A Postal Service Event In Gettysburg Features A Descendant of Rebels In A Famous Stamp Photo, Tom Barnes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 23, 2013.
Ever since 1949 -- when he was only 10 years old -- Clate Dolinger of
southwestern Virginia has known that the three Confederate soldiers in a
famous Civil War photo taken in July 1863 were his ancestors. "The
soldier on the right is Andrew Blevins, and he was my granddaddy's
granddaddy," he said in a cell phone interview Wednesday. "The one on
the left is his son, Ephraim Blevins, and the one in the middle is my
grandmother's great-uncle, John Baldwin."
Mr. Dolinger spoke to a
reporter while making a six-hour drive from his home in Pembroke, Va.,
to Gettysburg, Pa., where today he will speak at a news conference held
by the U.S. Postal Service as it unveils a new postage stamp honoring
the battle of Gettysburg and, in particular, a part of it called
Pickett's Charge, fought July 3, 1863. The stamp shows Southern
forces under Gen. George Pickett trying unsuccessfully to dislodge Union
forces from a hilltop stronghold.
On the back of each sheet of
Gettysburg stamps will be the photo taken by famed Civil War
photographer Mathew Brady, showing the three Confederate soldiers
related to Mr. Dolinger. They were taken prisoner on the battle's last
day. The photo shows them carrying extra bedrolls but without weapons.
They shuttled to various prison camps and often were put on burial
"Humiliated and knowing they would be transferred to a POW
camp, they collected extra clothing and blankets from the dead, to
prepare for their internment," Gettysburg officials said in a news
release. The three Southerners weren't released by Northern officials
until after the war ended in April 1865.
Mr. Dolinger said he
stopped into his local post office a couple weeks ago and saw a sheet of
the new Pickett's Charge stamps, with the photo of his family members
on the back.
"I told the postal clerk that I wanted five sheets of
these stamps," he said. "She said why, and I said, 'Because that's my
kin.' She said, 'The men in the photo are your people?' and I said yes.
They were drafted into the [Confederate] army and they had to go."
Virginia postal official called Washington, D.C., and told them about
Mr. Dolinger, and he was invited to speak at today's stamp ceremony. Mr. Dolinger, now a 73-year-old barber, is still cutting hair every day for only $4 a head. Full Text Continued At Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 23, 2013