Five-Year Civil War Sesquicentennial Stamps Series Continues

Two of the most important events of the Civil War were memorialized on Forever® stamps yesterday at the sites where these conflicts took place—Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Vicksburg, Mississippi.

CivilWar1863-Forever-Block-v2

The Battle of Vicksburg stamp is a reproduction of an 1863 lithograph by Currier & Ives titled “Admiral Porter’s Fleet Running the Rebel Blockade of the Mississippi at Vicksburg, April 16th, 1863.” The Battle of Gettysburg stamp is a reproduction of an 1887 chromolithograph by Thure de Thulstrup (1848-1930), a Swedish-born artist who became an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly after the Civil War. Thulstrup’s work was one of a series of popular prints commissioned in the 1880s by Boston publisher Louis Prang & Co. to commemorate the Civil War.

This issuance is the third in a five-year series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The sheet of 12 stamps includes two stamp designs: one depicting the Battle of Gettysburg, the largest battle of the war, and one depicting the Battle of Vicksburg, a complex Union campaign to gain control of the Mississippi River. (USPS began the Civil War Sesquicentennial series in 2011 with the issuance of the Fort Sumter and Battle of Bull Run Forever stamps. Last year, we issued stamps memorializing the Battles of Antietam and New Orleans.)

CivilWar1863-Forever-pane-BGv1The background image on the 1863 souvenir sheet is a photograph taken by Mathew Brady shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg of captured Confederate soldiers, who reportedly posed for Brady on Seminary Ridge. The souvenir sheet includes comments on the war by Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton, Rufus R. Dawes (a Union soldier), and William Tunnard (a Confederate soldier). It also includes some of the lyrics of “Lorena,” a popular Civil War song by Henry D. L. Webster and Joseph P. Webster. The stamp series was designed by art director Phil Jordan of Falls Church, Virginia.

“Unquestionably, the Civil War was a horrific four years for our country. There was nothing ‘civil’ about it, and the devastation inflicted on the country as a result was on a scale that is hard to fully comprehend,” said U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Vice Chairman James Bilbray in dedicating the Vicksburg stamp in the city where his great, great grandfather, a member of the Sixth Alabama Infantry Battalion, died during the siege.

Joining Bilbray in dedicating the stamps at the USS Cairo Museum were Vicksburg National Military Park Superintendent Michael Madell, author and Louisiana State University Associate Professor of History Gary Joiner, and award-winning broadcaster Walt Grayson.

“Today, we are humbled by the opportunity to dedicate this new stamp honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice so our country could be whole and we could all prosper,” said Gettysburg College alumnus and U.S. Postal Service Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President Jeff Williamson at the Gettysburg dedication ceremony. “In issuing these stamps, it is our fervent hope that it will help to strengthen what President Abraham Lincoln called the American people’s ‘mystic chords of memory’ that stretch ‘from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land.’”

Joining Williamson in dedicating the stamps at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitors Center were Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site Superintendent Bob Kirby, Gettysburg Mayor William Troxell, College of Gettysburg President Janet Morgan Riggs, and Gettysburg Foundation President Joanne Hanley.

To obtain the obtain first-day-of-issue postmark for your collection, purchase stamps at a local Post Office, online at usps.com/stamps, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. Affix the stamps to envelopes of your choice, address the envelopes to yourself or others, and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

Civil War: 1863 Stamp (Vicksburg, MS)
Postmaster
3415 Pemberton Blvd.
Vicksburg, MS  39180-9998

Civil War: 1863 Stamp (Gettysburg, PA)
Postmaster
115 Buford Avenue
Gettysburg, PA  17325-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, USPS will return the envelopes through the mail. While the first 50 postmarks are free, there is a five-cent charge per postmark beyond that. All orders must be postmarked by July 23, 2013.

The Civil War: 1863 stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps, which are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce price.

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About USPS Stamps

The Postal Service™ is proud of its role in portraying the American experience to a world audience through the issuance of postage stamps and postal stationery. Each year the Postal Service issues commemorative stamps reflecting subjects of national significance and appeal. More than 160 years of stamp development has yielded an incredible archive of imagery and commentary reflecting American culture and society. Even in this fast-changing world, stamps are still a versatile and convenient method of postage. And stamp collecting is a lifetime hobby that is fun and educational for all ages. Stamp collecting is easy to start without a big investment. It is also a great way to learn about the world and its many wonders, opening the door to an exciting universe of history, science, geography, the arts, technology, and sports. Our mission is to provide universal service that is prompt, reliable, efficient, affordable, and self-sustaining. Throughout its history the Postal Service has grown with the nation, binding it together by ensuring that everyone, everywhere, has the same ability to communicate regardless of technological change.

One thought on “Five-Year Civil War Sesquicentennial Stamps Series Continues

  1. I am visiting Gettysburg next week. Will these sheets still be available at park?

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