Thursday, March 17, 2011

Post Office Announces Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemorative Stamp Series

In conjunction with the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, the U.S. Postal Service will issue stamps commemorating the 150th anniversary of important Civil War events beginning April 12, 2011. The Fort Sumter and First Battle of Bull Run commemorative stamps will lead off the Civil War 150th Anniversary Commemorative series, with a souvenir sheet of two stamps to be issued each year through 2015.

Art Director Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA, the Postal Service's veteran art director, has chosen scenes for the initial Civil War commemorative stamp issue that are well known to Civil War history buffs and art collectors. The Fort Sumter stamp is a reproduction of a Currier & Ives lithograph, circa 1861, titled “Bombardment of Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor.” The Bull Run stamp is a reproduction of a 1964 painting by Sidney E. King titled “The Capture of Rickett’s Battery.” The painting depicts fierce fighting on Henry Hill over an important Union battery during the Battle of First Bull Run.

For the stamp pane’s background image, Jordan used a photograph dated circa 1861 of a Union regiment assembled near Falls Church, Virginia. The stamp pane includes comments on the war by Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, and Robert E. Lee. It also includes some of the lyrics used during the Civil War in “Johnny is Gone for a Soldier,” a song dating back at least to the Revolutionary War.


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