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Envelopes and Stationary PDF Print E-mail

Civil War Envelopes - The majority of civil war envelopes were roughly 5 1/2 inches wide and approximately 3 inches tall. Most were of natural colored paper. The covers were sealed with glue as the use of wax seals were effectively discarded as the use of envelopes become more prevelant. Both the North and the South used patriotic envelopes but the vast majority of them were produced by the North.

Envelope Format - Letters sent to soldiers were addressed with the soldiers name, unit designation, and units last known city and state location. Letters sent to civilians had the civilians name, city or county, and state. If they lived in a large city, then a street or road name, without numbers, was added. No return address was placed on envelope.

Postage - Sheet stamps were the most common method of placing the required postage on a cover. Stamps were usually placed in the upper right corner as they are today. The cancellation marks was with a hand stamp. For US postage, 3 cents stamps were used for the first 1/2 ounce. Letters forwarded required additional postage and the recipient had to pay the additonal postal charges. Confederate postage is a little more complicated. At the begining of the war, it was 5 cents for up to 500 miles and 10 cents over 500 miles. But after 1862, postage was raised to 10 cents for all letters. Confederate 10 cent stamps were not always available so they would be stamped with the proper paid postage, which would say, "Paid 5 cent".

Staionary - Most stationary paper was either natural colored paper, light blue or beige. Size of the paper varied. Some common sizes were 5 inches wide by 8 inches tall or 8 inches tall by 10 inches wide. Majority of the paper was lined. Patriotic letter head was used but mostly in the North.

Writing Instruments - Period writing was accomplished using either a pen dipped in ink or a pencil.


How to Fold a Letter

Confederate Stationary     Word Format    PDF Format

Union Stationary     Word Format    PDF Format

Confederate Envelope

Confederate Stamp Sheet

Union Envelope

Union 1 cent Stamp Sheet

Union 3 cent Stamp Sheet

Adams Company Stamps