Released to collectors July 31, 2013 along with
Owney the Postal Dog, James Madison, Antietam, & So Long Stan Musial
Having not studied the means by which the North acquired New Orleans during the Civil War, I've always assumed the North fought its way down the Mississippi river and into the port city. Actually, I've come to learn Farragut and the Union armada traveled north, up from the gulf, pressing through two forts on the river, and into New Orleans.
When complete, the Civil War set will be comprised of 10 covers, 2 stamps being released per year, over a five-year period. Six issues have been thus far painted. A few whole sets remain available for collecting. You can collect the existing six issues, then subscribe to the remaining four, to be painted in the near future.
First Day of Issue
New Orleans 1862
First Day of Issue
April 24, 2012
New Orleans, LA 70113
ISSUE TOTAL SIZE
If you recall, when I produced the 1861 Civil War set, I focused on two military leaders of the Confederate. I stated when it came time to paint the 1862 set, I would even the score, highlighting generals of the Union...here they are. The capture of New Orleans during the American Civil War was an important event for the Union. Having fought past Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the Union was unopposed in its capture of the city itself and spared the destruction suffered by many other Southern cities. This capture of the largest Confederate city was a major turning point and an incident of international importance. During the year 1860 New Orleans was one of the greatest ports in the world, with 33 different steamship lines and trade worth 500 million dollars passing through the city. The population not only outnumbered any other city in the South, but was larger than that of the four largest cities combined. Control of the Mississippi River was a necessary move and the Union plan was to enter the mouth of the Mississippi River, ascend to New Orleans and capture the city, thereby closing off the mouth of the Mississippi to Rebel ships. But the Southern military strategists planned for a Union attack down the Mississippi but not from the Gulf of Mexico. In early 1862, the Confederates concentrated their forces in northern Mississippi and western Tennessee. Many of these troops fought at Shiloh in Tennessee on April 6 and 7. With eight Rebel gunboats dispatched up the great river to stop a Union flotilla above Memphis, this left only 3,000 militia, two uncompleted ironclads and a few steamboats to defend New Orleans. Flag Officer David G. Farragut undertook this quest with his West Gulf Blockading Squadron. He bombarded and fought his way past Forts Jackson and St. Philip, managing to get 13 ships up river on April 24, 1862. At this point Louisiana was left with only one option: evacuation. The city was in a poor position to defend against a hostile fleet as high water outside the levees elevated the Union ships above the city allowing for them to fire down on the
buildings below. Also any break in the levees would have flooded most of the city, destroying it within a day. This proved to be the case in 2005 when hurricane Katrina wiped out the city of New Orleans due to a break in the levee. Despite the vulnerability of the city, the citizens, military and civil authorities, stood their ground to the point of being defiant. On April 25, Farragut sent Captain Bailey to accept the surrender of the city, but armed mobs within the city defied the Union officers and marines that arrived. General Lovell refused to surrender the city, along with Mayor Monroe. So angry where the people that a Union flag had been raised over the former U.S. Mint by marines, that it was pulled down and destroyed by a mob. However, Farragut did not destroy the city in response, but he moved upriver to subdue fortifications north of the city. On April 29, Farragut and 250 marines from the USS Hartford removed the Louisiana state flag from City Hall and on May 2, U.S. Secretary William Seward declared New Orleans “recovered”. New Orleans was occupied without resistance. For his part in the capture, David Farragut was honored by Congress with a newly created rank title of rear admiral. This was a rank never before used in the U.S. Navy. Before this time, the American Navy had resisted the rank of admiral, preferring the term “flag officer”, to distinguish the rank from the traditions of the European navies. The battle to capture New Orleans cost Farragut a mere 37 killed and 149 wounded. For Lovell, however, the fighting along the river wound up costing him 782 killed and wounded, and approximately 6,000 captured. The loss of the city would ultimately end Lovell’s career while advancing Farraguts. Eventually, Farragut was able to take control of much of the lower Mississippi and succeeded in capturing Baton Rouge and Natchez. The capture of New Orleans meant a capture of the South’s richest city and largest port. It remains one of the most resounding victories in American naval history.