On July 25, 1864, the Stamford Ladies Soldiers’ Aid Society held a Sanitary Fair. Sanitary Fairs were established in response to the needs of Civil War soldiers beyond what the government could supply. The United States Sanitary Commission, a civilian organization, was authorized by the government in 1861. The primary objective of the commission was to collect supplies, provide support to soldiers’ homes, transport the sick, supply food, and to provide services to discharged soldiers.
The Stamford Ladies Soldiers’ Aid Society held their fair to raise money for medical supplies for men in Union hospitals by selling a stamp that they had issued at a cost of 15 cents. These stamps were not the usual postage stamp but a drop letter stamp in which mail would be held at the post office and called for by the addressee.