One hundred fifty years ago today the New York Herald reported on problems with the mail delivery to Union soldiers stationed around Washington DC. “Nothing is more frequent than to hear complaints of the non-receipt of letters at the various camps in and Washington,” as the Herald explained. Yet after the Herald investigated the problem it found that “the Post Office authorities [in New York] or at Washington” were not responsible. Instead, the problem was created by New York residents who were not mailing the letters properly. As the Herald described,
In most instances letters addressed to the members of the various regiments in service are dropped into the lamppost boxes in various quarters of the city, without bearing the extra one cent stamp in addition to the three cent stamp – the regular postage for letters deposited at the General Post Office.
If residents remembered to include the correct postage, the Herald hoped that “there will be no more complaints of missing letters.”