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Confederate States of America (1860-1865)


U.S. Possessions

Specially overprinted stamps were not issued for other U.S. possessions.

  • Hawaii

Hawaii was annexed at the same time that specially overprinted stamps were being issued for the former Spanish colonies of Guam, Puerto Rico, Philippines and Cuba, yet the transition in Hawaii moved directly from stamps of Hawaii to regular issues of the U.S.

  • U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands were purchased from Denmark in 1917. Regular U.S. issues immediately superseded stamps of the Danish West Indies. No overprints were produced.

Danish West Indies Scott 4a, "T" in selvage

Several series of revenue stamps have been issued for U.S. Virgin Islands. They are not overprints of U.S. regular issues or revenues, but were specially printed by BEP for use in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Examples of plate number singles are unusual but they do exist.

Virgin Islands revenues

  • Pacific islands

The U.S. acquired a number of Pacific island territories, but no special overprinting was done for the Marshall Islands, American Samoa, Midway, Wake, Howland, the Line Islands, Micronesia, the Ryukyus, or other Pacific territories. Some are now independent (Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia), others have been returned or reunited with their home country (Ryukyus), while still others remain part of the U.S. It is possible to find covers bearing plate number singles of regular U.S. issues that have been canceled in those places.

  • Antarctica

According to the Antarctic treaty, no country is allowed to formally claim any part of Antarctica, but all nations are welcome to establish scientific and exploratory bases.  Some countries have issued special stamps for use by their scientific and support teams.  For example, Australia issues separate stamps for the Australian Antarctic Territory, whereas France includes its Antarctic bases in stamps issued for FSAT, the French Southern and Antarctic Territories.  However, the U.S. has not issued separate stamps.

  • Military mail

Standard military mail sent within the regular mailstream requires standard U.S. postage. Some military departments may use Official stamps for some mailing purposes. Military mail sent from regular bases in non-combat zones uses standard U.S. postage. Military mail sent from active soldiers in combat zones is sent free and thus would not have plate number singles.

The U.S. Army has operated field or base post offices for troops stationed in various foreign countries as part of peace-keeping efforts, police actions, or outright war. No specially overprinted stamps have been issued for this purpose.

  • Diplomatic mail

Official diplomatic mail sent by diplomatic courier does not require postage.

Official mail sent within the country represented uses the stamps of that country.

Personal mail sent to U.S. addresses by employees in overseas embassies, consulates and other offices can be included in the regular diplomatic pouches.  Standard domestic postal rates apply. Stamps must be affixed, and such mailings are canceled in Washington, D.C., where they enter the mailstream. Plate number singles may exist on modern diplomatic mail, but would have to be collected on cover.


Allied Military Government (AMG)

Special stamps were produced for use by citizens of France, Germany, Austria and Italy, using the military postal service run by the Allied Military Government immediately after World War II. These services were superseded when infrastructure, personnel and procedures were established and local postal service could resume.

The Soviet government also issued military stamps for the Soviet Zone, later to become East Germany. The stamps were printed with counting numbers, rather than plate numbers.

We are deeply indebted to APNSS member, the late Wallace Cleland, for generously sharing  examples of these AMG issues. Many of the plate number singles shown here are photographically cropped from images Wallace used to illustrate his series of articles on AMG plate blocks. For more information, see the April 2006 through October 2006 issues of The United States Specialist, published by the United States Stamp Society.



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This page last updated November 30, 2017.