US Stamps

Ulysses S. Grant and the 2015 U.S. Civil War stamp ceremony

Mar 8, 2022, 10 AM
The unveiling of the Civil War 1865 commemorative forever stamps issued April 9, 2015. Photo by Jay Bigalke.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

While reviewing Martin H. Joyce’s article on President Ulysses S. Grant’s 200th birth anniversary in the March 21 issue of Linn’s Stamp News, one stamp jumped out at me.

That is the Surrender at Appomattox Court House forever stamp (Scott 4981) from the 2015 Civil War Sesquicentennial set of two marking 1865 events. The stamp shows a section of Thomas Nast’s 1895 painting Peace in Union that includes Grant in the scene.

The two stamps were issued April 9, 2015, and I traveled to the ceremony to meet up with two friends to attend the event.

Pulling into the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park on the exact day 150 years after the surrender, with reenactors all over the place, was a memorable moment.

Nearby is a photograph I snapped of the unveiling of the stamps. Early that afternoon, there was a reenactment of the signing of the surrender documents and then Gen. Robert E. Lee (reenactor Thomas Lee Jessee) walked out of the McClean house. I still get chills thinking about the experience.

So for me, those two stamps have a much greater meaning in my stamp album than most, right along with the other souvenirs I acquired that day.

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