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Civil War Soldier's Corrrespondence With Stamp

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Posted 03/29/2020   8:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add jleb1979 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Thought some of us might be interested in looking at this unidentified soldier in camp, contemplating his correspondence with the aid of a rather impressive pipe. The Smithsonian is putting up high res scans of some of their material and you can zoom in to see enough detail that we might be able to reduce the stamp to several likely possibilities.

The soldier himself is unknown, but the photo would have been taken near Washington DC as is is a Matthew Brady. The buttons appear to bear a harp motif which would make him a member of the so-called "Irish Brigade" which was primarily from New York, with one Massachusetts and later one Pennsylvania regiment added.

The photo here is to whet the appetite. Follow the link to the full deal and click on the letter or card to enlarge. https://www.si.edu/object/civil-war...NPG.81.M2420


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Posted 03/29/2020   8:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The stamp would be a Scott 65. Period.
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Posted 03/29/2020   9:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stallzer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Why not a Scott 20 ?
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Posted 03/29/2020   9:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Statistically, the odds are very long against any other stamp.
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Posted 03/29/2020   10:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampcrow to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Could be a #26.
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Posted 03/29/2020   10:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stallzer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I actually meant to type 26, wasn't until I read the replies that I noticed I typed 20....
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Posted 03/29/2020   10:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, either 26 or 65, but leaning very heavily toward 65's based on length of use and number of soldiers during that period. A haggard soldier far off in the field, again later in the war.
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Posted 03/29/2020   11:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add modernstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting photograph!
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Posted 03/30/2020   01:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rhett to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very unlikely to be a #26 since #26 was probably declared invalid for postage before the time that photograph was taken.
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Posted 03/30/2020   07:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampcrow to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Do we know when this photo was taken?
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Posted 03/30/2020   08:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add banknoteguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Cropping, enlarging and sharpening the area of the stamp below. Looks like I see an oval around the portrait which would point toward a S.25/26?


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Edited by banknoteguy - 03/30/2020 08:58 am
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Posted 03/30/2020   09:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add banknoteguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
By going to the original source, I was able to find a little better image to cleanup. See below. Looking at this slightly better version, I think it could be either one. The stamps are the same size physically but the portrait on the 26 takes up more area than the 65 but I don't see an oval shape on 65s. So I still think 26.


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Posted 03/30/2020   09:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add banknoteguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Definitely have other things I should be doing. But not as much fun!

A S.26 and S.65 shot from roughly same angle turned to grayscale.


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Posted 03/30/2020   11:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My eye doesn't detect any dark background below the bust in the photo, so I'm going with #26 design.
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Posted 03/30/2020   1:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It seems like a #26. If so, that explains the smirk on his face. He realized that he has the rare "Old Stamps Not Recognized" cancel on this cover, and knows that he will be able to sell it for $.

edit: he may also recognize that its a good plate variety of the stamp as well. You never know.
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Edited by txstamp - 03/30/2020 1:17 pm
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Posted 03/30/2020   2:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If I recall correctly, the Irish Brigade was formed in late 1861 but its soldiers served in other units before this, including at First Bull Run (July 1861). Therefore, the man in the photo could well be holding a letter mailed to him before demonetization.
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