Civil War Covers

Patriotic Envelopes Supported the War from the Safety of Home

During the War Between the States, the people left at home to tend the farms and run the factories, longed to show their support for the war effort. Unable to join the millions of men in uniform (due to age, gender or circumstances), they sought other ways to proclaim their patriotism. Leave it to merchants to capitalize on that yearning.

Numerous printers and publishers, on both sides of the Mason Dixon, produced inexpensive envelopes which featured an extraordinary range of symbols and slogans. Due to the huge numbers in which these "covers" were produced, many of them have survived to this day. Collecting them can be extremely enjoyable, and although they are priced reasonably for items a century and a half old, due to their variety only the wealthy could amass a comprehensive collection.

In light of the fact that thousands of variations were printed, this page does not profess to provide a complete look at the subject. It is intended simply to illustrate in a cursory manner one means through which civilians could express their support of the boys in blue.

In order to minimize load times, the graphic elements of the letters have been removed from their context on the envelope. (They typically appeared along the left border of the cover.)

A Sampling of Patriotic Cover Themes

Military & Combat
National Emblem
Founding Fathers
Cartoons & Illustrations
Noble Eagles

Return to the Fifth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry
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