The Department issued this stamp as the first in the series of five stamps marking the Civil War Centennial on April 12, 1961, through the Charleston, South Carolina, post office.
Designed by Charles R. Chickering, the stamp features an image of a seacoast gun from Fort Sumter and an officer in a typical uniform of the time against a background of palmetto leaves, intended to suggest the geographical and political area of the opening of Civil War hostilities.
This stamp was printed by the rotary process, electric-eye perforated, and issued in panes of fifty stamps each. An initial printing of 120 million stamps was authorized.
Postal Bulletin (March 16, 1961).