1995 32¢ Jefferson Davis
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.
After an undistinguished career in the military, Jefferson Davis entered the political scene, and in 1845 won a seat in the House of Representatives. Following the Mexican War, he returned to politics and served as a U.S. senator from 1847-50.
Appointed secretary of war in 1853 by President Pierce, Davis introduced more efficient weapons and an improved system of infantry tactics. In 1857 he was re-elected to the Senate. A familiar figure on the debate floor, he was a staunch supporter of slavery, championing the constitutional rights of the states. When Mississippi seceded from the Union, Davis resigned from the Senate hoping to become head of the Army of the Confederate States. Instead he was appointed president of the Confederacy.
Inaugurated on February 18, 1861, he led a thoroughly unprepared and ill-equipped nation into the Civil War. Difficulties with his Congress and his perceived mismanagement of the war caused him to be unpopular with many. Shortly after Lee’s surrender, Davis was taken prisoner, and indicted by a grand jury for treason. Released on bail, he was never tried. His suffering in prison and his lifelong defense of the southern cause later won him the respect of his fellow southerners.