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?

  • More broadly, just what sort of interactions did Southerners and Northerners engage in? There was the illegal cotton trade and I guessing no commerce was legal and travel between the two nations was illegal although there were special cases as when negotiators were sent, as in any war; but also, because England maintained relations with both sides, it probably happened that Northerners and Southerners met and even did business in England.
    – Jeff
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 4:44

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 1
    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
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 12:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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