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Civil War Battle Sketches

Discussion in 'Artwork of the American Civil War' started by AUG351, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. AUG351

    AUG351 Captain Forum Host

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    At the time of the Civil War, camera shutters were too slow to record movement sharply. Celebrated photographers such as Mathew Brady and Timothy O’Sullivan, encumbered by large glass negatives and bulky horse-drawn processing wagons, could neither maneuver the rough terrain nor record images in the midst of battle. So newspaper publishers hired amateur and professional illustrators to sketch the action for readers at home and abroad. Embedded with troops on both sides of the conflict, these “special artists,” or “specials,” were America’s first pictorial war correspondents. They were young men (none were women) from diverse backgrounds—soldiers, engineers, lithographers and engravers, fine artists, and a few veteran illustrators—seeking income, experience, and adventure.
    It was a cruel adventure. One special, James R. O’Neill, was killed while being held prisoner by Quantrill’s Raiders, a band of Rebel guerrillas. Two other specials, C. E. F. Hillen and Theodore Davis, were wounded. Frank Vizetelly was nearly killed at Fredericksburg, Virginia, in December 1862, when a “South Carolinian had a portion of his head carried away, within four yards of myself, by a shell.” Alfred Waud, while documenting the exploits of the Union Army in the summer of 1862, wrote to a friend: “No amount of money can pay a man for going through what we have had to suffer lately.”
    The English-born Waud and Theodore Davis were the only specials who remained on assignment without respite, covering the war from the opening salvos in April 1861 through the fall of the Confederacy four years later. Davis later described what it took to be a war artist: “Total disregard for personal safety and comfort; an owl-like propensity to sit up all night and a hawky style of vigilance during the day; capacity for going on short food; willingness to ride any number of miles horseback for just one sketch, which might have to be finished at night by no better light than that of a fire.”
    "In spite of the remarkable courage these men displayed and the events they witnessed, their stories have gone unnoticed: Virginia native son and Union supporter D. H. Strother’s terrifying assignment sketching the Confederate Army encampments outside Washington, D.C., which got him arrested as a spy; Theodore Davis’s dangerously ill-conceived sojourn into Dixie in the summer of 1861 (he was detained and accused of spying); W. T. Crane’s heroic coverage of Charleston, South Carolina, from within the Rebel city; Alfred Waud’s detention by a company of Virginia cavalry (after he sketched a group portrait, they let him go); Frank Vizetelly’s eyewitness chronicle of Jefferson Davis’s final flight into exile.

    - From an interview with author, Harry Katz, who published the book The Civil War Sketch Book, which is filled with Civil War period sketches from professional illustrators documenting the events for newpapers and sketches by soldiers or civilians.
    http://emergingcivilwar.com/2012/05...al-geographic-magazine-and-author-harry-katz/

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    "Shell burst in the spot sketched [center left] killed 6 horses & wounded all the postition [sic] and tore Sergeant Tosey previously wounded in pieces," wrote Henri Lovie. He called this scene the Union's "Desperate Retreat."

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    On July 2, 1863, the Louisiana Tigers, depicted by Alfred Waud, attack the Union's XI Corps during the Battle of Gettysburg.

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    Gen. Andrew Humphreys leads a futile Union charge in this sketch by Alfred Waud of the 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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    Frank Vizetelly's depiction of the Southern victory at Fredericksburg, Virginia, shows Confederate troops firing down on Union soldiers.

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    English war artist Frank Vizetelly huddled inside Fort Fisher while it was being shelled by more than 50 Union warships. His drawing of the attack ran two months later as an engraving in the Illustrated London News.

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    Battle of Fort Fisher.



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    Assualt on Fort Blakely

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/05/civil-war-sketches/art-gallery#/1
    http://www.sonofthesouth.net/
     
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  3. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Another thing we tend to forget, AUG, is that photographs had to be turned into etchings before they could be reproduced in print. Same with sketches. It was many years after the war that a photo or a sketch could be published in a newspaper.

    Brady's photos were distributed by mail and first hand purchase.
     
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  4. Borderruffian

    Borderruffian 1st Lieutenant

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    Pvt Andrew Tinkham Company F, 1st Kansas Volunteers, sketch of the battle of Wilson's Creek.

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  5. AUG351

    AUG351 Captain Forum Host

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    Kilpatrick's last charge at Waynesborough, Georgia, December 4th, 1864

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    Charge of the Third Brigade, First Division, Sixteenth Corps, at the Battle of Nashville, Tennessee, December 15th, 1864

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    Attack on Fort Stedman, Petersburg, Virginia

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    Bombardment of Fort Wagner

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    Battle of the Crater, Petersburg, Virginia by Alfred Rudolph Waud

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    Battle of Ezra Church, Fulton County, Georgia by Theodore R. Davis

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    Battle of Third Winchester

    http://www.sonofthesouth.net/
     
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  6. AUG351

    AUG351 Captain Forum Host

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    Yes, there are many sketches you'll find that are exact copies of photographs so they could be published in the newspaper, like this one of the sunken road at Antietam.
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  7. 4th-MSM

    4th-MSM Sergeant

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    Battle of Dug Springs, Missouri:

    BattleofDugSprings.jpg
     
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  8. kel1985

    kel1985 2nd Lieutenant

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    Very cool thread! Thanks for posting!
     
  9. AUG351

    AUG351 Captain Forum Host

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    The Battle of Gettysburg - Longstreet's Attack on our Left Center - Blue Ridge in the Distance - From a Drawing by Mr. A. R. Waud

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    Charge of General Sickles's Brigade at the Battle of Fairoaks

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    Attack on Kirby's Battery at Fairoaks by M. R. Meade

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    The Army of the Potomac- Griffin's and Martin's Batteries Pouring Canister into the Rebel Ranks at Gaines Mill

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    Battle of Malvern Hill

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    Battle of Chickahominy by A. R. Waud
     
  10. Jace Beleren

    Jace Beleren Private

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    Very cool love seeing those.
     
  11. oleslavecatcher

    oleslavecatcher Private

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    I own this book. It is a really great collection.
     

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