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A rare Civil War scene of Shiloh Spring, drawn sometime around the Battle of Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862. The image shows four mounted Union soldiers and an infantryman filling his canteen at the spring. This print is a lithograph after a sketch by A.E. Mathews, a soldier in the 31st. Ohio Volunteer Regiment. Mathews, who went on to considerable fame as a lithographic artist of western scenes, worked as an artist before the war and he continued this work once he had joined the Union army. Mathews drew not only this image, but also one of the Shiloh Church (after which the battle was named) and one of the battle itself. These prints may have been commissioned by Mathews from Ehrgott, Forbriger & Co., with hopes of selling them to the public back home as frameable prints or possibly in a portfolio. Ehrgott, Forbriger & Co. are particularly known for the Civil War portraits, but they also issued a portfolio of views in West Virginia after another Ohio soldier, J. Nep Roesler that may have inspired Mathews to try his luck with a series of Civil War scenes. Whatever its nature, this project appears to have been unsuccessful as the prints are very rare.
The battle of Shiloh was one of the fiercest of the Civil War and Ohio volunteer troops were intimately involved; about one-fifth of the Union army at the battle was comprised of troops from the buckeye state. This image shows scattered tree trunks, which may have been the result of the army gathering fire wood, but more likely was the result of the cannon and rifle fire during the battle. $250
John B. Bachelder. "The Army of the Potomac. The Wagon Trains of the Army of the Potomac en Route From Chickahominy to James River Va. During the Seven Days Fight (Fording Bear Creek One Mile Below Savage Station) June 29th 1862." Boston: J.B. Bachelder, 1863. Tinted lithograph by J.H. Bufford. 17 x 27 (image) plus full margins. Conserved, but some old stains, remnants of a mat burn and rubs evident. Good condition and overall fine appearance. Exceptionally strong color.
An excellent Civil War print by Jonathan B. Bachelder showing the Army of the Potomac crossing Bear Creek, on June 29th, 1862, with wonderful realism and detail. Bachelder (1825-1894) was a highly esteemed artist of the period, who was known to have spent considerable time during the Civil War in the field, making on-the-spot sketches. This print is clearly based on such sketches, and it is an excellent representation of what must have been a typical scene. The huge baggage train of the Army stretches off in many columns into the distance, where a dust cloud arises on the horizon. Once the river is reached, Bachelder depicts the difficulties of crossing with the wagons. In the foreground, those soldiers that have made it to the other side are seen lounging under trees, sitting around campfires, and generally setting up camp to wait for the rest of the Army. Harry T. Peters, in America on Stone, calls this a rare and fine print. It is indeed a wonderful look at non-battle life in the Union Army. $1,800
The Chicago firm of Kurz & Allison is well known for its production of commemorative prints of American historical scenes. Founded in 1880, the firm's avowed purpose was to design "for large scale establishments of all kinds, and in originating and placing on the market artistic and fancy prints of the most elaborate workmanship." Elaborate they certainly were- the majority of their prints being bright and dramatic, with action throughout the image. Drawn in a broad, graphic style that developed from Kurz's background as a muralist, these prints have a striking appearance that makes them not only interesting historical images but also excellent decorative prints.
All approx. 21 x 28. Chromolithographs. Very good condition, except as noted.
Prints from the Louis Prang firm. Boston, 1886-1887. Each 15 x 21 7/8. Chromolithographs. Very good condition, except as noted. A series of striking images of the rare and important Civil War series issued by Louis Prang between 1886 and 1888. In the early 1880s, Century Magazine had issued a very popular work entitled Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, and the Kurz & Allison firm (cf. above) had issued a large chromolithograph of Gettysburg. In response to these, Louis Prang decided to issue a portfolio of 18 elaborate chromolithographs of important battles of the war. Prang termed his prints "aquarelle facsimile prints" to distinguish them from "mere" chromos. Prang claimed they were made by a "new and secret process", but primarily they were chromos done without any line work. They were based on watercolors commissioned by Prang and they were intended to be naturalistic and accurate, for Prang was aiming these prints for veterans and their descendants. Prang got testimonials on their accuracy from prominent veterans and he included detailed text on the battles involved. The prints were quite popular, helping to create a great surge in patriotic nostalgia about the war.
There were 18 prints in all: 6 of eastern battles, 6 of western battles, and 6 naval images. There was intended to be something for everyone, and Prang focused mostly on heroes who were still living at the time. The were issued either in a portfolio or separately for framing. At first they were issued in parts over time, but eventually were packaged into three groups: East/West/Naval. These are not to be confused with the more common later Prang chromos, also issued by the American Lithographic Company (cf. below). Not only are these more finely produced, but they are also much scarcer.
From the top of a hill, General Ulysses S. Grant uses a field glass to follow the Union assault on Missionary Ridge. Grant is joined by Generals Gordon Granger (left) and George H. Thomas, whose chief of staff would later this image as a "beautiful lifelike picture." Thulstrup's details are noteworthy, from the orderly that holds the general's horses in the foreground to the artillery smoke rising from the distant enemy. $850
In June, 1863, General Joseph E. Johnston's army was slowly pushed back towards Atlanta by General Sherman. By the middle of the month, the Confederates had taken up a position centered on Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia. From their dominating position at the summit, Confederate gunners were able to maintain their position, despite fierce attacks by Federal troops. Sherman decided to then simply pass around the mountain, forcing Johnston to abandon the mountain his troops had fought so hard to maintain. This print shows the attack on the Confederate left wing by Gneal John A. Logan's troops. $875
On September 19, 1864, the Battle of Winchester was fought along the Opequan Creek in the Shenandoah Valley, between the Union General Sheridan and Confederate General Early. This image shows a bold cavalry charge by General Wesley Merritt's Regular Cavalry Brigade. The ground at Winchester was particularly suited for a cavalry charge and the attack with sabres drawn, under Colonel Charles R. Lowell, was the most effective such in the war, completely breaking the Confederate lines. In this image, Lowell is shown leading the charge on a white horse, accompanied to his right by General George A. Custer (in black sombrero and red cravat), as well as other officers in the brigade. $850
Near the end of the long siege of Vicksburg, Union General M. D. Leggett's Illinois soldiers battled for the Confederate stronghold of Fort Hill. In this image, Thulstrup illustrates the volley of hand grenades and rifle fire exchanged during the long, bloody fight between equally determined armies on June 25, 1863. With his dramatic portrayal of the flag bearer near the top of the hill, he signals the Union victory. $875
Prang also issued some less expensive versions of these still very attractive Civil War images beginning about 1888. These were reissued later by the American Lithographic Co. All of the following are from the latter reissue, unless identified otherwise.
Winslow Homer "The Army of the Potomac -- A Sharp-Shooter on Picket Duty." New York: Harper's Weekly, 1862. 9 1/8 x 13 3/4. Wood engraving. Light stain in top margin, not affecting image. Otherwise, very good condition. $750
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