Identification Help - Williamsport Crossing

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Williamsport Crossing.jpg


Can anyone help give me any guesses as to who the two generals to the right of Lee (his left) are in this John Paul Strain? I clearly see Lee and Longstreet but the other two have been stumping me. I'm assuming that the captain in between them is probably not anyone. I have the chance to buy a giclée of this and I'm thinking about it. But if I buy the picture I want to be able to tell who's in it. Thanks to anyone who's able to help.
 

lelliott19

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I'll be interested to see what others think. Lee crossed the Potomac into Maryland with Longstreet's corps, so Im guessing the generals depicted in the painting are all from the 1st corps? Whos the guy on the left carrying the flag? Is that Moxley Sorrell? I'm thinking the Gen just behind and to Lee's right [as you face the picture] dressed in grey might be Paul J Semmes? The man further to the right, down the hill [on the bay horse with a star] is that a general or another rank? If its a General, Id guess Jos B Kershaw. If not then IDK ?

I can say with relative certainty that I dont think any of the men up front with Lee are intended to be Wm Barksdale, Wm T Wofford, or Henry C Cabell (artillery) They were all older than the men depicted and have distinct appearance I think Id recognize.

Paging @Tom Elmore @Wallyfish @Andy Cardinal @rpkennedy @pamc153PA and other Gettysburg gurus.
 
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rpkennedy

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I could see the gentleman in grey to the right of Lee as Paul Semmes. The man in butternut to the right is stumping me and the barefaced general could only be Barksdale but is missing his long hair (I can't think of another general without a mustache or beard off the top of my head).

Ryan
 
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lelliott19

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The man in butternut to the right is stumping me
Me too. No idea.
the barefaced general could only be Barksdale but is missing his long hair (I can't think of another general without a mustache or beard off the top of my head).
If that guy's a General, I think its Jos Kershaw. His hair and eyes were so light, you could barely see his mustache. His horse, "Old Stone", was a grey though. But that was really hard info to find. I just found it about a year ago in a post-war newspaper account of Cedar Creek, so Strain may not have known.

1559411418827.png
 

rpkennedy

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Me too. No idea.
If that guy's a General, I think its Jos Kershaw. His hair and eyes were so light, you could barely see his mustache. His horse, "Old Stone", was a grey though. But that was really hard info to find. I just found it about a year ago in a post-war newspaper account of Cedar Creek, so Strain may not have known.

View attachment 310133
I can only blow the picture up so much on my phone and I would have sworn that the general on the far right has no facial hair. But it could just be my phone not giving me the resolution to see any.

Ryan
 

Tom Elmore

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(My fault, for some reason I was fixated on the recrossing of the Potomac on the retreat with regard to following information.)

From below references, Ewell's men forded the Potomac, but the troops of Longstreet and A. P. Hill recrossed on a pontoon bridge three miles downstream. I have no reference stating that Longstreet himself crossed in company with Lee, but nothing to refute it either. I would have expected the senior generals to be accompanied by their respective staff officers. Below are some relevant citations.

July 13, 3:30 p.m. Lee and staff forded the (Potomac) river. [Cleveland Morning Leader, July 17, 1863, quoting the American, Berlin, MD, July 16, 1863]

July 13. As Hood’s [actually Robertson's] brigade crossed, Lee, astride Traveler, watched as they passed – each soldier bared his head. No salute, no cheer, no word was spoken as they marched by. [Henry Haywood Daniel, 3rd Arkansas, Hood's division]

General Lee mounted on his horse, standing on the Virginia side, watching the last detachments of his troops returning after defeat. [Account of William Whitehead West, E/Cobb’s Legion, McLaws' division]

Found pontoon bridge being laid where road diverges from river south of Williamsport. Gen. Longstreet was up to his waist in the water, working as hard as any of the detail. The rain was still coming down, and a cold wind had set in from the west. [The Spirit Divided, Charles Holt Dobbs, Chaplain, 12th Mississippi, Hill's corps]

July 14, daylight. Crossed Potomac on a pontoon bridge. The river was flooded from recent rains. A portion of Lee’s army crossed by fording up the river at Williamsport. Dead mules and ambulances were floating down as we crossed. [Fighting with the 3rd Georgia, Alfred Zachry, Hill's corps]

July 13/14, night. Recrossed one mile above [upstream from] Williamsport. [Edward Johnson’s O.R., Ewell's corps]

July 14, a little after sunrise. Crossed at Williamsport, deep fording. Longstreet and Hill crossed on pontoon bridges. [Diary of Samuel W. Eaton, 57th North Carolina, Ewell's corps]

July 14, about daylight. Our division waded above Williamsport, the water was about 4 feet deep. We (also) fixed up pontoons and put them across at Falling Waters. [Letter of Surgeon Abram Schultz Miller, 25th Virginia, Johnson's division]

July 14, 4 a.m. Our [Ewell's] corps crossing, wading up to our shoulders. Longstreet and Hill crossed three miles below on pontoons. [Samuel Angus Firebaugh, 10th Virginia, Johnson's division]

July 14. Waded river up to my arms and two hundred yards wide. [Robert H. Depriest, I/2 VA, Johnson's division]
 
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lelliott19

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could only be Barksdale but is missing his long hair
Heres a blow up of that officer. I think you'e right that maybe its supposed to be Barksdale? Maybe he's wearing his hair in a "man bun" or a pony tail? :bounce: I don't see any facial hair at all when I blow it up - doesnt look like this guy is painted with a mustache or a beard.
1559421630939.png
 

rpkennedy

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Heres a blow up of that officer. I think you'e right that maybe its supposed to be Barksdale? Maybe he's wearing his hair in a "man bun" or a pony tail? :bounce: I don't see any facial hair at all when I blow it up - doesnt look like this guy is painted with a mustache or a beard.
View attachment 310147
Barksdale is the only clean shaven general I can think of in the AoNV at that time. And I can see the similarity in his face but he's missing some hair. And thank you @lelliott19 for making me picture William Barksdale with a man bun.

Ryan
 
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Tom Elmore

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Ok, I am on the right page now with regard to the first crossing of the Potomac and not the retreat. It seems Pickett may have been with Lee and Longstreet when they crossed:

June 25. Generals Lee, Longstreet, Pendleton, Pickens [Pickett] with their troops passed through Martinsburg. [Diary of Miss Susan Nourse Riddle, Martinsburg]

Crossing at Williamsport, June 25. Ladies welcomed Lee, who introduced them to Longstreet and Pickett. One lady attempted to place an enormous wreath on Lee’s charger. The horse objected to it seriously, and the wreath was turned over to one of the couriers. [Lt. Francis W. Dawson, Assistant Ordnance Officer to Longstreet, Reminiscences of Confederate Service 1861-1865]

I would note that Barksdale was a large man, it took several men to carry him off the field on July 2.
 

Andy Cardinal

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I would think if it were Semmes, Kershaw, and/or Barksdale in the picture, Lafayette McLaws would be there somewhere too.
 
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