Arago: Exhibits

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The American Civil War, Fact and Fiction

32c Mary Chesnut single

This 32-cent stamp was issued June 29, 1995.

1c Margaret Mitchell single

This 1-cent stamp was issued June 30, 1986.

Scott 3185i

This 32-cent stamp was issued on September 10, 1998.

The Civil War greatly affected American life and history. The works of Mary Chestnut and Margaret Mitchell demonstrate the reality of the Civil War and how the war is remembered in American Society.

Mary Chestnut (1823-1913) was a South Carolina resident who kept a diary throughout the Civil War. Her diary provides particularly interesting information due to the fact that her husband, James Chestnut, was a United States senator for South Carolina until the state seceded from the Union in 1860. Chestnut was also close friends with Jefferson Davis and his wife, Varina. Now known as Mary Chestnut’s Civil War, her diary provides insight into the influences of the Civil War on daily life. The right side stamp above was designed by Mark Hess for the American Civil War Issue. It contains an illustration of Mary Chestnut writing in her diary at a desk.

Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949) published Gone With the Wind a highly romanticized story of the South during the Civil War, in 1937. Although it was her only novel, it remains one of the most popular books in American history, and also won her the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. In addition to the book, a movie version of Gone with the Wind opened in 1939 and is one of the most famous American movies ever made.The center stamp above, was released on thr fiftieth anniversary of Gone With the Wind. The ceremony was held at the Omni International Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. The stamp contains a portrait of Mitchell on it, and was designed by Ron Adair for the Great American Series. The stamp to the right was issued in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of the Celebrate The Century: 1930s Issue. The stamp was designed by Howard Paine, and contains an illustration of Gone With the Wind on it.