Letter writing was important
Postage Stamps were a necessary Challenge
One time a few years ago I had a reenactor ask me for an assortment of my reproduction stamps so that he and his fellow comrades could use them as "money" as they played card games at events as the spectators walked by. In spite of my not wanting to encourage gambling (after all, I do portray the U. S. Christian Commission), I did share some with him because I agreed that it would allow them to portray more accurately to the spectators what the soldiers did back then.
Billings' description about the stamps getting wet and stuck together is an interesting insight into the many challenges soldiers faced as they lived on the march. When the war broke out the uncertainty over what was going on and people's distrust over the value of the Greenback paper money being issued led to the hoarding of coins made of copper & silver & gold. But people still needed to give or get back small change in making purchases such as a 3 cent loaf of bread or a 5 cent quart of milk. During the first few years of the war stamps became by common acceptance and out of necessity "money". In July 1862 Congress attempted to address the coin shortage by passing a law which allowed postage stamps to satisfy debts owed to the government of up to $5. People incorrectly presumed that this officially approved stamps as usable for any type of debt or purchase. In 1862 John Gault came up with the creative encased postage stamp coin solution. Using button making machines he enclosed postage stamps in silver or brass buttons with a thin mica layer on one side which allowed you to see the stamp's denomination -- this helped preserve the actual stamp better. He would later add on the back of the encasement button advertisements for various company about their products or services. His invention was short lived as in 1863 the U.S government issued official script factional currency to over come the coin shortage. Also during this time various vendors issued "private issue tokens" that they gave out as change when sales were made.
All this shows the creativity of the people back then as they faced the challenges arising from society being torn apart. I've often marveled at the fact that postage stamps back then could be cut in half and still used to mail out letters. For example, you could take a 2 cent Black Jack, and cut one stamp in half, put it on the envelope next to a complete 2 cent stamp and that would total up to the 3 cents needed to mail the letter. Can you imagine trying to do that today? The US Postal Service would probably call the police and have you arrested! Times have certainly changed as the bureaucrats have gotten greater power to control us with "the official regulations and procedures".
When we forget history, we lose examples of how people before us have risen to the challenge of "changing times". We should never be herded into the socialist mentality that "the government" or "the experts" will solve what's wrong. We as individuals need to always be experimenting with options to overcome the difficulties. It may be having to use a board for a desk or having to soak apart stamps and then dry them on a griddle. Creativity needs to come from each of us. That makes us better and stronger, and will also make for good stories later on we can tell around the campfire.