Two of the most important events of the Civil War - the Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama, and the siege at Petersburg, Virginia - were memorialized on Forever stamps on July 30 at the sites where these conflicts took place.
One stamp depicts Admiral David G. Farragut's fleet at the Battle of Mobile Bay (AL) on Aug. 5, 1864.
The other stamp depicts the 22nd U.S. Colored Troops engaged in the June 15-18, 1864, assault on Petersburg, VA, at the beginning of the Petersburg Campaign.
"The Civil War was one of the most intense chapters in our history, claiming the lives of more than 620,000 people," said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in dedicating the Mobile Bay stamp. "Through events and programs held around the country, we're helping citizens consider how their lives - and their own American experience - have been shaped by this period of history."
In Petersburg, Chief U.S. Postal Service Inspector Guy Cottrell dedicated the stamps just yards from the location of an underground explosion - that took place150 years ago - which created a huge depression in the earth and led to the battle being named "Battle of the Crater." Confederates - enraged by the sight of black soldiers - killed many soldiers trapped in the crater attempting to surrender.
The soldiers shown on the Petersburg stamp were part of the 175 regiments - more than 178,000 African-American men - who made up the United States Colored Troops," Cottrell explained. "They were free blacks from the north as well as escaped and freed slaves from the south. These brave men placed their lives on the line to prove they were fit to be citizens. Beyond fighting to preserve the nation - they were fighting for their freedom and freedom of their families."
Customers may purchase the Civil War Sesquicentennial 1864 collectible Forever Souvenir Stamp sheet at usps.com/stamps, at 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide.
Customers may view many of this year's other stamps on Facebook facebook.com/USPSStamps, Twitter@USPSstamps, Pinterest pinterest.com/uspsstamps, Instagram instagram.com/uspostalservice or on uspsstamps.com, the Postal Service's online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
Phil Wiebold is a spokeswoman for U.S. Postal Service.