Friday, August 11, 2017

1951 U.S. stamp marks United Confederate Veterans' last reunion

This 3-cent stamp, which I'll be sending overseas for a Postcrossing mailing, was issued in Norfolk, Virginia, on May 30, 1951. It was issued in conjunction with that summer's last-ever reunion of an association called the United Confederate Veterans. The group consisted of veterans who had fought for the Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War, from 1861 to 1865. So, as you might imagine, their numbers were dwindling precipitously by the summer of 1951. In fact, only three Confederate veterans attended that summer's UCV reunion, according to Wikipedia.

The last surviving (and confirmed) Confederate soldier, the wonderfully named Pleasant Crump, died at age 104 on December 31, 1951. His long life ended, somewhat ironically, in the town of Lincoln, Alabama, although that town is named for Revolutionary War Major General Benjamin Lincoln, not the man who led the fight to preserve the Union.

This gray stamp is officially U.S. #998 and 119 million of them were printed, so they're not hard to come across. According to the background information for the stamp on the Mystic Stamp Company's website, the United Confederate Veterans formed their association in 1889 and had their first reunion in 1890. Its constitution declared the organization’s purpose as "strictly social, literary, historical, and benevolent," and the association invited Confederate veterans, Union veterans and the general public to its reunions.

I'm guessing, by the way, that the United Confederate Veterans, along with seemingly everyone else, wouldn't have been in favor of the new "what if" Civil War series that HBO has in the works.

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