Civil War Battle Sketches

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AUG

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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/2012/05/24/battlefield-art-with-national-geographic-magazine-and-author-harry-katz/
 

ole

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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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AUG

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A few from Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/

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Fighting in the woods, Kearneys division repulsing the enemy, June 30, 1862 (battle of Glendale) by Alfred Waud.

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Battle of Second Bull Run, August 30, 1862, by Edwin Forbes.

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Defeat of the Army of Genl. Pope at Manassas on the Old Bull run battleground, August 30, 1862, by Alfred Waud.

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1st Virginia Cavalry, September 1862, by Alfred Waud.

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The Wilderness, on the Brock road, 2nd Corps, May 11, 1864, by Edwin Forbes.

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7th N.Y. Heavy Arty. at Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864, by Alfred Waud.

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Ricketts' Advance, Third Winchester, September 19, 1864, by Alfred Waud.

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5th Corps, 7th of February, 1865 (battle of Hatcher's Run), by Alfred Waud.

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Last stand of Picketts men. Battle of Five Forks, April 1, 1865, by Alfred Waud.

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Cavalry charge by Edwin Forbes.

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Cavalry charge near Brandy Station, Va., by Edwin Forbes.
 

AUG

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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.
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.
20060729145624.jpg

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AUG

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Another good one, the 44th Indiana at Shiloh by Henry Lovie.

c61febddf9ceecbcad181a9674180803--battle-of-shiloh-peach-orchard.jpg

"The woods on fire. The 44th Regt. Ind. Voltr. Col. H.B. Reed commdg. Left Wing near the Peach Orchard."
 
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oleslavecatcher

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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/2012/05/24/battlefield-art-with-national-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/
I own this book. It is a really great collection.
 
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