The Confederate Stamp Alliance
A rich and varied history of philatelic erudition.
The Confederate Stamp Alliance was founded in February 1935 when Dr. Marye Yeamans Dabney of Birmingham, Alabama, suggested to August Dietz, Sr., of Richmond, Virginia, that a national organization of Confederate collectors be formed. Under their early leadership, a charter roster of 74 members was recruited with Dietz selected as the first President. The initial meeting of the Colonels, as they decided to call themselves, occurred at Asheville, North Carolina, on August 28, 1937. By 1939, the Alliance had adopted its first written Constitution and By-Laws, while the organization itself remained somewhat informal during the years of World War II.
Then in 1944, under the dynamic leadership of Haydn Myer as Secretary-Treasurer, the CSA was revitalized and a new era of growth and enthusiasm commenced. The tradition of the annual convention and Southern Supper began in 1945 at Newark, New Jersey, where the American Philatelic Society and several other philatelic organizations were gathered. The next meeting was in 1947 at the great international exhibition in New York. It was during the preparation for this event that the Alliance adopted the framework of today’s organization, Constitution, and By-Laws. From that point on interest in Confederate philately and Civil War history in general grew steadily as the nation moved toward the Centennial of 1961-1965.
Bolstered by the swelling ranks of new members, the Trustees took appropriate steps to put the organization on a permanent footing. In 1968, the CSA filed for incorporation as a non-profit organization in the State of Alabama. Subsequently in 1973, Gerald V. Stewart bequeathed his entire Confederate collection to the Alliance. The collection was sold at auction and the proceeds used to establish the Educational Trust Fund that bears his name. The receipt of this gift and the prospects of other precipitated the application for tax-exempt status for the Confederate Stamp Alliance which was eventually granted in 1977.
Since electing that status the Alliance has been the recipient of many more such gifts, the largest and most significant being the “Freeland-Hill-Gallagher Reference Collection.” This virtually complete collection of Confederate fakes, forgeries, and fantasies formed by the late Rev. Paul Freeland has been made available to students and researchers through the generosity of the late John R. Hill, Jr. and Scott Gallagher
The many financial requirements of the Confederate Stamp Alliance of today can no longer be met by membership dues alone. It was this realization that prompted the Trustees, in 1988, to establish the Generals Fund to endow the general operations into the next century—and a third fund, The Diamond Anniversary Campaign, in 2009, which far exceeded its original goal of $150,000. These funds are permanent endowments. The income from them is being used to enhance and augment the research and publications of the Alliance, thus assuring continued growth in both size and quality.