1995 32¢ Civil War
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.
Joseph E. Johnston
A West Point graduate, Joseph Eggleston Johnston had a distinguished career in the U.S. Army before resigning his commission to join the Confederacy. Promoted to full general following his decisive contribution to the victory at the First Battle of Bull Run, he was given command of the main Confederate Army in Virginia. When the Union Army advanced up the Virginia peninsula the following spring, Johnston moved in to attack. Wounded in the fighting that followed, he was succeeded by Robert E. Lee.
Following his recovery he was given overall command in the west, and in 1863 was placed in charge of the Army of Tennessee with orders to lead an offensive attack against Union troops in Chattanooga. Realizing the capabilities of his army, he instead began a brilliant retreat in front of General William T. Sherman’s advance towards Atlanta. Despite his skilled leadership Johnston was relieved by President Davis who thought him too cautious. In 1865 he returned to field command at the head of a small army opposing Sherman’s advance through the Carolinas. Against Davis’ wishes he surrendered to Sherman on April 26, 1865. In 1891, after standing in the rain at the funeral of his old adversary W. T. Sherman, Johnston died of pneumonia.