1995 32¢ Battle of Shiloh
Issue Date: June 29, 1995
City: Gettysburg, PA
Quantity: 15,000,000 panes of 20
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
The release of the 20 Civil War stamps marked the most extensive effort in the history of the U.S. Postal Service to review and verify the historical accuracy of stamp subjects. Each of the 16 individuals and four battles featured were chosen from a master list of 50 subjects, which included Presidents, generals, major battles, rank-and-file soldiers, women, African and Native Americans, and abolitionists. The goal of the U.S.P.S. was to show the wide variety of people who participated in the Civil War.
Battle of Shiloh
One of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, the Battle of Shiloh was named after a church on the battlefield. Ironically Shiloh means “place of peace.” A pivotal battle, it left Union armies in control of the central Mississippi River and large areas of western territories.
By the spring of 1862, Union forces had pushed into southern Tennessee. In an effort to cut off the South from the railroad line that linked it with the East, the North planned to join General Buell’s troops with Grant’s at Corinth, Mississippi. But the Confederates, hearing of the plan, decided to strike Grant at Pittsburgh Landing before the two armies could unite.
The surprise attack on April 6, 1862, caught Grant off guard and nearly crushed his troops. Believing he had Grant exactly where he wanted him, General Beauregard ordered his troops to withdraw for the evening. It was perhaps the greatest mistake of the war, for when he returned the next morning Beauregard found the ground he had evacuated the night before now manned by fresh troops from Buell. After a desperate attempt to break through Union lines, Beauregard ordered his troops to retreat to Corinth. Following Grant’s heavy losses many people urged Lincoln to replace him. But Lincoln refused, saying, “I can’t spare this man – he fights!”