Gen. Winfield Scott served under every American president from Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln. He became an officer before the outbreak of the War of 1812 and was the commander of the U.S. Army from 1841 to 1861 – a period that included the Mexican-American War and the outbreak of civil war. By the end of his career, Scott held the rank of brevet lieutenant general (a rank so high that it had not been attained since George Washington). Though he was not the commander of the army during most of the U.S. Civil War, the generals Grant and Lee served under him before its outbreak. When Scott retired, he had served longer on active military duty than any other man in U.S. history. That record still held stands.
John Coffee’s sculpture of Scott was the basis for the 24-cent stamp engraving. The stamp was mostly used in combination with other denominations on cover to fulfill expensive postal rates. As with all stamps of the 1870-1871 Issue, the Scott stamp has two variations – one with grill, the other without. Approximately 1,150,000 stamps of both variations were printed by the National Bank Note Company.