2014 Civil War Commemorative Stamps
The U.S. Postal Service has released the designs for the 2014 Civil War commemorative stamps, the fourth issues in this popular series marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. This year, the stamps commemorate the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia, and The Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama.
The Petersburg stamp art is from an 1892 painting by artist J. Andre Castaigne and depicts an assault by the 22nd United States Colored Troops (USCT) at Petersburg. By the summer of 1864, a large number of African American regiments were in the field, and were seeing more fighting than earlier in the war when they were largely used in guard duties or performing manual labor. The 4th Division of the 9th Corps had two brigades of black troops, and saw extensive fighting at the Battle of the Crater on July 30th, 1864. The 22nd USCT was part of the 18th Corps and also saw a lot of action around Petersburg and Richmond in the last year of the war.
The Battle of Mobile Bay stamp commemorates the August 5th, 1864 naval victory by Admiral David Farragut at Mobile Bay. While the city of Mobile was not captured in this battle (and would not be taken until April of 1865), the victory gave control of the bay to the north and removed Mobile as a port for blockade runners. See my post here for more on the Battle of Mobile Bay.
The artwork on the Mobile Bay stamp is from an 1886 print published by the Louis Prang Company. Prang produced several nice chromolithographs of the Civil War that were realistic depictions of battle, and less stylized than two other popular lithograph companies of the time, Kurz and Allison, and Currier & Ives.
The first day of issue for these stamps in July 30th, 2014 in Petersburg, Virginia and Mobile, Alabama.