Table Of Contents
- Prewar Setting
- CSA Postmaster
- Military History
- Local Mail Routes
- US Postage Used
- Stampless Period
- Lithographed Stamps
- Typographed Stamps
- Soldier’s Dues
- Engraved Stamps
- After Occupation
Grenada is located in north-central Mississippi about 100 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee, and about 110 miles north of Jackson, Mississippi. The town came into existence in July 1836 as the result of the merger of two rival towns – Pittsburgh and Tullahoma. Early in its history, Grenada obtained trade goods and shipped its cotton on small steamboats and keel-boats that travelled on the Yalobusha River. During the late 1850’s and early 1860’s, Grenada prospered as a headquarters for the construction of the Mississippi Central Railroad and the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad.
The Mississippi Central Railroad, from Canton, Mississippi, to Jackson, Tennessee, was completed in January 1860, and the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroad, from Grenada to Memphis, Tennessee, was completed in July 1861. Both of these railroads had construction crews, machine shops, and depots at Grenada and had built separate bridges across the Yalobusha River just north of Grenada. Consequently, Grenada became known as a railroad town and was a commercial center for the region.
William M. Hawkins was appointed U.S. Postmaster at Grenada on May 16, 1853. Wm. M. Hawkins, age 43, and his wife Margaret, age 45, were listed in the U.S. 1850 census of Yalobusha County, Mississippi. His occupation was shown as druggist. Wm. Hawkins, age 50, and his wife Margaret, age 60, were listed in the U.S. 1860 census of Yalobusha County. His occupation then was shown as M.D. His real estate in 1860 was valued at $3,000 and his personal estate at $3,500. These data suggest that Dr. Hawkins owned a drug store in which he probably operated the Grenada post office.
After the secession of Mississippi on January 9, 1861, Postmaster Hawkins continued to operate the post office at Grenada, and after the state joined the Confederacy on February, 4, 1861, he continued in service as Confederate postmaster until the end of the war. Robert J. Alcorn was appointed the next U.S. Postmaster on September 9, 1865.
William M. Hawkins, age 62, and his wife Margaret, age 70, were listed the U.S. 1870 census at Grenada in Grenada County (formed in 1870). Hawkins occupation was shown as clerk in store. His real estate was valued at $5,000 and his personal estate at $500. A newspaper article published in The Holly Springs Reporter on August 22, 1878, included Dr. Hawkins on an official list of deaths from yellow fever at Grenada. Cemetery and health association records suggest that Dr. and Mrs. Hawkins (spelled “Hankins”) are buried in the “Yellow Fever Cemetery” at Grenada.
Early in the war, Grenada was a staging area for the enrollment and organization of State troops and the enlistment of Confederate troops. From April 19 to September 4, 1861, at least nine companies were mustered into State service or enlisted in Confederate service at Grenada. These included Co. G, Grenada Rifles of Yalobusha County, mustered into State service on April 19, 1861. On September 28, 1861, when Governor John J. Pettus called for 110,000 volunteers to enlist for emergency service under orders of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, Grenada was one of three designated rendezvous places.
From December 12, 1861, to March 4, 1862, an additional four companies were enlisted in Confederate service at Grenada. On June 14, 1862, Brig.-Gen. John B. Villepigue reported a total of 3,892 troops, present and absent, at or about Grenada. These troops included: 1st Alabama, 12th Louisiana, 20th Mississippi, 33d Mississippi, Harman’s Mississippi regiment, Missouri Volunteers, 1st Confederate Battalion, Ford’s cavalry company, Morehead’s Partisan Rangers, Point Coupee Light Artillery, Ward’s Artillery Battalion, and Gallimard’s Sappers and Miners.
Maj.-Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of Tennessee began its advance from LaGrange, Tennessee, toward Grenada along the Mississippi Central Railroad on November 4, 1862. On November 9, Confederate troops withdrew from Holly Springs to a line of defense just south of the Tallahatchie River near Abbeville. Lieut.-Gen. John C. Pemberton made his field headquarters for Confederate troops at Grenada. On December 1, the Confederates withdrew from the Tallahatchie River for Grenada to avoid being outflanked by Union troops enroute across country from Helena, Arkansas. On December 5, the advance vanguard of Union cavalry moving toward Grenada was defeated at the battle of Coffeeville. The Confederate troops reached Grenada on December 6, 1862.
After the raid by Maj.-Gen. Earl Van Dorn on the Union supply line at Holly Springs on December 20, General Grant withdrew his army to the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad in Tennessee between December 23, 1862, and January 11, 1863. Maj.-Gen. W. W. Loring reported to Colonel J. R. Waddy on January 8, 1863, that the aggregate of Confederate troops present for duty at Grenada were 15,334, which included: aggregate present for duty, First Corps, 8,153; aggregate present for duty, Second Corps, 4,681; Jackson’s cavalry, 2,500. After General Grant withdrew his army, many Confederate troops were transferred from Grenada to Fort Pemberton, Vicksburg, and other places.
Grenada was “occupied” twice by Union troops. On August 17, 1863, a Union expedition from Memphis and LaGrange, Tennessee, reached Grenada. The two bridges of the Mississippi Central Railroad and the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroads across the Yalobusha River just north of Grenada were burned by the Confederates as they withdrew from the town. They also began burning railroad stock and equipment to keep them out of Union hands. An intense skirmish resulted between Union and Confederate troops, and afterward, the Union troops continued the work of burning the railroad stock and facilities. The Federals reported that 57 engines, 400 cars, the depot buildings, a quantity of ordnance and commissary stores were destroyed and that 50 railroad men and a number of other prisoners were captured.
An expedition of Union cavalry commanded by Brevet Major-General Grierson left Memphis on December 21, 1864, raided several places in northeast and north-central Mississippi, and returned to Vicksburg on January 5, 1865. While at Winona, a detachment of about 300 troops was sent north to Grenada with instructions to destroy all public property along the way. This detachment reached Grenada on January 1, 1865, where it was in town only a few hours. It destroyed several complete trains of cars, a large quantity of quartermaster’s stores and ordnance, and other property, including a new railroad machine shop at Grenada.
Mail to and from Grenada was transported on the Mississippi Central and the Mississippi and Tennessee Railroads. Local mail routes originating from Grenada, as advertised by the Confederate Post Office Department for proposals from contractors by May 17, 1862, were: Route 639. (formerly U.S. Route 7454.) from Grenada, by Providence, Steam Mills, Stateland, Cadaretta, Oakley, Bellefontaine, and Monte Vista to Hohenlinden (56 miles and back once a week); Route 640. (7456.) from Grenada, to Tuscahoma (15 miles and back, once a week); Route 641. (7457.) from Grenada, by Graysport, Cole’s Creek, Big Creek, Pittsboro, and Cherry Hill to Houston (63 miles and back twice a week); and Route 643. (7459.) from Grenada to Troy (6 miles and back once a week).
Covers recorded from auction catalogs and the collections of Confederate Stamp Alliance members indicate that Postmaster Hawkins’ supply of postage during the period of “After Secession Usage of U.S. Postage” consisted primarily of the U.S. 3¢ Red star-die stamped envelopes. This period lasted from January 9, 1861, when Mississippi seceded from the Union, to May 31, 1861, the day before the Confederate Post Office Department assumed operation of the postal system.
One U.S. 3¢ Red star-die envelope postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on JAN/30 (1861) has been recorded used during the period of “Independent State Usage of U.S. Postage” (January 9 to February 3, 1861), and six postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on FEB/6, FEB/12, FEB/25, MAR/6, APR/6 and APR/20 (1861) used during the period of “Confederate State Usage of U.S. Postage” (February 4 to May 31, 1861). The 3¢ Dull Red stamp and the 3¢ Red “Nesbitt” stamped envelope have not been recorded used from Grenada.
No Confederate postage stamps were available after the Confederate Post Office Department assumed operation of the postal system on June 1, 1861, so postmasters had to use handstamps or manuscript markings to indicate postage paid (or due) during the “Confederate Stampless Period.” On June 1, the Confederate postage rates also took effect. Single-rate postage was 5¢ for letters weighing less than half an ounce and sent distances of less than 500. Double-rate postage was 10¢ for letters weighing over a half ounce or sent distances that exceeded 500 miles.
Postmaster Hawkins used two postmark handstamps – an early GRENADA/Mi. (30 millimeters in diameter) and a newer GRENADA/MISS. (32 millimeters in diameter). The newer postmark was most commonly used. Some covers, however, have the town written “Grenada Miss” along with the date in manuscript (apparently all in Postmaster Hawkins handwriting). There seems to be no pattern as to this alternate usage. It seems that the postmaster (or a mail clerk) used whatever method was convenient at the time. This practice of using different postmarks or manuscript markings persisted throughout the war. Postmaster Hawkins also used his postmark handstamp to cancel stamps on covers as well as the addition of a postmark. Therefore, many covers have at least two strikes of the postmark.
Recorded covers postmarked at Grenada during the “Confederate Stampless Period” indicate that Postmaster Hawkins had no handstamped devices for use, and postage paid was indicated in manuscript. Nine covers were postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on JUN/22, SEP/14, SEP/16, NOV/6 (2), NOV/16, DEC/9, (1861) and JAN/8 and JAN/10 (1862) with “Paid 5” or “pd 5” in manuscript, and four covers were postmarked GRENADA/Mi. on JUL/24, SEP/29, DEC/6, and DEC/14 (1861) with “Paid 5.” One cover was postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on JUN/28 (1861) with “Paid 10” in manuscript. Dates on these recorded covers with postage paid manuscript markings range from June 22, 1861, to January 10, 1862.
The earliest recorded usage of the first Confederate stamp – the 5¢ Green Lithograph – is on a cover postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on FEB/18 (1862). This suggests that Postmaster Hawkins did not receive supplies of Confederate stamps until mid-February 1862. Three other covers were postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on MAR/6, MAR/29, APR/1 (1862). In addition, two covers were postmarked GRENADA/Mi. on APR/15 and OCT/11 (1862), and one cover had “Grenada Miss” and “Feb 27” (1862) indicated in manuscript. Dates on these recorded covers with the 5¢ Green Lithograph range from February 18 to October 11, 1862.
Other Confederate lithographed stamps recorded on covers from Grenada include the 10¢ Blue Lithograph, Hoyer & Ludwig printing, postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on FEB/21 and JUL/12 (1862); the 5¢ Blue Lithograph postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on JUN/11 (2 covers), JUN/15, JUN/21, JUL/8, JUL/10, JUL/26 and GRENADA/Mi. on JUL/11 (1862); 10¢ Blue Lithograph, Paterson printing, postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on OCT/24, OCT/27, NOV/19, DEC/23, DEC/25 (1862) and JAN/6 (1863). Dates on these recorded covers with lithographed stamps range from February 21, 1862, to January 6, 1863. The 10¢ Rose and 2¢ Green Lithographs have not been recorded used on cover from Grenada.
On July 1, 1862, the Confederate Post Office Department changed the letter rate to 10¢ postage regardless of distance. As a consequence, the 5¢ Blue Lithograph and the later issued 5¢ Blue Typograph stamps were used in pairs to pay the 10¢ rate.
Recorded usage of the Confederate typographed stamps on covers from Grenada include 5¢ Blue Typograph, London printing, postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on NOV/8, and DEC/23 (1862) and FEB/2 (1863). The 5¢ Blue Typograph, Richmond printing (on London paper), was used on a cover postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on DEC/23 (1862) and JAN/30 (1863) and GRENADA/Mi. on DEC/27 (1862). The 5¢ Blue Typograph, Richmond printing (on local paper) was recorded used on covers postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on MAR/10, APR/22, and JUN/23 (1863). In addition, one cover recorded with the 5¢ Blue Typograph, Richmond printing, had “Grenada Miss” and “Feb 13” (1863) indicated in manuscript. Dates on these recorded covers with the 5¢ Blue Typographs range from November 8, 1862, to June 23, 1863.
Stamps on most covers were recorded as identified in auction catalogs or by collectors who provided scans or photo copies. The earliest known use of the 5¢ Blue Typograph, London printing, is April 16, 1862, and of the 5¢ Blue Typograph, Richmond printing, is August 15, 1862. Without close inspection and study, it is not possible to verify whether the stamps on the covers postmarked at Grenada in late 1862 and early 1863 are the 5¢ Blue Typograph, London printing, or the 5¢ Blue Typograph, Richmond printing on London paper. The 5¢ Blue Typograph, London printing, are blue and light blue, have clear and distinct impressions, and were printed on thin, white wove, hard-surfaced paper. The 5¢ Blue Typograph, Richmond printing, are blue, light blue, dark blue, and cobalt blue, have poorer impressions, and (except those printed on London paper) were printed on a coarser paper than the 5¢ Blue Typograph, London printing.
Many letters from soldiers were received as “due” mail with the postage paid by the recipient. The covers of this postage “due” mail were endorsed by the soldiers with their name, rank, and unit as required by law for this privilege. Two soldier’s covers were recorded postmarked at GRENADA/MISS. on DEC/10 and DEC/11 (1862) with (due) “10” marked in pencil. Postmaster Hawkins apparently did not have a handstamp for marking “due” mail until mid-December 1862.
Recorded covers postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on DEC/19 and DEC/21 (1862) were handstamped with a (Due) 10. in “octagonal box.” Postmaster Hawkins may have obtained this handstamp from the Jackson, Mississippi, postmaster Christopher R. Dickson, who had used a similar handstamp during the prewar stampless period. The (Due) 10. in “octagonal box” also has been recorded on other soldier’s letters postmarked GRENADA/Mi. on DEC/27 (1862) and GRENADA/MISS. on JAN/6, JAN/13, APR/18? (1863) and OCT/6, NOV/17 (1864). In addition, this handstamp was used on an official folded letter to Mississippi Governor John J. Pettus postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on FEB/25 (1863). Dates on these recorded covers with the (Due) 10. in “octagonal box” handstamp range from December 19, 1862, to November 17, 1864.
Recorded usages of the Confederate engraved (recessed-plate printed) stamps on covers from Grenada include the 2¢ Brown Red postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on NOV/3 (1863/64); the TEN CENTS Blue postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on MAY/14 (1863); the 10¢ Blue, Type I, postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on SEP/26, OCT/8, OCT/26, DEC/ 12, DEC/17 (1863/64), FEB/6 (1864), AUG/11 (1864), AUG/20 (1864), SEP/22 (1864), DEC/18 (1864), and MAY/20 (1865) and with manuscript “Grenada Miss” “Dec 18” (1863/64); the 10c Blue, Type II, postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on JUL/30 and NOV/24 (1863/64), GRENADA/Mi. on OCT/7 (1863/64), and with manuscript “Grenada Miss” “Feb 29” (1864). Dates on these recorded covers with the engraved stamps range from May 14, 1863 to May 20, 1865. The 10¢ Blue “Frame Line” and the 20¢ Green Engraved stamps have not been recorded used on cover from Grenada.
The earliest known use in the Confederacy of the 2¢ Brown Red is April 21, 1863; of the 10¢ Blue, Type I, is April 21, 1863; of the TEN CENTS Blue is April 23, 1863; and of the 10¢ Blue, Type II, is May 1, 1863. Therefore, unless the year date on a cover is indicated in the postmark, by a manuscript notation, or in a dated enclosure, it is not possible to determine whether these covers were mailed in 1863, 1864, or 1865 (without research conducted on each cover, which may or may not tie down the year). Of course, if the postmark shows a month date after late April or early May to December, the covers were mailed in either 1863 or 1864, and if the dates were in January to late April or early May, the covers were mailed in 1864 or 1865. Consideration should be given the fact that the dates of earliest known use reported for these stamps may have been recorded from covers mailed from towns in the eastern Confederacy, and the stamps may not have reached Mississippi towns until later.
After the 1-day occupation of Grenada on August 17, 1863, the town continued to be a post or rendezvous for Confederate troops (although not nearly as many as during the period of General Grant’s advance down the Mississippi Central Railroad). Recorded covers indicate that the post office operated throughout the rest of the war. Lieut.-Gen. Richard Taylor surrendered the Confederate troops in the Alabama and the Mississippi Departments to Maj.-Gen. Edward R. S. Canby at Citronelle, Alabama, on May 4, 1865. Nevertheless, a recorded cover with a 10¢ Blue Engraved, Type I, postmarked GRENADA/MISS. on MAY/20 has an enclosure dated 1865. This letter tells of Federal occupation and other postwar concerns.
Bearss, Edwin C., Decision in Mississippi. Jackson, 1962. Mississippi Commission on the War Between the States.
Black, Robert C., III, The Railroads of the Confederacy. Chapel Hill, 1952. The University of North Carolina Press.
Brieger, James F., Hometown Mississippi. Jackson, 1997, 1998. Towne Square Books, Inc.
Dietz, August, The Postal Service of the Confederate States of America. Richmond, Va., 1929. Press of the Dietz Publishing Company.
Martin, Frances G., Cemeteries of Grenada County, Mississippi, and Surrounding Areas, Volume I: Privately published, 1987.
Monroe, James L. D. “Two-Cent Green Gutter Strip Discovery”: Published in The Confederate Philatelist, Vol. 43, No. 4, July-August 1998, p. 151-153.
Oakley, Bruce C., Jr., A Postal History of Mississippi, Stampless Period, 1799-1860. Baldwyn, Mississippi, 1969. Magnolia Publishers.
Parks, William S., “Handstamped (Due) ’10.’ in Octagonal Box from Grenada, Mississippi”: Published in The Confederate Philatelist, Vol. 27, No. 1, January-February 1982, p. 21-24.
Parks, William S., “Confederate Postal History of Grenada, Mississippi”: Published in The Confederate Philatelist, Vol. 44, No. 6, November-December 1999, p. 215-238.
Parks, William S., “(Due) 10 on Official Mail from Grenada, Mississippi”: Published in The Confederate Philatelist, Vol. 45, No. 4, July-August 2000, p. 137-140.
Rowland, Dunbar, Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898. Nashville, 1908. Reprinted by The Reprint Company, Spartanburg, S.C, 1978.
Skinner, Hubert C., Erin R. Gunter, and Warren H. Sanders, The New Dietz Confederate States Catalog and Handbook. Miami, 1986. Bogg & Lawrence Publishing Company.
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. 130 vols. Washington. Government Printing Office, 1880-1902.
Wiltshire, Betty C., Mississippi Newspaper Obituaries, 1876-1885. Carrollton, Mississippi, 1998. Pioneer Publishing Co.