National Postal Museum Zoom Presentation: Delivered Under Fire: Absalom Markland and Freedom’s Mail


With author Candice Shy Hooper

Col. Absalom H. Markland, Superintendent of Mails, 1862. MOLLUS Mass Photograph Collection, U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, Carlisle PA.

Please join us in person or online on Zoom on Tuesday, December 12 at 4 pm ET for a talk by Candice Shy Hooper on the work of Absalom Markland, the U.S. Post Office Department Special Agent often referred to as “Grant’s Postmaster General” for his efforts in organizing the mail during the Civil War.

During the Civil War, letters between soldiers and their families were critical to morale on the frontlines and on the home front — they were nearly as important as ammunition. To ensure that the military mail was delivered, the U.S. Post Office Department deployed Special Agents across the country to deal with the millions of letters that were unleashed on the postal system. Arguably the most important of these was Absalom Hanks Markland, who straddled the civilian and military worlds while creating the foundations for the military mail system of today. After the war, his swift response to Ku Klux Klan violence sparked passage of a landmark civil rights law. He was famous throughout the country during his lifetime, but forgotten until Delivered Under Fire, his first biography.