American Military History Through Stamps (1775-1913)

The Battle of Shiloh

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The 4-cent Battle of Shiloh stamp was issued April 7, 1962.

In April 1862, Union General Grant was trying to push towards Corinth, Mississippi in order to gain control of railway communications. The Confederates, led by General Albert Johnston, were determined to stop this and made a surprise attack on the Union camp. The battle lasted from April 6-7, 1862, before the Confederates were forced to retreat. Of the approximately 40,000 Confederate soldiers who participated in the battle, 1,728 were killed and 11,000 wounded. Of 63,000 participating Northern troops, 1,754 were killed and more than 13,000 were wounded. More Americans died in this battle than in all the military engagements up to that point in the war combined. The battle made leaders realize that the war was not going to come to a conclusion anytime soon.

The stamp was designed by Noel Sickles and portrays a Civil War rifleman crouching behind a tree stump. It is printed on light peach blossom paper, reflecting the fact that an important phase of the battle was fought in a peach orchard. The style of the drawing is meant to simulate that of a rapid battlefield sketch.