New Civil War Stamps From USPS

13 04 2011

The U. S. Postal Service announced a new series of stamps for the sesquicentennial. Here’s the email they sent me:

Postal Service Begins Civil War Stamp Series

Multi-year Series Marks Historic Events during 150-Year Anniversary

To obtain high-resolution images of the stamps for media use only, email mark.r.saunders@usps.gov

CHARLESTON, SC — The U.S. Postal Service today issued the first of an annual series of Forever Stamps that recognize key events of the Civil War — America’s bloodiest conflict, which began 150 years ago today at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony took place at Liberty Square in Charleston, a location within earshot of cannon fire that ignited the conflict that killed 670,000 Americans — a casualty rate exceeding the combined total of Americans killed in all wars since that time.

“From this day forward, these historic images of Fort Sumter and the First Battle of Bull Run will be carried on letters and packages to millions of households and businesses throughout America,” said James C. Miller III, U.S. Postal Service Board of Governor member in dedicating the stamps. “In this small way, the United States Postal Service recognizes the Civil War as a significant and uniquely American experience, and we hope to share the lessons learned ― as well as the story of those who endured the four-year ordeal ― with Americans everywhere.”

Joining Miller in the ceremony were Thurgood Marshall Jr., vice chairman, U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors; David Vela, southeast region director, National Park Service; Dr. Edmund L. Drago, author and professor of History, College of Charleston; and Timothy Shaw, Charleston Postmaster.

“Since the founding of our country, Americans have wrestled with fundamental questions about the scope of freedom,” said Marshall. “When the war finally ended, four devastating years later, the demand for separation had been denied, and slavery was forever ended in the United States. At last, the country was ready to accept responsibility for the words in its own Declaration of Independence that ‘all men are created equal.’ Today, many issues remain unresolved by this uniquely American war — and yet, one universal truth remains. We are truly one nation of free men and women.”

“The Civil War commemorative stamps will provide meaning and true reflection for generations to come,” explained Vela. “Through events and programs held throughout the country, it is our hope that the citizens of this nation will be challenged to consider how their lives, and their own American experience, have been shaped by this signature period of American history. For it is a shared history, and a shared legacy, owned by all.”

This first pane of the series, to be issued annually through 2015 in double sided sheets of 12 stamps, depicts two stamp designs commemorating the beginning of the war in April 1861 at Fort Sumter and the first major battle of the war near Manassas, VA.

Art director, Phil Jordan of Falls Church, VA, created the stamps using images of Civil War battles. 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 for an important Union artillery 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, VA.

Civil War Mail Service

Mail was a treasured link among Civil War camps, battlefields and home. Recognizing its importance to morale, both northern and southern armies assigned personnel to collect, distribute and deliver soldiers’ mail. Wagons and tents served as traveling Post Offices. Visit this link for additional information.

Postal Service Commitment to Veterans

While the Postal Service does not maintain records on the thousands of Civil War veterans who worked for the Post Office Department, today’s Postal Service stands proud as the nation’s largest civilian employer of veterans. Of more than 578,000 career employees, more than one-fifth of its workforce — nearly 128,000 — are veterans, 48,000 of whom are disabled.

Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at www.usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Civil War: 1861 Stamps

Postmaster

7075 Cross County Road

Charleston, SC 29423-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by June 13, 2011.

Ordering First-Day Covers

Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:

Information Fulfillment

Dept. 6270

U.S. Postal Service

PO Box 219014

Kansas City, MO  64121-9014

Purchasing Civil War Forever Stamps and Related Products

While supplies last, the Civil War souvenir sheets, the Civil War Keepsakes with Digital Color Postmarks, and the 1861 Collectors Folio will be available at select Post Offices. Also, customers can order all stamps and products online at www.usps.com/shop, by calling 1-800 STAMP-24, or by using the mail-in order form in the USA Philatelic Catalog. You can subscribe to the catalog at www.beyondtheperf.com, www.usps.com/shop, or by calling 1-800 STAMP-24.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Here are the images – click on the thumbs for a larger image:

  





Interesting “Time” Reenactor Photos

12 04 2011

Here’s a link to an interesting series of photos – video too – of Civil War reenactors at threatened battlefield sites.





“The History Guys” Podcast

12 04 2011

The American History Guys are three university professors who specialize on 18th, 19th, and 20th century American history. You’ll be most familiar with the 19th century guy, Ed Ayers of the University of Richmond. The others are University of Virginia instructors Peter Onuf (18th century) and Brian Balogh (20th century). I received an email from an intern at the show – Miriam – about a series of podcasts on the civil war. There are three in the series (The Road to the Civil War, Why They Fought, and The Civil War at 150: Questions Remain) and you can check them out here.





Espy Post at the Carnegie Carnegie Tonight

12 04 2011

Espy GAR Post

There will be free tours of the Espy GAR Post at the Carnegie Library in Carnegie, PA tonight from 5-7 PM. I’m going to try to stop by.

Follow them on Facebook.





Charleston Sesquistuff

12 04 2011

If you simply can’t get enough Sesquisumter, here’s a link to WCBD TV2 Charleston. There are a few videos and stories that will be updated regularly. You’ll have to allow popups.

Here and here are great photo galleries of goings-on in the city fr0m the Post and Courier.

If you’re planning a trip to Charleston, here’s a post on some of the sites and sights.





Letter from 6th NC

11 04 2011

Over on his blog, Scott Patchan recently posted a link to a letter from a member of the 6th NC published in the North Carolina Standard on July 31, 1861, At some point I’ll transcribe this and put it up in the resources section.

Here’s Scott’s intro:

The following link below includes a letter by 22 year old Captain Richard Watt York of the 6th North Carolina Infantry that was first published by the North Carolina Standard on July 31, 1861. York would go on to serve throughout the war, and was wounded at the battles of Gaines Mill 6/27/62 and, and to make the link to this blog, again at Fisher’s Hill 9/22/64. He was promoted to Major with the effective date of 7/3/63. York’s letter recounts the death of Col. Charles Fisher and the regiment’s role in the capture of the Union guns on Henry Hill. It also picks up on the confusion of battle and the back and forth nature of the fight for the Union batteries. The link also contains some other newspaper accounts of the Battle of Manassas.

Here’s a link to the newspaper itself.





Letter From 2nd Wisconsin, Co. B.

11 04 2011

Here’s a letter describing the battle from a member of the LaCrosse Light Guards, Company B of the 2nd Wisconsin. I don’t have enough detail to include it in the Resources section yet.

Here’s the intro from the LaCrosse (Wisc) Tribune:

Corp. William H. Collins enlisted in the La Crosse Light Guard on April 18, 1861, and served with Co. B until he was discharged as disabled in May 1962. Collins, who later returned to La Crosse and opened a Pearl Street jewelry store, described the battle of Bull Run in a letter to his wife dated July 23, 1861, and reprinted in a 1930 edition of the La Crosse Tribune and Leader-Press.

 See the letter here.








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