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Stamps to mark Gettysburg's 150th

| Thursday, May 23, 2013, 12:10 a.m.
The U.S. Postal Service is unveiling two stamps being issued in honor of the 150th anniversaries of the battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg. The stamps are being unveiled in a ceremony Thursday, May 23 in Gettysburg. The sheet also features a photo of three Confederates captured during the Battle of Gettysburg. Their descendant, Clate Dolinger of Pembroke, Va., will be present at the unveiling . Pictured from right to left, Dolinger’s great, great grandfather Andrew Blevins, who served with the North Carolina 30th Infantry Regiment. John Baldwin, who is a distant relative on Dolinger’s grandmother’s side, and served with the Virginia 50th Infantry Regiment. And at far left, Andrew Blevin’s son, Ephraim, who served with North Carolina’s 37th Infantry Regiment.The photo was taken by photographer Matthew Brady.
The Battle of Gettysburg stamp is a reproduction of an 1887 chromolithograph by Thure de Thulstrup (1848-1930), a Swedish-born artist who became an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly after the Civil War. Thulstrup’s work was one of a series of popular prints commissioned in the 1880s by Boston publisher Louis Prang & Co. to commemorate the Civil War. The illustration depicts Union Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock directing the Second Corps in the defense agaubst Pickett's Charge.

Clate Dolinger was a boy when he first saw the black-and-white Civil War photograph of relatives that his grandmother stored away in the family picture box.

On Thursday, the 73-year-old Virginia barber will stand for the first time on the hallowed ground where the image was taken nearly 150 years ago.

The image of three Confederate soldiers, taken by the first photojournalist, Mathew Brady, appears as the backdrop of the U.S. Postal Service's “Civil War 1863 Battle of Gettysburg and Battle of Vicksburg Forever stamp sheet,” the latest in a series of stamps commemorating the Civil War sesquicentennial.

“I think I'll feel pretty proud that my family is getting recognized,” said Dolinger, who will attend the official dedication at Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

Union soldiers during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, captured Dolinger's great, great grandfather Andrew Blevins, of the North Carolina 30th Infantry Regiment; his son, Ephraim, of North Carolina's 37th Infantry Regiment; and the Virginia 50th Infantry Regiment's John Baldwin, a great, great uncle on his grandmother's side.

Dolinger said his grandmother showed him the photograph and told him about the men in it when he was about 10.

“I thought it was fascinating to see a picture of my granddaddy's granddaddy,” Dolinger said.

Jason Cato is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7936 or jcato@tribweb.com.

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