Saturday, March 19, 2011

Library of Congress Posts its "Civil War Faces" Photo Collection on Flickr

In remembrance of the soldiers who served in the Civil War, a rare private collection of almost 700 ambrotype and tintype photographs was recently donated to the Library of Congress. All 693 photos have been posted on Flickr and can be viewed using the link below. While the photos are mostly of unidentified soldiers, you can read some of the personal stories that did survive in notes found with the photo cases.

The Library of Congress has asked that you contact them if you recognize a face from your family, a regiment, or a photographer’s painted studio backdrop or if you have any other information that can assist them in indentifying the photos.

These hauntingly beautiful and poignant photographs provide a powerful glimpse into the past ... and the young faces of the many enlisted men, more than 600,000 of whom would never return home.

The original photographs will also be on display in “The Last Full Measure”, a special exhibit running April 12, 2011 through August 13, 2011, in the Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, DC.

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.