2014 49¢ Petersburg
Civil War: 1864
The Battle of Petersburg stamp is part of a series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The stamp is a reproduction of an 1892 painting by J. Andre Castaigne. It pictures the 22nd United States Colored Troops, who took part in the battle
In the spring of 1864, stinging from failure to take the Confederate capital of Richmond, General Ulysses S. Grant set his sights on Petersburg. Just 23 miles south of Richmond, the city was a central rail hub essential to the Confederate war effort. If the Union took Petersburg it would cripple supply lines and choke the Confederate Army at Richmond. General Robert E. Lee would be forced to come out and fight in the open or flee the city.
The first Union assault of the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign came on June 9 under the command of Major General Benjamin Butler. Although stronger in number and fighting a force of mostly old men and young boys, the initial effort failed. Butler’s commanders inexplicably delayed the attack long enough for the defenders to reinforce their lines and were repelled. Within the week, Grant arrived and repeated Butler’s tactic. Again, delays in the assault allowed the Confederates time to shift forces and strengthen their defenses.
After four days of continuous uncoordinated assaults and heavy losses with no significant gains, the Union Army was told to “dig in.” So began the nearly 10-month siege at Petersburg that would ultimately push Lee out of Richmond and spell defeat for the Confederacy.
49¢ Civil War Sesquicentennial, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: July 30, 2014
City: Petersburg, VA
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Printing Method: Lithographed in double-sided sheets of 72 with six panes of 12 per sheet
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11