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(updated 4/29/15)

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Two New Stamps Commemorate 1865
APPOMATTOX, Va. — The U.S. Postal Service unveiled the last in its series of stamps commemorating the Civil War’s 150th anniversary on April 9 at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park.

The 2015 souvenir sheet has two stamps, one showing Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, and the other depicting the Battle of Five Forks, near Petersburg, Va., on April 1, 1865.

The stamp dedication ceremony April 9 was part of the National Park Service’s 150th Appomattox commemoration.

Postal Service art director Phil Jordan selected historic paintings for the stamp designs. The Appomattox stamp is a reproduction of the 1895 Thomas Nast painting “Peace in Union,” depicting Robert E. Lee’s surrender. The 9 x 12-foot painting is in the Glena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society Gallery in Galena, Ill.

Descendants of two soldiers depicted in the painting modeled for the Forever stamp and participated in the dedication ceremony in front of the McLean house.

Dennis Bigelow is a descendant of Lt. Col. Charles Marshall, Lee’s aide at the Appomattox surrender, who is shown to Lee’s immediate right in the stamp image. Buffalo, N.Y., resident Al Parker’s ancestor was Grant’s Military Secretary Lt. Col. Ely S. Parker, seen at Grant’s immediate left.

The Battle of Five Forks stamp is a reproduction of a circa 1885 painting by French artist Paul Dominique Philippoteaux who is known for his Battle of Gettysburg cyclorama painting that can be seen at Gettysburg National Military Park.

The Five Forks painting, donated in memory of Peter Charles Bance Jr. by his mother and father, is in the Virginia Historical Society collection.

The background image on the souvenir sheet is a photograph of Federal rifles stacked in the vicinity of Petersburg during the siege. The 12-stamp souvenir sheet includes comments on the war by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and Union Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain.

Stamps during the first four Sesquicentennial years depicted Fort Sumter and the Battle of First Manassas, Battle of New Orleans and Antietam, Gettysburg and the Siege at Vicksburg and Mobile Bay and Petersburg.

Information about the series is at http://uspsstamps.com


Gettysburg Has An Exhibit About Gen. Albion Howe
GETTYSBURG, Pa. — The Gettysburg Foundation has opened a new museum gallery Exhibit Spotlight in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

The temporary exhibit space will connect soldiers, civilians and generals from the Battle of Gettysburg with artifacts and the battlefield, with each exhibit focusing on an individual.

The first exhibit, “Faithful and Efficient General: The Military Service of General Albion Howe” will run through September.

It features privately held never before exhibited artifacts, including Howe’s presentation sword, two of his ivory silk handkerchiefs and a framed photograph of the military tribunal that tried the Lincoln conspirators.

Howe and his 6th Corps division served a supporting role at Gettysburg. He was a member of the military commission that tried the conspirators and served in the honor guard that watched over President Lincoln’s body after he was assassinated.

Howe was a native of Maine and Class of 1841 graduate of West Point. He served in the Mexican War and on the frontier before the Civil War. In 1882 he retired as a colonel in the 4th U.S. Artillery.


‘Appomattox’ Exhibit At West Point
WEST POINT, N.Y. — To conclude its series of commemorative exhibitions for the Civil War Sesquicentennial the West Point Museum is showing a new special exhibit, “Appomattox.”

The exhibit, in the museum’s Foyer Gallery, includes artifacts related to significant participants in the surrender and other war items.

The artifacts include a uniform coat of Ulysses S. Grant, a sash reputedly worn by Robert E. Lee at the surrender, a frame of souvenirs fragments gathered by George A. Custer, and Philip Sheridan’s Cavalry Corps badge and a shoulder strap from the uniform he wore at the surrender.

Other displays include a Confederate battle flag, a bugle used to sound “Assembly” ending a final cavalry charge, and a piece of the mythical Appomattox apple tree that Gen. Nelson A. Miles took as a souvenir.

Two contrasting depictions of the Confederate surrender, “Furling the Flag,” painted by Richard Norris Brooke in 1872, and artist Ken Riley’s “The Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, April 12, 1865,” round out the exhibition.

“Appomattox” is scheduled to run through April 2016. The West Point Museum is open daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days, at no charge, from 10:30 to 4:15.
For more information call 845-938-3590 or visit on Facebook.


Autry Museum Schedules Civil War & West Exhibit
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Autry National Center of the American West will showing “Empire and Liberty: The Civil War and the West” through Jan. 3.

It focuses on the West’s significance to the Civil War. Westerners fought for both the Union and the Confederacy, felt the war’s impact at home, and struggled with its civil rights legacy in the Reconstruction era.

The exhibition combines personal stories with audio-visual presentations and historical artifacts. Visitors will learn about Sacagawea, John Sutter, Jesse and Frank James, Andrés Pico, Biddy Mason, Big Tree and others.

Artifacts include Jefferson Davis’s pistol, Ulysses S. Grant’s revolver, John Fremont’s 1842 expedition flag and George Armstrong Custer’s Bible.

Works by artists such as Frederick Remington and John Gast are represented, as well as original period photography by Timothy O’Sullivan, Alexander Gardner, and William Henry Jackson.

The four-part exhibit takes its title from Thomas Jefferson’s pronouncement on the Missouri Compromise and opens with “The Fire Bell in the Night,” including the Louisiana Purchase and early Westward expansion from 1803-1820.

The second part, “The Western Powder Keg,” 1820-1860, will show artifacts related to the campaign to move native people from the South, Texas as a slave state, the U.S.-Mexican War and Gold Rush.

“Beyond the Blue and Grey,” 1861-1865, will include Westerners joining the war, Texas Confederates’ invasion of New Mexico Territory, Indian wars, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment.

The exhibit ends with “The West and Reconstruction,” 1865-present, including the Transcontinental Railroad, Indian campaigns, Western migration, unreconciled Confederates, discrimination against Chinese.

Panels, demonstrations, participatory activities and films are among planned events.

Scholarly panels include “Slavery and Unfree Labor,” May 16; “Homefront and Battlefield: Quilts and Context in the Civil War,” June 27. For information visit TheAutry.org/civil-war.


Wilderness Trail
LOCUST GROVE, Va. — Friends of Wilderness Battlefield (FoWB) is giving free guided walking tours from Ellwood Manor to the Wilderness Tavern site on Saturdays at 10 and 1:30 when the manor is open, weather permitting.

The approximately 1.5-mile Wilderness Crossing Trail includes parts of historic road traces of the Orange Turnpike, Germanna Plank Road, Parker Store Road and the Ellwood Carriage road and a crossing over the Wilderness Run on a wooden footbridge.

For information about FoWB or Wilderness Battlefield visit www.fowb.org and www.nps.gov/frsp. The trail guide can be downloaded at the FoWB site.


Sanders Essay
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Civil War historian Stuart W. Sanders has published “Lincoln’s Confederate ‘Little Sister:’ Emilie Todd Helm,” a long-form essay on Kindle and related platforms.

The 50-page essay examines the life of Emilie Todd Helm, Mary Todd Lincoln’s half-sister. The wife of Gen. Ben Hardin Helm, she spent the early part of the Civil War following the Southern army. After her husband died at the Battle of Chickamauga, Emilie visited the White House for which Union politicians condemned Abraham Lincoln.

Sanders is the author of three Civil War books. He is the former executive director of the Perryville Battlefield Preservation Association and is a public history administrator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



Monocacy Display
FREDERICK, Md. — Monocacy National Battlefield will host “Last Full Measure of Devotion,” a memorial flag display in honor of Battle of Monocacy casualties, from May 23-25. Special programs will focus on the history of Memorial Day.

On Memorial Day visitors are encouraged to participate in a National Moment of Remembrance. For information, call 301-662-3515 visit www.nps.gov/mono.


Live Fire Matches
WINCHESTER, Va. — The North-South Skirmish Association (N-SSA) will hold its 131st National Competition May 14-17 at Fort Shenandoah, near Winchester.

Member units compete in live-fire matches with original or reproduction Civil War period muskets, carbines, rifles, revolvers, mortars and cannon.

As Civil War sesquicentennial observances come to an end, the event will feature two special matches. The first is an intercollegiate artillery match between several schools including Virginia Tech and Slippery Rock University. Cannon crews from each school will compete under the supervision of N-SSA artillery units who will conduct a School of the Piece before the match.

The second event will be the inaugural “Traditional Musket Match.” Its purpose is to encourage competition by authentically dressed shooters with unaltered Civil War firearms, using period paper cartridge ammunition.

The National includes competitions for authenticity of Civil War period military and civilian dress, period music, lectures and sutlers. Public admission is free. For information, visit www.n-ssa.org


CVBT Annual Meeting
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — The Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (CVBT) annual meeting begins Friday, May 22, with an afternoon tour, evening banquet with silent auction and guest speaker William C. Davis.

Bob Krick will lead a Saturday morning tour to sites around Fredericksburg where Confederates are buried. The afternoon tour will be in Caroline County. Sunday tours will be to sites that CVBT has preserved.

Information is at chiefadministrator@cvbt.org and www.cvbt.org.


Harpers Ferry Falcons
HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. — A pair of Peregrine falcons is attempting to nest on the cliff face of Maryland Heights in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Park and U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff have observed the falcons building what appears to be a nest on the cliff face to the left of the old Mennen’s sign.

To protect the nesting birds from inadvertent disturbance or harassment, areas in and around the cliff face were closed April 10 to all visitor use, including climbing activities.

These areas will remain closed until approximately five weeks after the chicks take their first flights, expected to be around mid-August.

Information on the closed area will be posted at the Park Information Center, Visitor Center, park website and social media sites. For more information call (304) 535-6029.


Atlanta Book Award
ATLANTA, Ga. — The Atlanta Civil War Round Table has selected Timothy B. Smith’s Shiloh: Conquer or Perish as the winner of its 27th annual Richard B. Harwell Book Award.

Smith will speak to the round table’s June 2016 meeting. At that time he will receive a cash award of $ 4,000.

Finalists for the award were Brian Steel Wills’s The River Was Dyed With Blood and John Michael Priest’s Stand To It and Give Them Hell.

The Harwell committee is accepting nominations for the 28th annual Richard B. Harwell Award. For information visit www.civilwarroundtableofatlanta.org or contact Gary L. Barnes at tapdance3@aol.com.


New Library Of Congress Images Are Going Online
WASHINGTON — The Library of Congress has acquired 540 Civil War stereographs from the Robin G. Stanford Collection, 77 of which are online. These include images of President Lincoln’s funeral procession through several cities and South Carolina in 1860-61.

The images can be viewed in the Library’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog at
 www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=robin+stanford+collection&st=gallery. More images will be added each month, until all are online.

The Library acquired the collection through a purchase/gift from Robin G. Stanford of Houston, Texas. She has collected Civil War and Texas stereograph for 40 years.

With the assistance of the Center for Civil War Photography and retired Library of Congress curator Carol Johnson, the Library was allowed to select images that significantly improve its representation of the war and of mid-19th-century American life.

The Center for Civil War Photography has also funded the digitizing of the first group of stereographs.


GBPA Schedules Lady Farm Tours, Special Programs
GETTYSBURG, Pa. — Special events are scheduled until Dec. 19 at the Daniel Lady Farm, which the Gettysburg Battled Preservation Association (GBPA) owns and maintains with the help of volunteers and members of the American Living History Education Society (ALHES).

An April World War II living history and demonstration weekend will be followed by “Early American Living History” on May 9-10. Over Memorial Day weekend, May 23-25, the farm will host its annual Military Timeline event, with participants joining in Gettysburg’s annual Memorial Day parade.

The season’s first “Soldiers of the Civil War” June on 13-14 will feature living history and demonstrations focusing on soldiers and civilians on both sides with an emphasis on the treatment of wounded soldiers.

More information about the GBPA is at www.gbpa.org.