History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Before the Civil War, there was mail service between all the different states. During the war, could you still send a letter from, say New York to Georgia, or did the post office shut down services to states on the other side?

share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

From this article: http://postalmuseum.si.edu/letterwriting/lw04.html

Although the purpose of stopping mail service to the South was to isolate and corner the Confederate states, some mail still managed to cross the border in what were known as “flag-of-truce” ships. When the Union began blockading southern ports, letters were often carried across the border by blockade runners or routed through foreign ports. While these methods meant that letters often took a long time to reach their intended recipient on the other side of the border, they still allowed friends and families to stay connected as their divided country raged around them.

share|improve this answer
During many lulls in battles troops did mingle somewhat, though I am not sure how prevalent this was over time in the Civil War. – MichaelF May 16 '12 at 12:32

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.