As a part time historian, I’ve been looking forward to the issue of the new Civil War commemorative stamps. The 2011 issue depicts the beginning of the war in April 1861 at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and the first major battle of the war three months later at Bull Run, near Manassas, Virginia. A souvenir sheet of two stamps will be issued each year through 2015 including four releases marking events from Antietam to Appomattox Court House. The stamp pane’s background image is a photograph dated circa 1861 of a Union regiment assembled near Falls Church, Virginia and the pane includes comments on the war by Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, and Robert E. Lee.
When I collect modern stamps that are difficult to lift or soak off envelopes, I like to get the First Day Covers. I’m not crazy about USPS’ digital color postmarks, but the black and white cancellations here are quite nice. The font used with the shield here fit well into the theme of Civil War history. I remember during the Civil War craze surrounding the PBS series that there were a lot of history books and magazines with a similar look.