United States Postal Services announced on May 23th a new stamp issue, the third of a five-year series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
The sheet of 12 stamps includes two stamp designs, one illustrating the Battle of Gettysburg, the largest battle of the war, and the other one depicting the Battle of Vicksburg, a Union campaign to gain control of the Mississippi River. The Postal Service began the Civil War Sesquicentennial Forever stamp series in 2011 with the issuance of the Fort Sumter and Battle of Bull Run Forever stamps. In 2012, stamps memorializing the Battles of Antietam and New Orleans were issued.
The 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, VA.