The U.S. Postal Service has issued the second of an annual series of Forever stamps that pay tribute to one of the most searing, traumatic and consequential events in the nation's history: the American Civil War.
The dedicated stamps, The Civil War: 1862, remember the Battle of New Orleans, the first significant achievement of the U.S. Navy in the war, and the Battle of Antietam, which marked the bloodiest day of the war.
The American Civil War engulfed the nation from 1861 to 1865 and profoundly changed the country, bringing an end to slavery and transforming the social life of the South and the economic life of the nation.
Art director Phil Jordan created the stamps using images of Civil War battles. The Battle of New Orleans stamp is a reproduction of an 1862 colored lithograph by Currier & Ives titled "The Splendid Naval Triumph on the Mississippi, April 24th, 1862." It depicts Admiral David G. Farragut's fleet passing Fort Jackson and Fort St. Phillip on the way to New Orleans.
The Battle of Antietam stamp is a reproduction of an 1887 painting by Thure de Thulstrup. The painting was one of a series of popular prints commissioned in the 1880s by Boston publisher Louis Prang & Co. to commemorate the Civil War.
For the stamp pane's background image, Jordan used a photograph of Union soldiers in the vicinity of Fair Oaks, VA, circa June 1862.
The stamp pane includes comments on the war by David G. Farragut, James C. Steele, Walt Whitman, and the New York Times. It also includes some of Charles Carroll Sawyer's lyrics from the popular 1862 song "Weeping, Sad and Lonely," or "When This Cruel War Is Over" (music composed by Henry Tucker).