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Richmond, Va., Nov. 27tli, ISGl. 


I have the honor to submit the following statement of tli. 
condition of the business of the Post Office Department. 

On the 29th day of April last, I had the honor of sub- 
mitting to you a report of the condition and progress of 
organization of the Post Office Department, and-of'^'juesent- 
ing a plan for the organization of its sevtrail Bureaiis. and 
of the office of Auditor of the Treasury for the Post Office 
Department, and of suggesting such changes and modifica- 
tions in the laws relating to the postal service as our new 
condition required, and of asking for authority to assume 
the entire control of the postal service in the Confederate 

Under the provisions of the first section of the act of 
Congress, of May 9th, 1861, '*To amend An Act, vesting 
certain powers in the Postmaster General, approved March 
1 .5th, 186 1 ," the requisite authority Avas given to him to issue 
his proclamation, fixftig a day on which he would assume the 
control of the postal service. Pursuant to that authority 
the following proclamation was issued on the 13th day o*^f 
May, fixing the 1st day of June, for the commencement o^ 
the service, to wit : 

Whereas', By the provisions of an act, approved Marcli 
loth, 18G1, aii(i amended by the first section of an Act, 
approved May 9th, 1861, the Postmaster General " is au- 
thorized, on ai\d after a day to be named by him for that 
purpose, to take the entire charge and direction of the 
postal service in the Confederate States," and all conversance 
of mails, within their limits, from and after such day, except 
by authority of tlic Postmaster General, is thereby 
prohibited : 

Now, therefore, I, John II. Keacan, Postmaster General 
of the Confederate States of America, do issue this my proc- 
lamation, notifying all Postmasters, Contractors and Special 
and Route Agents, in the service of the Post Office Depart- 
ment and engaged in the transmission and delivery of the 
mails, or otherAvise in any manner connected with the ser- 
vice, within the limits of the Confederate States of America, 
that on and after the 1st day of June next, I shall assume 
the entire control and direction of the postal service therein : 
And I hereby direct all Postmasters, Route Agents and 
Special Agents, within these States, and now acting under 
tlic authority and direction of the Postmaster General of 
the United States, to continue in the discharge of their res- 
pective duties, under the authority vested in me by the 
Congress of the Confederate States, in strict conformity with 
such existing laws and regulations as are not inconsistent 
Avith the laws and constitution of the Confederate States of 
America;^ and such further instructions as may, hereafter, be 
issued by my direction : And the said Postmasters, Route 
Ao-ents and Special Agents are also required to forward to 
this Department, without delay, their names, Avith the names 
of the ofiices of which they are Postmasters, (giving the 
State and County), to be directed to the '' Chief of Appoint- 
ment Bureau, Post Office Department, Montgomery, Ala- 
bama," in order that ncAV commissions may be issued under 
the authority of this Government; and all Postmasters are 
hereby required to render to the . Post Office Department at 
Washington, D. C, their final accounts and their vouchers 
for postal receipts and expenditures, up to the 31st day of 
this month, taking care to forward, Vitli said accounts, all 
postao-e stamps and stamped envelopes, remaining on hand, 
belono-ing to the Post Office Department of tJie United 
. States, in order that they may receive the proper credits 
therefor, in the adjustment of their accounts , and they are 
i'rther required to retain in their possession, to meet the 


ordiers of the Postmaster General of tiie United States, fer- 
tile payment of mail service, within the Confederate States, 
all revenue which shall have accrued from the postal service 
prior to the said 1st day of June next. 

All contractors, mail messengers and special contractors 
for conveying the mails within the Confederate States, under 
existing contracts with the Government of the United States, 
are hereby autliorized to continue to perform such service 
under my direction, from and after the day last above named, 
subject to such modifications and changes as may be found 
necessary, under the poAvers vested in the Postmaster Gen- 
eral by the terms of said contracts and the provisions of the 
second section of an Act approved May 9th, 1861, conform- 
able thereto. And the said contractors, special contractors 
and mail messengers are required to forward, without delay, 
the number of their route or routes, the nature of the ser- 
vice thereon, the schedules of arrivals and departures, the 
names of the offices supplied and the amount of annual com- 
pensation for present service, together with their address, 
directed to the " Chief of the Contract Bureau, Post Office 
Department, Montgomery, Alabama." 

Until a postal treaty sliall be made with tlie Government 
of the United States for the exchange of mails between that 
Government and the Government of this Confederacy, Post- 
masters will not be authorized to collect '' United States 
postage on mail matter sent to, or received from those States ; 
and until supplies of postage stamps and stamped envelopes 
are procured for the prepayment of postage within the Con- 
federate States," all postages must be paid in money, under 
the provisions of the first section of an Act approved }Jarch 
1st, 18G1. 

(liven under my liand and the seal of the Post OfSce De- 
/^^^ partment of the Confederate States of America, 

< SEAL i at ^lontgomery, Alabama, the 13th day of May, 

< ^^^ ^ in the year 1861. 


Postmaster General. 

I also append a copy of a proclamation, dated 3d day of 
July, 1861, similar to the above, which relates to the State 
of Tennessee, and vdiich is marked exhibit A. 

The first day of June was adopted in the proclamation as 
being the earliest period of time at which it was suppose^ 

sufficient notice could be given to postmasters, contractors 
and others engaged in the service, of the change; so as to 
•secure uniformity in their official action. 

It may be proper to state, in this connection, that, subse- 
quent to the issuing of the above proclamation, the Post- 
master General of the United States issued his proclamation 
and sent orders to the contractors discontinuing the postal 
service in the Confederate States, under the authority of that 
Government, from the 1st of June, 1861 , that being the date 
on which our Government took charge of that branch of the 
public service. 

At the time of submitting my former report, there were 
but seven States in the Confederate States. The books 
necessary for conducting the business of the Department for 
these States, were then completed. Subsequently the States 
of Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas and Tennessee were 
added to the Confederate States, and the additional books 
for these States, were prepared in time to proceed, w^ithout 
interruption to the service, though they embraced about the 
same number of Post Offices and contracts that were em- 
braced in the other seven States. 

The progress of the organization of the Department, and 
putting it into successful operation, was delayed several 
weeks by the removal of the scat of Government and the 
delay in preparing a suitable building in this city. 


The total cost of the mail service in the eleven 
States, which now compose the Confederate States, for 
the fiscal year, ending June 30th, 1860, under the Go- 
vernment of the United States, was four million, two hun- 
dred and ninety-six thousand, two hundi'cd and forty-six 
dollars and seventy-eight cents, ($4,296,246 78). The 
total receipts from the postal service for the same year were 
one million, five hundred and seventeen thousand, five hun- 
dred and forty dollars and fifty-five cents, ($1,517,540 55). 
The excess of expenditures over. receipts, for the same time, 
was two million, seven hundred and seventy-eight thousand, 
seven hundred and six dollars and twenty-three cents, 
($3,778,706 23). 

I herewith submit a tabular exhibit C marked (B) giving 
in detail, the receipts and expenditures for that year. 

The report of the Auditor of the Treasury for the Post 
Office Department, of the receipts and expenditures for the 
fractional quarter, of one month, ending the 30th, of June 
hist, (the returns for the subsequent quarter, ending Sep- 
tember 30th not being sufficiently complete to enable him to 
report for that quarter,) sliow a total of expenditure of two 
hundred thousand, nine hundred and thirty-seven dollars 
and ninety-seven cents, (§200,937 97), and a total of re- 
ceipts of ninety-two thousand, three hundred and eighty- 
seven dollars and sixty-seven cents, ($92,3B7 67) ; leaving 
an excess of expenditures over receipts of one hundred and 
eight thousand, five hundred and fifty-three dollars and 
thirty cents, ($108,553 30). 

These figures, for the month of June, are made up of so 
meagre and imperfect material, as shown by the report of 
the Auditor, on account of the absence of returns from a 
portion of the Postmasters, and from the fact that the service 
of many contractors has not yet been recognized and remains 
unpaid, for reasons which will appear in subsequent portions 
of this report, as to give no reliable data for determining, 
or estimating the receipts and expenditures of the Depart- 
ment for the remainder of the current fiscal year. 

Subsequent portions of this report, together with the re- 
port of the Auditor, Avill develop the causes which have 
placed it out of his power to make a more perfect exhibit of 
the receipts and expenditures for that month. 

By an Act of Congress "relative to Telegraph lines in 
the Confederate States," approved the 11th of May last, the 
President was authorized, during the existing war, to take 
such control of the Telegraph lines of the Confederate 
States, and of the offices connected therewith, as will enable 
him effectually to supervise the communications passing 
throuiidi the same, to the end that a knowledf2:e of our mili- 
tar}^ operations shall not be improperly communicated, or 
dispatches sent, calculated to injure the cause of the Con- 
federate States, or give aid and comfort to the enemy, and 
to appoint telegraph operators, build telegraph lines, when, 
necessary for the prosecution of the war, &c. 

The execution of this law was confided, by the President, 
to the Postmaster General. And, in an '-Act to provide for 
certain deficiencies in the appropriations for the Post Office 
Department for the year ending February 18th, 1862," the 
sum of thirty thousand dollars was appropriated to carry into 
effect the provisions of the above named act of May 11th.. 


It is sliown by the report of the Auditor, that the sum of 
fifteen thousand one liundred and thirty-six dollars and 
seventy-seven cents, ($15,136 77) of said appropriation has 
been expended, leaving an unexpended balance of fourteen 
thousand eight hundred and sixty-three dollars and thirty- 
three cents ($14,863 33.) 

Eip;ht lines cf teleii-rai)h have been built of the a^-Li-reirate 
length of two liundred and seventeen miles, and supplied 
with batteries, at an aggregate cost of four thousand three 
hundred and sixty-five dollars and thirty -two cents, 
($4,365 32.) Ten and a half miles of insulated copper 
wire, with batteries, sounders, kc, and three vcliicles, with 
reels for extending and taking up the wire, have been made 
and sent to the army, for field operations, at a cost of four 
.thousand seven hundred and sixty-three dollars and eighty- 
six cents (4,763 86). 

Twenty telegraph operators and watchmen have been 
employed in operating, repairing and taking care of these 
lines, at a cost of one thousand six hundred and ninety-six 
dollars and twent3^-three cents, ($1,696 23), of which sum 
one thousand five hundred and thirteen dollars and seventy 
cents ($1,513 70) has been paid. 

A contract has been made with the " Texas Telegraph 
Compan}^" by which an advance of fifteen thousand dollars 
is to be made to that company, for building and operating a 
line of telegraph and sending Government dispatches from 
New Orleans, Louisiana, to Houston, Texas, a distance of 
three hundred and eighty miles ; and four thousand three hun- 
dred and thirteen dollars and fifty cents ($4,313 50) has 
already been paid over to the Company, under that contract. 
This line is to be completed by the tenth of December next. 

A contract has been entered into with the " Arkansas 
State Telegraph Company," by which an advance of eight 
thousand dollars is to be made to that Company, for building 
and operating a line of telegraph and conveying Govern- 
ment dispatches between Little llock and Fort Smith, Ar- 
kansas, a distance of one hundred and ninety miles. 

Estimates will be submitted for an additional appropria- 
tion for telegraph purposes. 

By an act of Congress, approved the 30th of August last, 
the Postmaster General is charged with the duty of collect- 
ing the outstanding balances in the hands of late and present 
postmasters, which had not been paid over to the Post Office 
Department of the United States prior to the first day of 


June last. He is also charged by said act Avitli the duty of 
iiscertaining the amounts " due the persons who are citizens 
of the Confederate States of America, and who may have 
rendered postal serAice in any of the States of this Confede- 
racy, under contracts or appointments made by the United 
States Government before the Confederate States Govern- 
ment took charge of such service." 

In obedience to the requirements of said ret, on the 18th 
da}' of September last, I issued a proclamation, of which 
the following is ;i copy : 

'' Whereas, by the provisions of the third section of an 
tict of Congress, approved August 30th, 1861, entitled "an 
act to collect for distribution, the moneys remaining in the 
several post offices of the Confederate States, at the time the 
postal service was taken in charge by said Government, it is 
made the duty of the Postmaster General to make procla- 
mation that all persons who are citizens of the Confederate 
States of America, and who may have rendered postal ser- 
vice in any of the States of this Confederacy, under con- 
tracts or appointments made by the United States Govern- 
ment before the Confederate States Government took charge 
of such service, shall present their claims to his Depart- 
ment, verified and established according to such rules as he 
shall prescribe, by a time therein to be set forth not less than 
six months, and requiring the cbiimant to state, under oath, 
how much has been paid and the date of such payments, on 
account of the contract or appointment under which said 
•claim occurred and what fund or provision has been set apart 
or made for the further payment of tJie whole or any por- 
tion of the balance of such claim, by the Government of the 
United States, or of any of the States; and they shall also state, 
•on oath, wdiether they performed fully the service accord- 
ing to their contracts or appointments during the time for 
which they claim pay, and, if not, what partial service they 
did perform, and what deductions have been made from their 
pay, so far as they know, on account of any failure or par- 
tial failure to perform such service. 

Now, therefore, I, John H. Reagan, Postmaster General 
of the Confederate States of America, do issue this, my pro- 
clamation, requiring all persons having claims for postal ser- 
vice, under the foregoing provisions of the 3rd section of the 
above named act, to present said claims to the Auditor of the 
Treasury for the Post Office Department for examination, on 
or before, the 13th day of March, 1862, in order that I may 


make a report to Congress of the amount thereof, as required 
bj law. 

Blank forms, for presenting and verifying the claims will 
be furnished on application to the Auditor of the Treasury 
for the Post Office Department. 

And I hereby require all persons who have heretofore 
collected moneys as Postmasters, in the States now compo- 
sing the Confederate States, and which they had not paid 
over at the time the Confederate States took charge of the 
postal service, to make out, under oath, and send to the Au- 
ditor of the Treasury for the Post Office Department on, or 
before the 13th day of October next, a general or ledger ac- 
count, with the United States, for the service of the Post 
Office Department, up to the time the control of the postal 
service was assumed by the Confederate States, in accord- 
ance with the general regulations of the Post Office Depart- 
ment, issued May loth, 1859, page 106, exhibiting the 
balances in the possession of such postmasters. 

Given under my hand and seal of the Post Office Depart- 
ment of the Confederate States of America, at Rich- 
mond, Va., the 18th day of September, in the year 


Fost master General. 

I also gave to the proper accounting officer of the Depart- 
ment, the Auditor of the Treasur}^ for the Post Office De- 
partment, the proper forms and instructions for the collection 
of said outstanding balances and for the verification and 
establishment of said claims against the fund to be collected. 
And, as shown by his report, he is proceeding in the dis- 
charge of that duty. 

It will be seen by reference to the report of the Auditor 
that he asks for additional clerical force. As the adjust- 
ment of the accounts of the Post Office Department, and the 
prompt payment of contractors engaged in conveying the 
mails, which is essential to the success of the service and to 
the maintenance of the credit of the Department, depends on 
the sufficiency of the clerical force of the Auditor's office, I 
feel called on to submit some suggestions in behalf of its 

When, on the 29th of April last, I submitted a plan for 
the organization of the Auditor's office, and suggested the 
necessity of a force of thirty clerks, for the performance of 

the duties of that- office, it will be remembered that there 
were but seven States in our Government, and that there 
were, at that time, but four thousand one hundred and sixty- 
one postmasters and one thousand, three hundred and thirty- 
four contractors whose accounts were to be audited. The 
accounts of each of these postmasters and contractors are 
required to be audited quarterly, making an aggregate of 
twenty- one thousand nine hundred and eighty accounts to 
be audited annually. 

Now there are eleven States and eight thousand four hun- 
dred and eleven postmasters, and two thousand five hundred 
and seventy-nine contractors, whose accounts are to be 
audited, making forty-three thousand nine hundred and 
sixty accounts to be audited annually. 

Under the act of August 30th, 1831, above referred to, 
very heavy additional labors are devolved on the Auditor in 
the collection of out-standing balances and in the ascertain- 
ment of amounts due to contractors and others, which will 
involve the necessity of auditing some ten thousand addi- 
tional accounts, besides a very extensive and troublesome 
correspondence, and all to be performed ])y the 13th day of 
March next. 

In addition to this, he is required to audit the accounts 
which may be made under the act of May 11th, in relation 
to telegraph lines, &c. 

From these facts it will be seen that the business of that 
office is now fully double what it Avas when the present 
clerical force was allowed by Congress. And a very con- 
siderable increase of that force is indispensable to its suc- 
cessful management. 

It is proper for me to say that the whole number of clerks 
authorized by Congress for that office has only recently been 
appointed, and that the business of the Postoffice Depart- 
ment has been delayed for the vrant of this force. 

The report of the Auditor is hereto annexed marked ex- 
hibit C, and your attention is respectfully called to the 
statements and recommendations it contains. 


There are in the Confederate States 2,579 post-roads es- 
tablished by law. Of this number 372 were not let to con- 
tract by the United States for reasons shown by the official 
reports of the United States Post Office Department, which 
were the extravagance of the bids and failure of bidders to 



execute contracts, leaving 2,207 post-roads under contract 
on tlie 1st of June, ISGl. Of this number 41o have been 
aban<loned bj the contractors, and no response has been re- 
ceived from contractors on 519 of the remaining routes, 
notwithstanding the urgent efforts made by proclamation of 
the Postmaster General, and letters from this bureau to ob- 
tain such information as v» ould enable the Department to 
know whetlier tlie old contractors were still performing ser- 
vice, or were willing to continue the service, under the 
Confederate Government, and execute new contracts for its 
faithful performance. 

On 376 routes additional information is required by the 
Department from contractors and postmasters, to enable it 
to prepare new contracts for execution. The greater num- 
ber of these routes appear, by the information already re- 
ceived, to have been either transferred by the parties to 
Avhom the contracts were originally awarded, to persons un- 
known to the Department, save by the fact that they claim 
to be the contractors, or the routes have been materially 

In these cases the original evidence of assio-nmcnt and 
orders making changes are required by tiie Department to 

on 68, routes has been discontinued b}^ the Department as 
unnecessary, and 1 1 steamship routes have been discon- 
tinued, by reason of the blockade, making a total of 79 
routes on which the service has been discontinued. The 
amount saved to the Department annually b}^ these discon- 
tinminces is $412,783 97. 

Tlie service on 74 routes has l)een curtailed, and the an- 
nual expenses thereof reduced $219,206 71, including a 
reduction of $115,000 on so much of the overland route 
from San Antonio, Texas, to San Diego, California, as lies 
between San Antonio and El Paso, Texas ; making a total 
annual saving of $631,990 68. 

Contracts have been prepared, in duplicate, and sent in 
letters of instruction to postmasters for execution, by the 
contractors, on 1,372 routes. Of this number 833 have 
been returned properly executed and recorded in this De- 
partment and filed in the Auditor's office. It is believed 
that the residue will be properly executed in a short time. 

A tabular statement, exhibiting in detail the foregoing 
information, is hereto annexed, marked exhibit D. 

It appears, by the foregoing statement, that upon a large 


number of rout js contracts have not been obtained by the 
Department, notwithstanding the most diligent efforts have 
been made to secure their execution. 

Among the many difficulties Avhich tlie Department has 
encountered in its efforts to secure efficient postal service, 
the following most prominent causes may be enumerated, 
viz : In conseijuence of the failure of the Congress of the 
United States to make the usual appropriations for the pos- 
tal service for the year ending June 3i)th, 1860, and for the 
deficiency in the appropriations and revenues of the preced- 
ing year, many contractors were unpaid for a period of more 
than six months, and had completely exhausted their credit 
for obtaining supplies necessary for their stock and in pro- 
curing coaches and drivers, and were compelled either to 
abandon their routes or perform imperfect and partial ser- 
vice thereon. During the period which intervened between 
the secession of the several States and the assumption by 
the Confederate States Government of its postal affairs, the 
-entire service became demoralized and partially broken up, 
lis contractors found no certain provision made for the pay- 
ment of their services during that period ; and there was, 
to a great extent, an absence of a sense of responsibility in 
the performance 'of the duties of both contractors and post- 
masters, as thc}^ did not recognize the authority of the 
United States Government, and the Confederate Government 
had no control of the service prior to the first of June. 

After the issue of my proclamation proposing to continue 
•all contractors in the service of the Confederate Govern- 
ment, many of them seemed to be anxious to ]3e regarded as 
contractors, without executing new contracts with the Con- 
federate Government, reserving to themselves the right to 
abandon the service at their pleasure, but demanding pay, 
and, in numerous instances, increased pay for the service 

Others claimed the right to perform inferior service instead 
of the higher grade of service which they had contracted 
with the United States Government to perform, and demand- 
ed the pay due for the higher grade of service. The travel 
over many of the stage routes was greatly interfered with 
by the condition of the countr}^, and these routes ceased to 
be profitable, and many contractors availed themselves of 
the opportunity presented, by the fact that without exeoiit- 
ing new contracts they were free from liability, and aban- 
doned their routes entirely ; and as these routes generally 


constituted trunk lines, ^vliich supplied the inferior routes 
throughout tlie country with their mail matter, of course 
great and Avide-spread embarrassment was produced and con- 
tinued until new service could be procured, by advertising 
or by special contracts. In some cases advertisements for 
proposals have met with no response, or, if responded to, it 
was by bids so extravagant and unreasonable as to preclude 
their acceptance. In numerous instances contractors, in- 
fluenced by a spirit of patriotic devotion to the common 
cause connected themselves with the army (although by law 
exempt from military service, where tliey discharged their 
duties in j^erson,) and left the performance of their service 
as carriers of the mails in the hands of careless or incom- 
petent agents, and, even if the service is continued, great 
delay is experienced in obtaining contracts to ensure its 
faithful performance, by reason of their absence. 

In numerous instances the Department has not been ap- 
prized of the abandonment of routes, until long after it had 
occurred, and then not by its proper agents, but by some 
citizen or newspaper communicating the information to the 
Department ; and when investigation has been had, it has 
frequently been found that the contractors and postmasters 
were in the army. 

In some cases of abandonment of service, the postmaster 
and citizens have obtained temporary service by the patriot- 
ic use of their private means, without notice to the Depart- 
ment, and the service, not being subject to its control, is ir- 
regular and imperfect. 

But the failures and delays in the receipt of letters and 
newspapers are not always justly chargeable to delinquencies 
of the Department and its agents. It is tlie practice of the 
most extensive newspaper offices, in the large cities, not 
only to direct their packages to the offices of delivery, but 
also to bag them in pouches supplied by the Department, 
and label the bags to the several route agents upon the dif- 
ferent railroads. 

A report recently made to the Department by two of its 
special agents who had been directed to visit several of the 
most important newspaper offices and obtain the consent of 
the editors to examine and revise their " mailing books," 
states that these books were very imperfect and in conse- 
quence thereof sacks of newspapers were frequently sent to 
a route agent on one line of railroad which should have been 
sent to another agent on a road traversing an entirely dif- 


ferent section of country, but connecting at some remote 
point ; thus producing great delay and irregularit}^ in their 
delivery. Route agents have frequently reported to the De- 
partment that the papers in these sacks are, in numerous in- 
stances, so illegibly directed that it is impossible to assort 
and deliver them, and in others they are entirely without 

In regard to letters many of them fail to reach their des- 
tination in consequence of misdirection or illegible and 
careless direction ; and a vast number of letters, addressed 
to persons in the army, are not delivered because the writers 
thereof fail to state, in the direction, the name of the com- 
pany and regiment to which the party addressed belongs ; 
and, in the various and rapid changes of companies and 
regiments from one point to another, there being nothing in 
the superscription to aid the postmaster in determining to 
what post office the letters should be forwarded, he is obliged 
to retain them the usual period and then send them to the 
**dcad letter" office. 

Other prolific sources of mail irregulaiuty are presented 
in connection with the 


In view of the necessity of securing a reduction of the 
cost of the postal service, and in view of the fact that tjie 
transportation of the mails, on the railroads alone, for the 
last year, cost the sum of $1,022,437, whilst the whole re- 
ceipts from the postal service were but $1,517,540 55^ in 
April last, I called a convention of the railroad Presidents, 
to meet at the city of Montgomery, for the purpose of seeing 
what reduction in the cost of this service could be made. 

Most of the railroad companies in the then limits of the 
Confederate States, and some of those in Tennessee and 
North Carolina, not then in the Confederacy, were repre- 
sented in that convention. The convention agreed to a class- 
ification of the railroads into three classes, and that the 
maximum rate of compensation for those of the first class 
should be one hundred and fifty dollars per mile, that of the 
second class one hundred dollars per mile, and that of the 
third class fifty dollars per mile ; with twenty-five per cent, 
to be added when one half of the service should be performed 
in the night. And the convention adopted a resolution de- 
clining, under future contracts, to deliver the mails at the 
^post offices. 


The adoption of the fore<ioing resolution has devolved on 
the Popartment much trouhle and expense ^vhich has here- 
tofore been borne b}^ the railroad contractors, by increasing 
the number of contractors through ^vhosc hands the mails 
are to pass, and dividing the responsibility for their safe 
delivery^ by the addition of a number of mail messengers, 
under separate contracts for each railroad. And the addi- 
tional expense of the messenger service counterbalances, in 
a great degree, the redi^ction of the rates of mail pay allowed 
to the railroads under the recent act of Congress. 

The Congress, in May, passed an act establishing the 
classification and rate of compensation of railroads as agreed 
on by the convention (The maximum rate of compensa- 
tion to railroads before this time was $300 per mile per 
annum.) It devolved upon the Postmaster General to deter- 
mine the class to which each railroad should be assigned 
nnder the rules of classification adopted by the Railroad 
Convention and the Congress, and to assign the appropriate 
compensation to each ^vithin the maximum limit of its cb^ss, 
and to enter into contracts with the several companies for 
the performance of the service. The railroads have been 
classified, the rate of compensation assigned them, and con- 
tracts sent out to the several companies for execution. 

There are ninety-one railroads and branch roads in the 
Confexlerate States ; of this number, fifteen only have en- 
tered into contracts. Many of the companies have waived 
the proposal to contract, for the present, on one or another 
ground. Many of them decline to accept the classification, 
and compensation assigned to their roads, and it is manifest 
that many of them intend, if they can, to avoid liability and 
the legitimate control of the Department, by refusing to 
enter into contracts, while, at the same time, they signify a 
willingness to perform the service, but under some protest, 
and generally that they must have higher pay. 

In order to meet and overcome the objection to entering 
into contracts with tlie Department, 1 have directed that no 
payments shall be made to the companies refusing to con- 
tract, for any time after the end of the month of June, until 
they enter into contracts, and I shall continue to act on this 
determination. And if it be found that such companies 
persist in refusing to contract, I shall, after all reasonable 
and proper efforts have been exhausted, withhold the mails 
from their control and contract for carrying them in the 
next best manner which may be found available. The law 


forbids payment until contrac*:s arc made. The Department 
is held responsible to the public judgment for the rc^szularity 
of the mails, and for their speedy and prompt delivery. 
Companies who refuse to contract, do so, it is believed, for 
the purpose of keeping it out of the power of the Depart- 
ment to control their schedules of arrivals and departures, 
and their running time. And they retain in their hands 
the power to control or defeat proper schedules of service 
botli on their roads and others connected Avith them. 

To tolerate such a course, is to invite perpetual confusion, 
misconnections, delays and failures of the mails, and to 
place it in the power of a single company to injure the pub- 
lic and all other companies whose interests depend, in any 
degree, on its aciion. When they are offered a reasonable 
compensation and refuse to accept it and to contract, as we 
have no legal means of compelling them to a just, liberal and 
patriotic course, I see no remedy but to refuse to deliver the 
mails to them and let an injured public find the means, if it 
can, of compelling them to a reasonable course of conduct. 
It is proper in this connection to say that, even at the re- 
duced rate of compensation allowed to the railroads, of this 
country under the recent act of Congress, they receive a high- 
er rate of compensation than the railroads of any other country 
for similar service, except the railroads of the United States. 
And tliat Government has, for years past, remonstrated 
against the extravagance of those rates, and. it is reasonable 
to i^'fer that nothing but the great influence of so many and 
Biicl' powerful monopolies has prevented this wholesome and 
necessary reform. Their usefulness and importance in the 
conveyance of the mails, as in matters of commerce, travel, 
and the operations of the army, are fully recognized and 
appjeciated by this Department ; and the patriotic and pub- 
lic spirited conduct of a number of the companies in these- 
times of trial and danger is gratefully acknowledged; but it 
cannot be permitted that oJier companies shall disregard all 
other interests than their own and make use of their im- 
portant franchises, granted by the several States for the 
public good, for the injur}^ of others and the public, espe- 
cially in times like these, without being exposed, at least, to^ 
public reprobation. 

The railroad service was designed to be daily, and it was 
hoped, with proper schedules and speed, this would answer 
the public wants. But the Department has encountered 
innumerable difficulties in trying to get proper schelules 


adopted, and lias found it as difficult to get tlicm conformed 
to, after being adopted, as to get them adopted in the first 

In the meantime, the railroads have been necessarily, 
much occupied in transporting soldiers, and supplies, and 
munitions of war, which has materially interfered with the 
regularity of the mails. And the War Department and 
army officers have frequently directed military schedules to 
be run by the roads, in conflict with the schedules of the 

These things, with the ordinary causes of delay and loss 
of connections, such as running off the track, breaking 
of bridges, &c., &c., have rendered the mails so irregular, 
as to make it an accident, noAV, instead of the rule, to have 
regular connections between any distant and important 

The Department has been visited with much censure on 
account of these irregularities, notwithstanding it has done 
everything in its power to avoid them, and is, in no just 
sense, responsible for them. And the Companies have been 
pretty generally notified that the Department will do all it 
can by way of fines and deductions for failures, in order to 
compel regularity in the service. 

The failure of the railroad companies to enter, more gen- 
erally, into contracts, places it out of the power of the De- 
partment, at this time, to form any reliable estimate of the 
reduction of the current cost of the railroad service. 

Immediately on the receipt of dispatches conveying the 
intelligence of the destruction of the bridges on the line of 
the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad and the Georgia 
State Road, two special agents of the Department were dis- 
patched by the Western and Southern routes, to the scenes 
of disaster, for the purpose of expediting the transit of the 
mails and of giving them proper direction, in the event 
of one route proving to be more fixvorable to their transmis- 
sion than the other. These agents have reported to the 
Department that the bridges cannot be rebuilt and repaired 
so as to insure no delay in the transportation of the mails, 
passengers and munitions of war and supi^lies for the army, 
before the latter part of December, unless the Confederate 
Government gives some aid to the railroad companies. 

The present delay in the transmission of the mails, be- 
tween points West of those bridges and this city, occasioned 
by the destruction of the bridges, is twenty-four hours. 


Another fruitful cause of complaint against the Depart- 
ment in regard to the delay of mail matter, in its transit 
beyond the limits of a State, and frequently within its 
limits, is the neglect of postmasters to observe the regula- 
tions of the Department in relation to mailing dh'ect to all 
points within the State in which the mailing office is located, 
and to all points in other States, the locality of which is 
known to the mailing office. Instead of complying with 
these regulations, it is believed that the majority of post- 
masters make up mail packages in bulk and mail them to the 
nearest distributing offices, to be there assorted andremailed ; 
thus producing delay and expense to the Department, as the 
postmaster at a *' Distributing Office" receives twelve and 
one-half {\2l) per cent, commission on the postage upon 
all matter distributed. 

Distributing offices are established for the purpose of col- 
lecting and receiving the mails both in large and separare 
packages from various points for particular regions of coun- 
try, and the distributing them to the several places to which 
they are addressed. " '-They are landmarks to the distant 
offices to guide the course of their mails to remote points, 
receiving them as they are made up at the mailing office and 
remailing them with a new post-bill and new entries in the 
accounts of 'mails received' and 'mails sent' to their res- 
pective destinations." This is their legitimate function, but 
the carelessness and indiiference of postmasters and their 
clerks, throw upon these offices a vast amount of mail matter 
(and consequent increase of labor) which ought, in justice 
to the public and the Department, to be mailed direct. This 
is especially the case at the present time, when large bodies 
of troops are frequently stationed in the vicinity of offices, 
which have heretofore been of but little importance ; the 
office at once springs into one of great labor and responsi- 
bility, if the postmaster discharges his duty, in mailing the 
letters intrusted to his care ; but recent investigations, 
under the direction of the Department, have established the 
fact that, in every instance, the postmasters in the vicinity 
of camps, mail their letters 171 hulk, to the nearest distribut 
ing office, thereby causing a detention of generally 24 hours 
in tlic transit of the letters. Unfortunately for the credit 
of the postal service, the evils indicated arc not confined to 
the smaller offices in the Confederate States, but are also 
found in the ''Distributing Offices." I have recently in- 
structed intelligent and efficient agents of the Department, 


•wliosc long experience in the postal service has made them 
familiar with the vast net work of post-roads in the Con- 
federate States, to visit the several distributing offices therein 
and examine and revise their distribution tables and to in- 
crease the number of offices to which they should invariably 
mail direct. These agents have commenced their labors, and 
from reports received from them, in the progress thereof, I 
find that there have been many and great abuses in the dis- 
tribution system, to the correction of which the most earnest 
and diligent efforts of the Department will be directed. 


The whole number of post offices in the Confederate 

States on the 1st of June 1861, was 8,411 

Of this number there have been discontinued since 

that date 183 

Leaving in operation 8,228 

Num1)er established since the 1st of June 72 

Whole number of post offices now in operation 8,300 

Number of post offices of which the names and sites 

were changed 47 

Number of postmasters who have been appointed 

since the 1st of June 6,261 

Number of postmasters commissioned by this Depart- 
ment since that date , 4, 184 

Whole number of resignations during the same 

period 050 

Of which number 459 were resignations of appointments 
conferred by this Department, and the residue 491 were 
resignations of appointments held under the Govern- 
ment of the United States. The number of postmasters 
subject to appointment by the President, by and Avith the 
advice and consent of Congress, is seventy, (70), of which 
number sixty-seven (67) have been appointed, confirmed and 
commissioned, their bonds having been properly executed 
and filed in the Department. The number of route agents 
in service, on the railroads and steamboats of the Confeder- 
ate States, on the first day of June, was one hundred and 
twenty-three, (123), of whom one hundred and ten (110) 
have been appointed by this Department, and five (5) have 
been removed. The reappointment of the remaining thir- 


teen (13) is suspended for various causes. Seven perma- 
nent and one temporary special agents have been appointed, 
and full instructions in relation to their duties, together with 
the new postal laws, passed by the Confederate Congress,. 
have been prepared and issued to them and to postmasters. 

A contract was made in June last for the printing of post 
office blanks, and paper for the same, upon the terms pre- 
scribed by the Act of Congress, approved 27th February, 
1861, and, up to the present time, the contractors have de- 
livered to the Department seven hundred and sixty-one (761) 
reams of printed blanks. 

This quantity has enabled the Department to supply two 
thousand five hundred and sixty-one (2,561) post offices with 
blanks of all the several kinds used ; sixteen hundred and 
fifty-six (1,656) post offices with all kinds, except post bills, 
and four hundred and seventeen (417) have been supplied 
with accounts current and mails received and sent. The 
whole number of orders for blanks, filled by this Bureau 
was four thousand, six hundred and fifty-four, (4,654.) The 
number of orders for blanks, which have not been furnished, 
in consequence of the inability of the contractor to obtain 
paper and have the printing done in time to meet the wants 
of the Department, is six hundred and forty-six, (646). 

A contract was also made in May last, for furnisliing Manil- 
la wrapping paper, upon very favorable terms to the Depart- 
ment, and the number of reams distributed to post offices, 
is eight hundred and eighty-six, (886). Forty-nine (49) 
orders for marking and rating stamps have been filled, under 
contract, and seven hundred and fifty-seven (757) pounds of 
cotton twine have been furnished to post offices. Applica- 
tions have been made for '•' letter balances," but the De- 
partment has not been able to procure them, as they are not 
manufactured South of Boston, Mass. Tabular statements 
exhibiting the operations of this Bureau, by States, in 
detail, are subjoined, marked exhibits E and F. 

Notwithstanding the prompt and energetic efforts of this 
Bureau, by the issue of proclamations and urgent letters,, 
requiring information to be furnished to the Department, 
there has been great delay in the receipt of the responses 
from postmasters, which are necessary to enable the Depart- 
ment to reappoint them, or to appoint others in their stead; 
and the inaccuracy in the execution of the bonds of post- 
masters, has delayed the issue of commissions to many of 
those who have been appointed. 



The books of tliis Bureau exliibit the fact, that the post- 
masters, who are required by the Department to deposit 
quarterly, or oftener, the revenues of their offices, have de- 
posited in the Treasury and its branches, since the first of 
June, 1861, the sum of seventy-five thousand, six hundred 

and five doHars, and seventy cents $ 75,605 70 

The amount of grants from the Treasury, in 
aid of the revenues of the Department was 
l)y the Act, approved March 16, 1861... 320,060 36 
And by the Act approved 29th August 500,000 00 

Total of deposits and grants $805,666 06 

Since the 27th July, 337 warrants have been 
issued upon the Treasury, in payment of 

the postal service, amounting to $225,434 96 

Leaving undrawn and subject to warrants, in 

payment of postal service $670,231 10 

675 drafts have been issued upon a class of post 
offices styled ^' draft offices," in payment 
of the postal service, for sums amounting 

to $ 40,288 36 

The quarterly returns of postmasters are rendered to this 
Bureau and are there opened, the ''dead letters" and post- 
bills separated from the other portions of the account, the 
balance as shown by the adjustment of the postmasters care- 
fully recorded in alphabetical order, and the account is then 
delivered to the Auditor for adjustment. The number of 
dead letters received and opened, up to this date, is 88,682. 
The number of drop letters, 8,512. The number of letters 
held for postage, 7,818. 967 dead letters contained in 
money, $5,751 80, and 1811 contained drafts, bills of ex- 
change, notes and other valuable papers, amounting to 
$l,!;i38,643 57. 

A large amount of the foregoing belongs to persons not 
residents of the Confederate States, and will be placed in the 
hands of the proper judicial officers, to be disposed of under 
the Sequestration Act. 

The foreign letters, except those for the French Govern- 
ment and the United States, have been unopened. In com- 
pliance with the request of the French Consul, I have had 
the letters from France opened, and those which contained 
money and valuable papers delivered to him. 


The Eno'lish letters have been delivered to the En owlish 

Six hundred and ninety-four dead letters, containing 
money to the amount of $4,593 30, have been returned to 
the writers thereof. Fifty-seven letters, containing $352 05, 
have been sent to the offices at Avhich they were mailed to be 
delivered to the proper persons by the postmasters, and have 
been again returned to the Department unclaimed. One 
hundred and fifty-two letters are not yet sent out for delivery 
to their writers. They contain $441 45. Sixty-four letters, 
containing $360 belong to non-residents of the Confederate 

The first delivery of postage stamps by the contractors 
was made on the 1 5th October last, and since that date only 
1,430,700 stamps have been received, all of which have been 
issued by this Bureau to post offices near which large bodies 
of troops have been situated, with a view to their special 


The difficulties which have been encountered by the De- 
partment in its endeavors to procure postage stamps and' 
stamped envelopes, producing great 'delays in procuring 
them in such quantities as to meet the demands of the 
public, have caused much impatience to be manifested on 
that account, which induces me to state, at some length, the 
various efforts made by the Department to procure them, as 
well for the information of Congress as for the vindication 
of the Department against charges of neglect of duty in that 

The manifest advantage of having stamps and stamped 
envelopes for the payment of postage has been from the first 
fully realized by the Department, and immediately after my 
appointment, and before the Department was organized, 
correspondence was commenced with such parties as were 
known to be able to manufacture them, for the purpose of 
procuiing them at the earliest day possible. Propositions 
were submitted early in March last, from parties not residing 
in the Confederate States, to supply them, and the Depart- 
ment was led to believe they might be obtained b^ the time 
it could be organized and prepared to take control of the 
service. But the political changes then going on so rapidly, 
and the increasing probabilities of hostilities between the 
ncAV and the old Governments, soon rendered the fulfillment 


'of the first proposition to fiirnisli stamps and stamped en- 
'.velopes impossible. 

On the 16th of March, a proposition Avas submitted by a 
gentleman having the means and capacity for manufacturing 
them, to establish a house in the city of Montgomery for that 
purpose and for the purpose of doing any other engraving, 
lithographing and printing which might be required by the 
Government. Assurances were given him that he should have 
the contract for furnishing stamps and stamped envelopes, and 
at his request, and to facilitate the early manufacture of them, 
he was furnished by the Department, with designs for the vari- 
ous denominations of stamps, in order that he might com- 
plete the necessary engravings by the time his presses and 
other materials could be prepared. He left that city, as he 
said, for the purpose of carrying into effect that enterprise, 
and nothing was heard from him afterwards. 

On the 27th of March the Department advertised for 
proposals for furnishing stamps and stamped envelopes, in 
newspapers in the following cities, to wit : Montgomery, 
New Orleans, Charleston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New 
York, Savannah, Columbus, Richmond, Memphis, and Lou- 
isville. No proposals in response to this advertisement were 
received from any establishment in the then Confederate 
States. The only proposals made in answer to this adver- 
tisement were one from Richmond and one from Baltimore, 
proposing to furnish lithographed stamps. The proposition 
from Baltimore was regarded as most favorable, both on ac- 
count of the style of the work proposed to be done and the 
terms on which the supplies were proposed to be furnished. 
But the collision between the citizens of that city and the 
Federal troops, on the 20th of April, and consequent sus- 
pension of communication with that city, prevented further 
negotiations on the subject. 

A skillful engraver, not a citizen of the Confederate States, 
visited Montgomery early in May, for the purpose of enter- 
ing into a contract to furnish stamps and stam})ed envelopes, 
to be executed in the highest style of art. When there, it 
became manifest that the condition of affairs between the 
United States and our Government would interrupt the de- 
livery of these articles from the place at which he proposed 
to manufacture them. He then entered into an agreement 
to make the stamps in the Confederate States, subject to the 
contingency of his being prevented from introducing the 
.necessary machinery by hostilities between the two Govern- 


ments. In June, tlie Department received notice from him 
that it would be out of his power to introduce the machinery 
and fulfill his agreement. 

In July, a confidential agent was employed by the De- 
partment to procure the making of the required steel dies 
and plates for postage stamps, beyond our territory, and to 
furnish them to the Department as soon as they could be 
prepared, and also, if found practicable, to have the stamps 
made and furnished ready for use 

After receiving some encouragement, and after the work 
of making steel dies had been commenced, circumstances 
rendered the discontinuance of the work by the manufiictu^ 
rer necessary. And our agent then made an effort, at an- 
other point, to procure lithographed stamps of a superior 
style, and after some delay it became necessary to abandon 
that effort to supply the Department. This brought us to 
September. And in the meantime an extensive correspond- 
ence was kept up by the Department, and has been steadily 
persevered in up to this time, with persons in various cities 
in the Confederate States, and indeed with every person who 
was represented to the Department as an engraver, who 
might execute the work desired. Urged by the wants of the 
public, the Department was induced, as a temporary expe- 
dient, to make arrangements with a lithographic establish- 
ment in this city for the manufiicture of lithographed stamps. 
Unexpected delay, however, occurred in the preparation of 
them ; and after the completion of the plates, the supplies 
furnished to the Department were so insufficient to meet the 
demand for them and the prices charged so exorbitant, as 
compared with the cost of the superior steel-plate impres- 
sions in use in the United States and other governments, 
that a special agent was dispatched on the 27th October to 
Charleston, S. C, and Savannah, Ga., for the purpose of as- 
certaining the practicability of having stamps printed there 
on more favorable terms, and in quantities equal to the 
public demand. This agent returned to the Department, 
November 4th, and reported that the engravers and litho- 
graphers of those cities would submit estimates to the De- 
partment so soon as they could ascertain the cost of machi- 
nery and paper. I have just received a letter from Charles.- 
ton submitting a proposal for furnishing stamps, but stating 
that it would require at least ninety days for the preparation 
of the necessary machinery and plates. 

This engraver proposes to furnish the stamps gummed, 


but not perforated, at a cost of one dollar per thousand, the 
paper to be furnished by the Department, whereas the 
United States Government paid but eighteen cents per 
thousand stamps, gummed, perforated, and put up in tin and 
paper boxes and envelopes, without extra charge for paper, 
and boxes, and envelopes. 

The engraver, in Savannah, under date of 21st Novem- 
ber, states that it will require sixty days to prepare the plates 
for printing each denomination, and the delivery of 400,1)00 
stamps, and that with his present force he can only furnish 
80,000 stamps daily. The estimated number require<l for 
daily use is about 260,000. In the meantime, on the first 
day of October, a confidential agent was provided with am- 
ple means and dispatched to Europe to procure the manu- 
facture of steel dies and plates for printing stamps of the 
several denominations provided by law, and for procuring 
for use, as soon as practicable, fifteen millions of stamps, 
and to forward the dies, plates and stamps to this city. The 
small supplies now being received from the contractors in 
this city only serve to increase the public discontent, as 
they are insufficient to meet the demands of even the prin- 
cipal cities. 

It is a fact well established by the experience of other 
governments, and of Bankers generally, that impressions 
taken from skilfully prepared steel dies and plates, are the 
only safeguard against counterfeiting, and the Department 
has been very reluctant to adopt any other character of 
postage stamp. 

The Department has received several propositions from 
persons professing a knowledge of the art of engraving and 
preparing stamps, but correspondence and investigation have 
shown that they had neither the required skill and know- 
ledge for this purpose, nor tlie means of furnishing the 
stamps, and Avere ignorant of the requirements for the pre- 
paration of them. When prepared and supplied as they 
should be, to all post offices, they wil^. represent the entire 
revenues of the Department. 

There is a popular delusion, resting on the minds of 
many, that almost any character of engraving will answer 
for postage stamps, and in support of this opinion, refer- 
ence is frequently made to the fact that postmasters of dif- 
ferent cities and towns have procured stamps for their 
offices. These are made upon wood, or stone, or lead, or are 
electrotyped. Stamps prepared by either of these modes 


can be counterfeited vritli o^reat facility bv a mere tyro in the 
art of engraving ; and the Department couhl not risk its 
revenues on such slender security without disregarding the 
public interest. 


Capital is always timid in times of war and commercial 
depression like the present. And this, with the suspension 
of specie payment by all the banks, and the fact that corpo- 
rations and individuals have issued and put in circulation, 
in many portions of the country, small notes which are 
substituted for specie as change, has caused the coin of the 
country to disappear, to a great extent, from circulation. 
This renders the payment of postage difficult in the absence 
of stamps, embarrassing the people, and necessarily reduc- 
ing the revenues of the Department. In view of this, and 
of the impossibility of obtaining a sufficient supply of post- 
age stamps for the present, I recommend that Congress ex- 
tend the provisions of the act " to require the receipt by 
the postmasters of the Confederate States of Treasury notes, 
in sums of five dollars and upwards in payment of postage 
stamps or stamped envelopes," approved the 3')th of August 
last, so as to make the Treasury notes receivable in sums of 
five dollars, or of amounts equal to other denominations of 
Treasury notes, for j^ostage. It is necessary to limit the 
receipt of Treasury notes to amounts corresponding with 
their several denominations, and to leave it to the postmas- 
ters and persons paying postage to arrange between them- 
selves the manner in which these notes may be used, as it 
cannot be expected that postmasters should furnish coin in 
change for them, on account of its scarcity, and it would be 
wholly inadmissible to alloAV them to receive and use the 
small notes, issued by corporations and individuals, for 
change, partly on account of the general vf orthlessness of such 
notes and the facility for counterfeiting them, and partly 
because whatever value they have is usually limited to some 
small locality which renders them wholly unfit for use as a 
Confederate currency. 


At the time the present permanent clerical force was pro- 
vided for this Department, there were but seven States in 
the Confederacy; since that time four States have been 


added, increasing the business of the Department to an 
extent be^'ond the ability of the reguhir clerical force to 
give it that prompt and careful dispatch which is essential 
to a successful administration of its affairs. Hence it be- 
came necessary to employ, temporarily, some ten additional 
clerks. The necessity of an immediate revision of the post 
routes in the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, 
Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee, preparatory to their being 
advertised for proposals for new service, to begin on the 
30th June next, at which time the present contracts termi- 
nate, will, in addition to the reason first stated, render a 
permanent augmentation of the clerical force necessary. 
Therefore, I respectfully suggest that there be added to the 
present permanent force of the Department five clerks at an 
annual salary of twelve hundred dollars each, and five clerks 
at an annual salary of one thousand dollars each. 


The condition of affairs in the State of Kentucky and 'n 
the Territory of Arizona, (Missouri now being admitted 
as a State of the Confederacy), requires that postal facili- 
ties be extended to such portions of them as are in the 
possession of our friends, or are occupied by our troops. A 
portion of their citizens are gallantly struggling in arms to 
unite their political destiny with ours, and it is of the first 
importance that we aflbrd facilities for correspondence and 
for the circulation of newspapers between our people and 
them, to promote trade and secure a free interchange of 
opinions. And I respectfully recommend that Congress give 
this Department such authority as may be proper for this 


I must also call attention to the fact that the special and 
route and local agents of the Department are re(|uired to 
make frequent and sometimes voluminous reports to the 
Department, and to correspond with each other and with 
postmasters, in regard to the service ; and there is no law 
to relieve them from paying the postage out of their private 
means, on this correspondence relating to ofiicial business. 
This condition of things must result in taxing these neces- 
sary agents, so as to drive them out of the service or in 
causing them to omit the discharge of their most important 


duties, in order to avoid the expense of paying the postage 
on their communications. 

The contractors for carrying the mails are also required 
to make frequent responses to communications sent them 
from the Department in relation to the service, and to return 
to the Auditor, quarterly, the evidence of payments made 
them for such service, and to report to the Department the 
cause of every failure and of all irregularities, in the ser- 
vice, on their several routes. I must therefore ask that 
Congress make some provision to relieve them from the pay- 
ment of thJs postage. This can be done by authorizing 
them to charge the amount to the Confederate States in 
their quarterly accounts for repayment under such restric- 
tions as Congress may prescribe, or by authorizing them to 
frank such communications, under the same restrictions 
placed upon others connected with the Post Office Depart- 
ment, who are authorized to frank their official correspon- 

This again brings up the question as to Avhethcr we are 
to adhere strictly to the policy of requiring all mail matter 
to be pre-paid, or are to extend the franking privilege be- 
yond its present limits. 

By the 5th section of the Act " to prescribe the rates of 
postage in the Confederate States of America, and for other 
purposes," approved February 23, 1861, the franking priv- 
ilege was abolished, except as to the Post Master General, 
his Chief Clerk, the Auditor of the Treasury for the Post 
Office Department, and " the several deputy post masters 
throughout the Confederate States." 

By the 4th section of " an Act to amend An Act to pre- 
scribe the rates of postage in the Confederate States of 
America, and for other purposes, approved February 23, 
1861," which latter Act was approved May 13, 1861, the 
franking privilege was extended to the Chiefs of the Con- 
tract, Appointment and Finance Bureaus of the Post Office 

If it should now be extended to the persons above named, 
the entire official correspondence of this Department will 
then be carried on without the payment of postage. If it 
is not extended to these persons because the principle is 
wrong, then it should be abolishedas to those now exercising 
it, and all should be required to pay the postage on their 
official correspondence and charge it for repayuient to the 
Confederate States. And this Avould involve the necessity 


of adopting sucli checks against tlie misapplication of the 
fund set apart for the payment of such postage as wouhl 
guard against loss to the Treasury. Novr, so far as relates 
to the Post Office Department, the check against the abuse 
of the franking of letters, &c., is, that every communication 
franked must be seen by others, and if any part of it relates 
to private matters, the person franking it is liable to a fine 
of three hundred dollars. 

The franking of the official correspondence of the De- 
partment is only productive of a loss of revenue by the 
abuse of the authority to frank. The result being the same 
to the revenues of the Department as it would be if the De- 
partment paid the postage out of the Treasury, and collected 
and paid it in again. But if the postage of the Department 
is to be paid, accounts and vouchers must be kept as evidence 
of the proper application of the fund used for that purpose, 
or we must trust this fund to the honor of more than eight 
thousand post masters, two thousand five hundred contrac- 
tors, and more than a hundred special and route, and local 
agents of the Department, besides those in the Post Office 
Department. To adopt the latter policy would be to aban- 
don the principles, for the security of revenue, of our own 
and all other Governments, which it is fair to presume will 
not be done. It is true that no great amount of fraud could 
be perpetrated by any one of these persons; but small frauds 
by many might produce a considerable aggregate. If we 
adopt the former course of requiring accounts and vouchers 
to be kept, this will require the time of correspondents and 
accountants, and the use of books and stationery to be added 
to the cost of postage. And it is to be remembered that the 
Government pays as a compensation to post masters on all 
sums of one hundred dollars or less, 60 per cent., and if for 
night service, 70 per cent., and on sums of three hundred 
dollars more, 50 per cent., on all sums of two thousand dol- 
lars more, 40 per cent., and on all sums over two thousand 
four hundred dollars, 15 per cent., until their commissions 
reach two thousand dollars. And if the Department should 
pay its postage, the per cent, allowed as a compensation to 
post masters would necessarily be subtracted from the amount 
of postage paid out before its return to the Treasury. All 
that is said on this subject in relation to the Post Office De- 
partment applies with equal force to the other departments 
of the Government except that to make that Department 
self-sustaining, it is not necessary that any amount should 


be paid out of the general Treasury to cover the expense of 
its own correspondence when franked in order to render it 
self-sustaining — the theory being that its postage is to be 
paid out of its own revenues, while all matter not connected 
Tvith the Department, embracing the correspondence of the 
other departments, must be paid in order that it may not be 
deprived of its revenues. And if the amount of the postage 
of the other departments could be ascertained so as to be 
paid in gross into the Treasury, I am of opinion it would be 
more convenient and less expensive, and probably less liable 
to abuse, to frank the correspondence of all the departments 
than to pre-pay the postage on it. But there is no means 
by which the amount of the postage of the other depart- 
ments can be ascertained so as to be paid in gross. This 
being so, it is for Congress to determine wdiether they shall 
continue to pre-pay their postage, and if that policy be ad- 
hered to, whether it shall be applied to the Post Office De- 

These views are presented on the questions of convenience 
and economy alone, and without reference to the influence 
which, allowing the official correspondence of the depart- 
ments of the Government to be franked, might have, in ex- 
tending the franking privilege to Congress, and from thence 
to its abuse in the printing, binding, folding and distribu- 
tion of what is called public documents, as well as its abuse 
by covering mere private correspondence, which should, un- 
der no pretense, be allowed to be franked. If it be thought 
that allowing the Departments to frank their official corres- 
pondence would be regarded as a precedent or a reason for 
allowing the privilege to members of Congress and to others, 
then I am persuaded it would be best to forego any advan- 
tage the Government might derive from it, if such advantage 
should be thought to exist, rather than risk the evils which 
flowed from the franking privilege in the old Government. 

This Congress commenced its legislation on this subject 
by abolishing the franking privilege, except as to certain 
persons connected with the postal service. But by the 1st 
section of the Act " relating to the pro-payment of postage 
in certain cases, approved July 29, 1861," it is provided 
that letters, &c., may be sent through the mails by any offi- 
cer, musician, or private of the army without the pre-pay- 
ment of the postage, but leaving it to be paid at the point 
of delivery, upon the person endorsing his name, &c., on 
the letter or other matter sent. This was the first departure 


from the rule requiring pre-payment of mail matter, except 
as to the correppondence of this Department. It is also the 
first act recognizing the franking privilege as a personal 
convenience or benefit. In addition to the fact that this act 
is -wrong in principle, and as a precedent operates inju- 
riously in two particulars, it deprives the post masters who 
prepare the way-bills and mail such letters, of any com- 
pensation, and gives the compensation to post masters who 
only deliver the letters, and who also get the postage on the 
return letters Avliich go back to the post masters, mailing 
the first letters for nothing, and they have to deliver the 
answers without compensation. And it enables persons, 
which is often done, to tax others, on whose bounty they 
have no claim, with the postage both ways on their private 

The 3d section of the same Act confers a similar privilege 
on members of Congress, and is obnoxious to the same ob- 

From the above, it will be seen that a distinction is taken 
between the duty of franking the purely official correspon- 
dence of the departments of the Government as a means of 
saving the public moneys, and to avoid an increase of the 
number of correspondents and accountants, and the privilege 
of franking as a matter of personal interest and advantage 
to those invested with it, at the expense of the Treasury ; 
the one a means of saving the revenues of the Department 
so as to render it self-sustaining without personal benefit to 
any one — the other of reducing its revenues so as to ren- 
der appropriations from the general Treasury necessary to 
its support, and of indirectly taxing the public for private 
and personal benefit. 


Tliis Department has encountered many complaints be- 
cause, under our legislation, postage is required to be paid 
on all neAvspapers and periodicals, (except those authorized 
to be sent free of postage, as exchanges between publishers). 

Under the hxAVS of the United States, as they stood up to 
February last, newspapers and periodicals could be sent as 
freight, by expressmen or others, along the post-roads, free 
of postage. Under our laws, all newspapers and periodicals 
are mailable matter, and cannot be sent along the post-roads 
without the payment of postage. 


If Congress should allow them to be carried by express- 
men and others as freight, along the railroads and principal 
thoroughfjxres, it will thus deprive the Department of the 
principal, or, at least, of a very large part of the revenue 
derived from the postage on such matter, and would relieve 
the readers of papers and periodicals, who happen to be for- 
tunate in living on these great thoroughfares, and who, on 
that account, enjoy special advantages in obtaining the ear- 
liest news, from the payment of that class of postage ; while 
that class of readers not residins; on those thorouo-hfares 
and who, from that cause encounter greater delays and dif- 
ficulties in getting news, are compelled from the necessity of 
the case, to pay postage on such papers and periodicals. 
This would be to compel one class of citizens to contribute 
newspaper and periodical postage lor the support of the 
mail service, and to exempt another, and more favored class, 
from that burden. And it is no just answer to this, to say 
they all have the same privilege of employing expressmen. 
This may be theoretically, but is not practically true. 

It is believed to be true, however, that these complaints come 
from the publishers and expressmen, and not so much, if at 
all, from the readers of papers and periodicals. And it is a 
sufficient answer to them, that class legislation is contrary to 
the theory of our Government, and in violation of the 
cherished principles of equality and justice on which our 
institutions are founded. 

On this subject, justice requires it to be said that the 
legislation of the United States, in relation to postage 
on newspapers and periodicals, cannot be accounted for 
on any principle of reason or fairness. But it may be 
accounted for by the vast influence of those publications 
over the popular mind, and especially over elections. . 
It is easily understood how a man might propitiate 
their favor by promising exemptions and gratuities to 
them, and how another might fail to obtain that favor, who 
Avould steadfastly adhere to just and sound principles, and 
refuse to purchase popuittr favor, at the expense of principle 
and of treasure which belongs to others. 

Our legislation on this subject is a marked improvement 
on that of the old Government ; and when the rates of post- 
age on newspapers and periodicals shall be made to approxi- 
mate more nearly to an equitable proportion with the postage 
on letters and sealed packages, it will be more in harmony 


with reason and fairness, and less obnoxious to the charge of 
chxss and partial legislation than at present. 

The Government has been vested with certain functions 
which it was believed could be discharged with greater ben- 
efit to the public by it than b}^ private enterprise. 

Among these was the establishment and management of 
our system of postal communication, which is so necessary 
in conducting the civil administration of the Government, 
and its military and naval affairs, and of so incalculable im- 
portance to the public as a means of conveying intelligence. 
Our theory is that the Government must provide the ma- 
chinery of this Department and conduct its operations, but 
at the expense of those who make use of its facilities. That 
is, that this Department shall be self-sustaining. To make it 
so, and to make its revenues secure, and their accrual steady 
and reliable, we declare letters, sealed packages, newspapers^ 
periodicals, pamphlets, &c., to be mailable matter, and make 
their transmission along the post-roads otherwise than 
throuirh the mails unlawful. The Government having been 
charged with the heavy expense of affording postal facili- 
ties to the country, is fully justified by reason and necessity 
in adopting this means of making itself the exclusive carrier 
of certain classes of matter at fixed and reasonable rates of 
compensation, to reimburse that expense. And if the Gov- 
ernment should be required to carry the newspaper and 
periodical mail in the sparsely settled portions of the coun- 
try, where the matter to be carried is too limited to justify 
express or other private companies in doing it, and where it 
can only be done by the Department at a loss of its re- 
venues, and if, at the same time, it shall allow this 
class of mail matter to be carried by express or other 
private companies along the railroads and other great 
thoroughfares, where its amount would increase the revenues 
of the Department, it is difficult to understand why we shall 
not also allow the express and other companies to carry the 
letter mail on the railroads and other great thorouglifares, 
where it is profitable, and allow the Government to be the 
exclusive carrier of all classes of matter on such routes only 
as pass through sparsely settled portions of the country 
v/hich afford but little revenue. 

To do this would end in breaking down the Department, 
or in keeping it in operation at the expense of the general 
Treasury. The policy of allowing mail matter to be carried 
as freight, wherever it may be profitable to private carriers, 


creates rivals who are invited by their interests to contend 
with the Department for its revenues on all the most im- 
portant lines of postal communication ; those which are most 
expensive to the Department and most difficult to control- 
Such a policy would be both unwise and disastrous, and I 
cannot too strongly recommend the continuance of the policy 
of refusing to allow newspapers and periodicals to be carried 
over the post-roads as freight, and of requiring the payment 
of postage on them as on all other mail matter. 

Appended to this report, in addition to the other exhibits, 
will be found tabular statement, marked G, which shoAvs the 
length of mail routes, the modes of transportation and the 
annual cost of transporting the mails in the eleven States 
which now compose the Confederate States, for the fiscal 
year ending June 3()th, 1860. 

Table H, which exhibits the number of mail routes, 
contractors, route agents, and mail messengers for the same 

Table I, which exhibits the railroad service for the same 
period, showing the length of routes, distances in each 
State, number of trips, annual pay in each State, annual 
cost per mile on each route, annual cost of route agencies. 
annual cost of mail messenger service, total cost on each 
route, total annual cost per mile, and total aggregate cost per 
mile in each State. 

And table J, which exhibits the steamboat service for the 
same period, showing the number of routes, termini, length, 
distance in each State, number of trips per week, and annual 
pay in each State. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient 


Postmaster General. 
To the PRESIDE^T. 




Whereas, By the provisions of an act, approved March 
15tli, 1861, and amended by the first section of an act ap- 
proved May 9th, 1861, the Postmaster General of the Con- 
federate States '^^ is authorized, on and after a day to be 
named by him for that purpose, to take the entire charge 
and direction of the postal service in the Confederate 
States," and all conveyance of mails within their limits, 
from and after such day, except by authority of the Post- 
master General thereof, is thereby prohibited : 

And whereas, the Postmaster General of the Confederate 
States of America did, by a proclamation issued at Mont- 
gomery, Alabama, on the 13th day of May, 1861, notify all 
persons connected with the Post Office Department, that 
from and after the first day of June, 1861, he would assume 
the entire control and direction of the postal service within 
the Confederate States : 

And whereas, the State of Tennessee has, by virtue of 
an act passed by the Congress of the said Confederate States, 
a^pprovcd May 17, 1861, and the adoption and ratification of 
the Provisional Constitution of the said States by the pro- 
perly and legally constituted authorities of said State of 
Tennessee, become a member of the said Confederate States 
of America: 

Now, therefore, I hereby direct all Postmasters, Route 
Agents and Special Agents within the State of Tennessee, and 
now acting under the authority and direction of the Postmas- 
ter General of the United States, to continue in the discharge 
of their respective duties under the authority vested in me 
by the Congress of the Confederate States, in strict con- 
formity with such existing laws and regulations as are not 
inconsistent with the laws and Constitution of the Confede- 


( A. — Continued. ) 

rate States of America, and such further instructions as may 
hereafter be issued by my direction : And the said Postmas- 
ters, Route Agents and Special Agents are also required to 
forward to this Department, without delay, their names, 
with the names of the offices of which they are Postmasters-, 
(giving the State and County,) to be directed to the '^ Chief 
of the Appointment Bureau, Post Office Department, Rich- 
mond, Virginia," in order that new commissions may be 
issued under the authority of this Government : And all 
Postmasters are hereby required to render to the Post Office 
Department at Washington, D. C, their final accounts and 
their vouchers for postal receipts and expenditures, up to the 
8th day of June, taking care to forward with said accounts all 
postage stamps and stamped envelopes," remaining on hand, 
belonging to the Post Office Department of the United- 
States, in order that they may receive the proper credits 
therefor in the adjustment of their accounts ; and they are 
further required to retain in their possession, to meet the 
orders of the Postmaster General of the United States, for 
the payment of mail service within the Confederate States, 
all revenue which shall have accrued from the postal service 
prior to the said 8th day of June last. 

All Contractors, Mail Messengers, and Special Contractors 
for conveying the mails within the State of Tennessee, un- 
der existing contracts with the Government of the United 
States, are hereby authorized to continue to perform such 
service under my direction, from and after the day last above 
named, subject to such modifications and changes as may be 
found necessary, under the powers vested in the Postmaster 
General by the terms of said contracts and the provisions of 
the second section of an act approved May 9th, 1861, con- 
formable thereto : And the said Contractors, Special Con- 
tractors, and Mail Messengers, are required to forward, 
without delay, the number of their route or routes, the na- 
ture of the service thereon, the schedules of arrivals and 
departures, the names of the offices supplied, and the amount 
of annual compensation for present service, together with 
their address, directed to the " Chief of the Contract Bu- 
reau, Post Office Department, Richmond, Virginia." 

Until a postal treaty shall be made with the Government 
of the United States for the exchange of mails between that- 
Government and the Government of this Confederacy, Post- 


( A. — Continctl. ) 

masters will not be authorized to collect United States post- 
age on mail matter sent to or received from those States ; 
and until supplies of postage stamps and stamped en- 
velopes are procured for the pre-paymcnt of postage within 
the Confederate States, all postages must be paid in money, 
under the provisions of the first section of an act approved 
March 1st, 1861. 

Given und:'r my hand and seal of the Post Office Depart- 
'^-^ ment of the Confederate States of America, at 

\ h. s. [ Richmond, Virginia, the 3rd day of July, in the 

^ v^v^ ^ year 1861. 


Postmaster General. 



The following laws have been enacted by the Congress of 
the Confederate States of America : 

Letter Postage. 

*^ AN ACT to prescribe the Rates of Postage in the Con- 
federate States of America, and for other purposes. 

^^ The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact y 
That from and after such period as the Postmaster General 
may by proclamation announce, there shall be charged the 
following rates of postage, to wit : For every single sealed 
letter, and for every letter in manuscript or paper of any 
kind, upon wdiich information shall be asked for or commu- 
nicated in waiting or by marks or signs, conveyed in the 


( A. — Continued. ) 

mail for any distance between places witliin the Confederate 
States of America, not exceeding five hundred miles, five 
cents ; and for any distance exceeding five hundred miles, 
double that rate ; and every letter or parcel not exceeding 
half an ounce in Aveio:ht sball be deemed a sino;le letter, and 
every additional weight of half an ounce, or additional 
weight of less than half an ounce, shall be charged with ad- 
ditional single postage ; a?id all packages containing other than 
printed or written matter — and money packages are inclu§td in 
this class — shall he rated by weight as letters are rated, and shall 
be charged the rates of postage on letters ; and all drop let- 
ters, or letters placed in any post office not for transmission, 
but for delivery only, shall be charged with postage at the 
rate of two cents each ; and in all the foregoing cases the 
postage must be prepaid by stamps ; and all letters which 
shall hereafter be advertised as remaining over or uncalled 
for in any post office, shall be charged with two cents each 
in addition to the regular postage, both to be accounted for 
as other postages of this Confederacy." 

Postage on Newspapers, Pamphlets, and other printed matter, in- 
eluding Books. 

"And be it further enacted, That all newspapers pub- 
lished within the Confederate States, not exceeding three 
ounces in weight, and sent from the office of publication to 
actual and bona fide subscribers within the Confederate 
States, shall be charged with postage as follows, viz : The 
postage on the regular numbers of a newspaper published 
w^eekly, shall be ten cents per quarter; papers published 
semi-weekly, double that amount; papers published thrice 
a week, treble that amount ; papers published six times a 
week, six times that amount, and papers published daily, 
seven times that amount. And on newspapers weighing 
more than three ounces, there shall be charged on each ad- 
ditional ounce in addition to the foregoing rates, on those 
published once a week, five cents per ounce, or fraction of 
an ounce, per quarter ; on those published twice a week, 
ten cents per ounce per quarter ; on those published three 
times a week, fifteen cents per ounce per quarter ; on those 
published six times a week, thirty cents per ounce per 
quarter ; and on those published daily, thirty-five cents per- 
ounce per quarter. 


( A. — Continued. ) 

" And periodicals published oftener than bi-monthly shall 
be charged as newspapers. 

" And other periodicals, sent from tlie office of publication 
to actual and bona fide subscribers, shall be charged with 
postage as follows, \\z : The postage on the regular numbers 
of a periodical, published Avithin the Confederate States, not 
exceeding one and a half ounces in weight, and published 
monthy, shall be tAvo and a half cents per quarter ; and for 
ever}^rdditional ounce, or fraction of an ounce, two and a 
half cents additional ; if published semi-monthly, double 
that amount. And periodicals published quarterly or bi- 
monthly, shall be charged two cents an ounce ; and regular 
subscribers to newspapers and periodicals shall be required to 
pay one quarter's postage thereon in advance, at the office of 
delivery, unless paid at the office where published. 

** And there shall be charged upon every other newspaper, 
and each circular not sealed, hand-bill, engraving, pamphlet, 
periodical and magazine, which shall be unconnected with 
any manuscript or written matter, and not exceeding three 
ounces in weight, and published within the Confederate 
States, two cents ; and for each additional ounce, or fraction 
of an ounce, two cents additional ; and in all cases the pos- 
tage shall be pre-paid by stamps or otherwise, as the Post- 
master General shall direct. 

** And books, bound or unbound, not weighing over four 
pounds, shall be deemed mailable matter, and shall be charged 
with postage, to be prepaid by stamps or otherwise, as the 
Postmaster General shall direct, at two cents an ounce for 
any distance. 

" And upon all newspapers, periodicals and books, as 
aforesaid, published beyond the limits of the Confederate 
States, there shall be charged postage at double the forego- 
ing specified rates. 

" The publishers of newspapers or periodicals Avithin the 
Confederate States, may send and receive to and from each 
other, from their respective offices of publication, one copy 
of each publication, free of postage. 

** All newspapers, unsealed circulars, or other unsealed 
printed transient matter, placed in any post office, not for 
transmission but for delivery only, shall be charged postage 
at the rate of one cent each." 


( A. — Continued. ) 

Franking Privilege. 

" And be it further enacted, That from and after the day 
when this act goes into effect the franking privilege shall be 
abolished : Provided, That the Postmaster General and his 
chief clerk, the Chief of the Contract, Appointment and 
Finance Bureaus, and the Auditor of the Treasury for the 
Post Office Department, shall be and they are hereby author- 
ized to transmit through the mail, free of postage, any let- 
ters, packages, or other matters relating exclusively to their 
official duties or to the business of the Post Office Depart- 
ment ; but they shall, in every such case, indorse on the 
back of the letter or package to be sent free of postage, over 
their own signature, the words '^ Official Business." And 
for any such indorsement falsely made, the person so offend- 
ing shall forfeit and pay three hundred dollars. And pro- 
vided further, The several deputy postmasters throughout 
the Confederate States shall be and hereby are authorized to 
send through the mail, free of postage, all letters and pack- 
ages which it may be their duty or they may have occasion 
to transmit to any person or place, and which shall relate 
exclusively to the business of their respective offices or to 
the business of the Post Office Department ; but in every 
such case the deputy postmaster sending any such letter or 
package shall indorse thereon, over his own signature, the 
words '^ Post Office Business." And for any and every such 
indorsement falsely made, the person making the same shall 
forfeit and pay three hundred dollars." 

Payment of Postage in Money until Postage Stamps and 
Stamped Envelopes are pi'ovided. 

Section 1. The Congress of the Confederate States of Amer- 
ica do enact. That until postage stamps and stamped envel- 
opes can be procured and distributed, the Postmaster Gene- 
ral may order the postage of the Confederacy to be pre-pai4 
in money, under such rules and regulations as he may 

Repeal of the Letter Registration System. 

" And he it further enacted. That the third section of an 
act entitled ' An act further to amend an act entitled ' An 
act to reduce and modify the rates of postage in the United 


(A. — Continued. ) 

States, and for other purposes, passed March third, eighteen 
hundred and fifty-one,' approved March 3d, 1855, ^vhereby 
the letter registration S3^stem was estahli.slied, be and is 
hereby repealed from and after the day when this act goes 
into effect." 

Conveyance of Mail Matter by " Express and other Chartered 
Companies y 

" Sec. 5. That it shall be lawful for the Postmaster Gene- 
ral to allow express and other chartered companies to carry 
letters and all mail matter of every description, whether the 
same be enclosed in stamped envelopes or pre-paid by stamps 
or money ; but if the same be pre-paid in money, the money 
shall be paid to some postmaster, who shall stamp the same 
paid, and shall account to the Post Office Department for the 
same, in the same manner as for letters sent by the mail ; 
and if pre-paid b}^ stamps, then the express or other com- 
pany receiving sucli letters for deliver}^ shall obliterate such 
stamps, under the penalty of five hundred dollars for each 
failure, to be recovered by action of debt in any court hav- 
ing jurisdiction thereof, in the name of the Postmaster 
General, for the use of the Confederate States ; but if said 
letters or mail matter shall be received by such express or 
other company, not for delivery, but to be mailed, then the 
matter so carried shall be pre-paid at the same rate that the 
existing law requires it to be paid from the point where it 
may be received by such company to the point of its desti- 
nation, and the postmaster, where such company may mail 
the same, shall deface the stamps upon the same. 

** Sec. 6. Be it further enacted. That agents of any com- 
pany who may carry letters under the provisions of this act, 
shall be required to take an oath that he will faithfully com- 
ply with the law of the Confederate States relating to the 
carrying of letters or other mail matter, and obliterating 
postage stamps, which oath may be administered by any 
justice of the peace, and shall be in writing, and signed by 
such agent or messenger, and filed in the Post Office De- 

"Approved, March 15th, 1861." 


( A. — Continued. ) 

" AN ACT to continue in force certain laws of the United 

States of America. 

" Be it enacted by the Confederate States of America in Con- 
gress assembled, That all the laws of the United States of 
America, in force and in use in the Confederate States of 
America on the first day of November last, and not incon- 
sistent with the Constitution of the Confederate States, be 
and the same are hereby continued in force until altered or 
repealed by the Congress. 

" Adopted February 9th, 1861.'' 

Postmasters' returns must be made to close on the 31st 
March, the 30th June, the 3l)th September, and the 31st 
December, in each year; and the return for the fractional 
part of the last quarter, which ended June 3Uth ult., must 
be promptly rendered to the Chief of the Finance Bureau, 
Post Office Department, Richmond, Virginia, in the form 
and manner prescribed by existing laws and regulations. 

Postmasters are instructed to retain in their possession, 
subject to the further orders of this Department, for the 
benefit of the Confederate States, all mail bags, locks and 
keys, marking and rating stamps, blanks for quarterly re- 
turns of postmasters, and all other property, belonging to or 
connected with the postal service, and to return forthwith to 
the Chief of the Appointment Bureau of this Department, 
a full inventory of the same. 

They will also report to the Chief of the Finance Bureau 
of this Department, their journal or ledger account with the 
United States, for the service of the Post Office Department, up 
to and including the ^th day of June xdt., in accordance with 
the general regulations embraced in chapter 24 of the edi- 
tion of Laws and Regulations of the Post Office Department, 
issued May 15th, 1859, page 106, exhibiting the final bal- 
ance in their possession. 


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^ *3 <U 



General Post Office Department, 
Richmond, Va., Nov. 22, 1861. 

Hon. John II. Reagan, 

Postmaster General : 

Sir : I have the honor herewith to submit a detailed state- 
ment of the receipts and expenditures of the Post Office De- 
partment for the fractional quarter ending SOth June, 1861, 
so far as the same can be exliibited from the books and files 
of this office. 

It is proper to premise that, owing to the limited period 
over which the transactions noticed in the annexed state- 
ment extend, (only one month,) they do not afford a true 
criterion of the regular quarterly business of the office. 
Other causes also have operated not only to prevent the re- 
turns of postmasters from being forwarded to the Depart- 
ment, but have materially lessened the receipts of the various 
offices. The unsettled condition of the country, the sudden 
change on the 1st of June of the postal service, the increased 
rates of postage, the want of stamps for the pre-payment of 
postages, and the disappearance of specie from circulation, 
have, to a great extent, combined to materially diminish the 
revenue from postages. 

The principal difficulty, how^ever, in ascertaining the pos- 
tal receipts for the period mentioned, grows out of the fact 
that a large number of postmasters have made no returns of 
their accounts for June, but have embraced the items of these 
accounts in their returns for the quarter ending SDth Sep- 

There are 8,946 post offices within the Confederate States, 
and from these only about one-half, or 4,922 postmasters 
have made returns for June, leaving 4,024, who, it is pre- 
sumed, have deferred making their returns until they send 
in their accounts-current for the quarter ending 3()th Sep- 


( C. — Continued. ) 

teraber. These last mentioned accounts began to arrive 
about the middle of October, and have been accumulating 
very rapidly up to this date. 

Of the accounts for the fractional quarter ending 30th 
June, and which were received before the end of September, 
4,701) have been examined and corrected, and of those which 
have been received since the 30th of September, 2,771 have 
been examined and corrected, leaving 1,275 to be examined 
before the end of the present quarter terminating 31st De- 
cember, by which time it is probable that all the postmasters 
will have sent in their accounts-current, from which a much 
more exteiided report of the revenue arising from postal re- 
ceipts can be made, and from which more reliable estimates 
may be made of the receipts from this branch of the service 
for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1862, 

From the annexed tabular statement it will be seen that 
the gross revenue arising from postal receipts for the frac- 
tional quarter ending 30th June, being the proceeds, however, 
of only 4,922 offices, was $92,384 67. The expenses for 
the same period, exclusive of amounts due for transportation 
of mails, and for payments to route and local agents, and 
mail messengers, was $49,040 60. The amount expended 
and due for transportation of mails, and payments to route 
and local agents and mail messengers, and to contractors for 
transportation, was $151,897 37, making a total of expen- 
ditures amounting to $200,939 97, and showing an excess 
of expenditures over the receipts of the office of $108,553 


( C. — Continued. ) 

The receipts of the various offices in the several States 
were as follows : 


Virginia $21,026 13 $2,1 i6 21 

North Carolina 5,768 34 1,263 57 

South Carolina 6,556 21 1^345 32 

Tennessee 2,102 50 301 91 

Arkansas 2,238 82 266 34 

Texas 3,835 43 719 72 

Georgia 11,250 80 1,972 76 

Alabama 8,166 63 1,574 38 

Florida 2,771 96 170 10 

Mississippi 7,524 46 852 85 

Louisiana 8,217 10 1,390 00 

$79,458 38 $11,973 16 

Add for excess of 
emoluments 953 13 

For ship, steamboat 
and way letters 116 66 

The expense of collecting the foregoing amount in the 
separate States was as follows : 



Virginia $6,906 97 $1,755 82 

North Carolina 3,475 82 317 88 

South Carolina 3,015 12 701 38 

Tennessee 1,059 54 500 02 

Arkansas 1,550 89 51 79 

Texas 2,451 50 304 27 

Georgia 5,614 52 1,643 23 

Alabama 3,952 75 1,368 18 

Florida 820 12 13 93 

Mississippi 4,100 21 59 09 

Louisiana 2,099 76 2,250 13 

$35,047 20 $8,965 72 
35,047 20 
Balance due Post- 
master in Arkansas 176 32 
Total expenses $44,189 24 


( C. — Continued. ) 

The following tabular statement exhibits in a condensed 
form the total of expenditures and receipts for the fractional 
quarter ending June 3(1, 1861. 

Statement of the Revenue and Expenditures of the Post 
Office Department of the Confederate States, and also the 
Amount Due Contractors and Postmasters, as Exhibited 
by the books in the Office of the Auditor of the Treasury 
for the Post Office Department for June, 1861, viz : 


For transportation of inland 

mails, including payments to 

route agents, local agents and 

mail messengers $115,152 26 

Amount due contractors for 

transportation of the mails 

yet to be settled 36,745 11 

Compensation of postmasters. . 35,U47 20 
Compensation of clerks in post 

offices 8,117 10 

Ship, steamboat and way letters 116 66 

Advertising 1,173 91 

Mail bags 175 

Blanks 3,000 00 

Mail locks, keys and office 

stamps 73 67 

Mail depredations and special 

ao-ents 472 73 


Miscellaneous payments 86 I 26 

Balance due postmaster 176 32 

$200,937 97 


From letter postage 79,458 38 

" postage on newspapers 
andpamphiets 11,973 16 

From emoluments 953 13 

92,384 67 

Excess of expenditures $108,553 30 


( C. — Continued. ) 

Adopting the following table as a basis for estimating the 
probable receipts from the same sources for the year ending 
June 30, 1862, and comparing that estimate with the receipts 
from all the Post Offices now in the Confederate States, for 
the fiscal year ending SOth June, 1860, the following is the 

Total receipts of all the offices in 1860 $1,517,536 00 

Total receipts of all the offices in 1861 1,091,012 00 

Showing a deficiency for 1861 of $426,524 00 

Amount of receipts for postage 
of the United States for the 
year 1860. 

Estimates of a year's receipts for 
postage for the C. States for 
the year ending June 30, 1862. 






$275,269 00 
97,812 00 
113,675 00 
183,120 00 
28,319 00 
148,471 00 
116,018 00 
128,177 00 
218,323 00 

Virginia ... 

$277,704 00 
84,372 00 
92,412 00 

159,024 00 
31,292 00 

110,880 00 

100,512 00 
54,648 00 

115,284 00 

North Carolina. . . 
Soutli Carolina.. .. 

North Carolina . . . 
South Carolina 











155,732 00 

Tennessee .... 

28,836 00 

30,048 00 

$1,091,012 00 

Arkansas ... 

52,020 00 
$1,517,536 00 




As the foregoing table, however, is based upon the re- 
turns from only 4,922 Post Offices, the receipts must neces- 
sarily be increased by the returns from the remaining 4,024 
offices ; but these last mentioned are generally small offices, 
scattered throughout the interior, from many of which the 
receipts will be very inconsiderable. 

It will be seen by referring to the foregoing comparative 
statement, that the prevailing hostilities have affected the 
current business of the Post Office Department, in common 
with all other business of the country. For instance, in 
the State of Virginia, where large bodies of troops have 
been stationed, the receipts from postages were diminished 
but in a small degree ; while in South Carolina, Texas and 
Louisiana, the diminution is very large. As soon as the ac- 


( C. — Continued. ) 

counts current for the quarter ending 3()th of September 
shall be examined and corrected, I will be able to report 
more accurately the data from "svliich estimates of postal 
revenue for the fiscal year ending 3i)th June, 1862, may bo 

In addition to the amount of expenses incurred for com- 
pensation of Postmasters, &c., as before stated, the following 
table vrill exhibit the amount of expenses, paid and incurred, 
to contractors for carrying the mails, to Route Agents, 
Local Agents, Mail Messengers and Special Messengers, for 
the fractional quarter ending 30th June, ISGl : 
Statement of expenses paid and incurred to Contractors for 
carrying the Mails, to Route Agents, Local xVgents, Mail 
Messengers and Special Messengers for the quarter end- 
ing 3()th June, 1861 : 


Alabama $16,233 22 $16,600 97 

Arkansas 10,056 88 9,766 67 

Florida 3,054 05 1 ,093 92 

Georgia 6,702 74 7,590 72 

Louisiana 20,970 09 17,268 60 

Mississippi 18,488 86 12,131 17 

North Carolina 6,811 96 6,586 63 

South Carolina 10,435 22 9,772 47 

Tennessee 3,689 39 2,443 31 

Texas 34,775 80 12,488 91 

Virginia 12,073 72 4,703 44 

Route Agents 7,097 15 7,097 15 

Local Agents 50 00 50 00 

Mail Messengers 1,210 S6 1,210 36 

Special Messengers 247 93 247 93 

Total $151,897 37 $115,152 26 





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(C. — Continued.) 

As auxiliary to the ordinary postal service, an act of 
Congress was passed May 21, 1861, appropriating the sum 
of $^30,0UU for compensation of Agents, cost of materials, 
and constructing, and operating telegraph lines, &c. 

Of the above sum there has been expended for 

the objects enumerated $15,136 77 

Leaving unexpended to the credit of the appro- 
priation, the sum of 14,863 23 

$30,000 00 

By an Act of Congress passed August 30, 1861, all post- 
masters in the Confederate States, are required to account 
to this Bureau, for all moneys collected by them for United 
States postages, and not paid over at the time the Confeder- 
ate States took charge of the postal service. 

In obedience to your proclamation, made in conformity 
with said act, about 5,300 postmasters have sent to this of- 
fice, statements of balances due to or from the United States ; 
but in most instances, the statements were so uncertain, that 
I have issued a circular, addressed to each postmaster, giv- 
ing special forms and instructions for making out the 
accounts in accordance with the Act of Congress. So far 
as an estimate can be made from the very vague returns sent 
in from the postmasters, it appears that over $50,000 is now 
in the hands of those who have made returns. 

The same act provides that all persons having claims for 
postal services against the United States, shall file the same 
with the Auditor, under such forms as the Postmaster Gen- 
eral may approve. 

For that class of cases embracing principally contractors, 
I have had tabular forms printed, with instructions for mak- 
ing- out their claims ; and these forms, as well as those for 
postmasters' accounts, are now being distributed. 

The adjustment of these accounts will require a large 
amount of labor, and great care and accuracy, and at least 
two clerks will be necessary for their examination, recording 
and settlement. 

It is proper to state, in this connection, that when the 
tjlerical corps was provided for this Bureau, there were but 


(C. — Continued.) 

seven States in the Confederacy, and it was supposed that 
thirty (30) clerks would be a sufficient number to assist the 
Auditor in settling the accounts of the Department. But 
since that time four States have ^een added with as many 
post offices, and contractors as were embraced within the 
original seven States, by which the labors of the clerks, as 
well as the Auditor have been greatly increased ; and unless 
the number of clerks is augmented, the business of the Bu- 
reau will be greatly retarded. The number of examiners is 
too small for the number of accounts current now coming in,, 
and m order to keep up the proper system of checks of one 
division upon the other, it will be necessary to increase the 
number of pay clerks and registers, and to provide for 
the settlement of accounts of postmasters with the United 
States, by detailing at least two clerks, one of whom can 
examine and register the accounts, and the other can correct 
this examination, and keep the books which will be necessa- 
ry for the entry and preservation of the items of the 

I respectfully call 3'our attention to the labor performed 
by the clerical corps in this Bureau, as shown by the con- 
densed statements accompanying this report ; and the occa- 
sion seems to be a proper one in whicli to express my 
appreciation of the zeal and efficiency of the gentlemen who- 
have been appointed to clerkships in this Bureau. 
1 have the honor to be, very respectfully. 

Your ob't servant, 

Auditor of the Treasury for the Post Office Departments 


(C. — Continued.) 

General Post Office Department, 
Auditor's Office, 
Richmond, Va., Nov. 27, 1861. 

Hon. John H. Reagan, P. M. General : 

biR : 

In addition to my report of tlie 23d inst., I herewith trans- 
mit a statement from the report of the President of the 
Southern Telegraph Company, and also, the names of the 
operators employed, the date of their appointments, rate of 
compensation, amount paid, due, &c., &c. 





West Point to Yorktown 









Ship Point to Lands End 

Fairfax Station to Fairfax C. II.. 
Falls Church, Munson Hill and 

Union Mills to Centreville 

T^nmfriot; to Afiuia Creek . 

$1,439 60 

*• to ChaT)a\vanisic 

304 35 

Staunton to Jackson River 

2,021 37 

$4,365 32 


Jackson River to Lewisburg. .36| 

Dumfries to Manassas 25 1 

New Orleans to Houston, Texas. | 
Little Rock to Fort Smith, Ark..j 
10 1-2 miles of insulated wire, 3 


Batteries for field telegraph 




$4,000 00 


4,313 50 

4,763 86 

$4,000 00 I $13,442 68 


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Respectfully submitted, 

Chief of Appointment Bureau. 




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Montgomery to Columbus, Ga 

Braucb, Opelika to West Ft., 

Montgomery to Greenville... 

Columbus, Georgia, to Union 
t^priogs, Ala 

Memphis, Tenn., to Steven- 
son, Ala 

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1.087 50 

35,542 00 
8,637 50 

10,715 00 
1,185 50 

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10,445 00 

13,475 00 

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1,700 00 

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St, Marks to Tallahassee 



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Barnesville to Thomaston... 

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Milledgeville to EatontoH... 

Augusta to Atlanta 

Branch, Camack to Warren- 








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