation to join the CONFEDERATE STAMP ALLIANCE and participate in the many varied activities in this fascinating philatelic field. All are welcome.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the CONFEDERATE STAMP ALLIANCE, just access the Membership Application Form below and print it out. The directions for filling out the form and mailing it are self-explanatory. Use the back button to return to this page. Current Membership stands at 629 (as of 1st Quarter 2015).

CSA Membership Application


Find out about Confederate philately!
Take a look at these fine articles:

"The REBEL POST: Collecting the Confederate Era" by Gen. Patricia A. Kaufmann is an excellent introduction to Confederate philately

The Confederate Stamp Primer Online The Confederate Stamp Primer Online by Patricia A. Kaufmann is a basic guide for those who don't have access to classic philatelic literature on the subject or for those who do, but would like a quick online reference. You may view just the section in which you are interested or read it systematically from one page to the next. This primer deals only with stamps and not the vast area of postal history covered by The Rebel Post. A section called "Trouble Spots" is being added one treatise at a time to cover such common problems as identifying #11 from #12, London print from Local print, altered plate reprints and more.

You might also want to visit the new "Articles" section of Trish Kaufmann's site which includes The Madison, Florida Postmaster Provisionals - Anatomy of a Postal History Research Project

By William S. Parks

Email our webmaster with comments, suggestions and corrections.