During the Civil War Sesquicentennial, the U.S. Postal Service is issuing two Civil War commemorative stamps each year from 2011-2015. Each stamp in the series commemorates a significant event that occurred 150 years ago from the year of the stamp’s issue. In 2011, stamps commemorating Fort Sumter and the First Battle of Bull Run were issued.
For 2012, one stamp commemorates the April 24th, 1862 passing of Forts Jackson and St. Phillip near the mouth of the Mississippi River by Flag Officer David Farragut’s fleet. The fleet continued up the Mississippi River to New Orleans, and within days, the largest city in the Confederacy surrendered to Federal authorities. The stamp itself is based on an 1862 Currier & Ives lithograph depicting the fleet fighting its way past the forts and other Confederate defenses.
The second stamp for 2012 commemorates the Battle of Antietam on September 17th, 1862. Although there were more costly multiple day battles during the war, this action in Maryland was the single bloodiest day of the Civil War. The total for both sides was over 22,700 casualties (killed, wounded, and missing) including 3650 killed in action. Confederate forces withdrew on the evening of the 18th, giving the Union a victory .
The Antietam stamp is based on an 1887 painting by Swedish born artist Thure de Thulstrup. We here at Iron Brigader especially like this painting and its selection for a stamp because it shows the Iron Brigade in action at Antietam.
As of this writing, no release date for the stamps has been announced. I’ll update this post when further information is available.
Update January 31st: The 2012 Civil War commemorative stamps will be issued April 24th in New Orleans and should be widely available shortly thereafter.