Civil War

1922 50¢ Arlington Amphitheatre
June 15, 1864

Arlington National Cemetery

On June 15, 1864, Arlington National Cemetery was officially established.  Arlington was created to provide a burial site for the increasing number of fallen soldiers during the Civil War. 

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1974 10¢ First Kentucky Settlement
June 11, 1940

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park was established on June 11, 1940, along the Kentucky-Virginia border. The park preserves and honors the “first great gateway to the West.”

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1991 29¢ Flags on Parade
May 30, 1868

The First Memorial Day 

On May 30, 1868, the first Memorial Day, then called Decoration Day, was held in the United States.  It’s grown to become a federal holiday dedicated to remembering the sacrifices of our fallen soldiers.

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1970 6¢ Flag and White House
May 24, 1861

“Remember Ellsworth”

On May 24, 1861, Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, a close friend of President Abraham Lincoln, became the first Union officer to die in the Civil War. “Remember Ellsworth” soon became a popular rallying cry for the Union.

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1964 5¢ Civil War Centennial: Battle of the Wilderness
May 5, 1864

Battle of the Wilderness

On May 5, 1864, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee clashed for the first time at the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia.  It was the opening battle of Grant’s Overland Campaign, which was designed to destroy Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

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1998 32¢ Four Centuries of American Art: Frederic Edwin Church
May 4, 1826

Birth of Frederic E. Church

Frederic Edwin Church was born on May 4, 1826, in Hartford, Connecticut. Known for his large, dramatic landscapes, he is one of the most traveled, best known, and most successful of the Hudson River School artists.

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2012 45¢ Battle of New Orleans
April 29, 1862

Capture of New Orleans

On April 29, 1862, Union Admiral David Farragut captured New Orleans from Confederate forces.  Capturing one of the Confederacy’s largest cities, known as the “Jewel of the South,” this was a major victory and turning point in the Civil War.

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2014 21¢ Abraham Lincoln
April 27, 1861

Lincoln Suspends Writ of Habeas Corpus

On April 27, 1861, Abraham Lincoln became the first US president to suspend the writ of habeas corpus – the right to be released from unlawful detention. He took this controversial move in the hopes it would prevent Maryland from joining the Confederacy.

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1866 15¢ Lincoln, black
April 14, 1866

First U.S. Mourning Stamp

April 14, 1866 was the earliest known usage of the first US mourning stamp, which honored Abraham Lincoln.  It was issued a year after his assassination, during a critical time in US history, when the country was attempting to heal from the bloody Civil War. 

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