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Battle of Wilson's Creek

Also: Battle of Springfield

On August 10th, Nathaniel Lyon, commander of the Union forces in Missouri, tried a surprise attack on a Confederate army, under the command of Brig. General Benjamin McCulloch. In the Battle of Wilson's Creek, located about 10 miles southwest of Springfield, the Union forces, divided into two columns under the command of Lyon and Col. Franz Sigel, were initially successful, but events turned against them and they were forced to abandon the field. One major result of the battle was the loss of General Lyon, who was the first Union general killed in battle during the Civil War. Lyon's death made him a Union hero and a number of prints were issued in his memory.


Lyon at Battle of Wilson's Creek
"General Lyon at the Battle of Springfield." From Harper's Weekly. New York, August 31, 1861. Cover illustration, 9 1/4 x 11. Wood engraving. Very good condition.

A portrait of Lyon at the Battle of Wilson's Creek (here called the Battle of Springfield), issued within three weeks of the battle. This cover illustration helped make Lyon an early Union martyr. $45



Nathaniel Lyon
"Nathl. Lyon. Brig. Genl. U.S.A. Killed at the Battle of Springfield Mo. Aug. 10 1861." Cincinnati: Ehrgott, Forbriger & Co., ca. late 1861. Folio, ca. 12 1/2 x 9 1/2. Lithographs by Ehrgott, Forbriger & Co. Very good condition.

Perhaps in late 1861, but certainly by mid-1862, Ehrgott, Forbriger & Co. began to issue a series of portraits of Civil War figures: politicians as well as military and naval officers. These prints, which the firm continued to issue at least as late as 1864, were in many ways similar to the portraits issued by other firms such as Currier & Ives. This print, showing the Union hero General Lyon, was likely issued shortly after his death in August 1861. Note the similarity to the Harper's Weekly print above, though the face on this print was transferred directly from a photograph $275
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Battle of Wilson's Creek
H.C. Bispham. "Death of Gen. Lyon." From Samuel M. Schmucker's The History of the Civil War in the United States. Philadelphia: Jones Bros. & Co. and Chicago: Zeigler, McCurdy & Co, 1865, On sheet 6 1/2 x 9 3/4. Mezzotint with some line engraving by Samuel Sartain. Very good condition.

In 1863, even before the Civil War ended, historian Samuel Mosheim Schmucker (1823-1863) produced A History of the Civil War. Schmucker died that same year, but his work was revised and completed by after the war by L.P. Brockett (1820-1893). This is a nice example from this volume, engraved by Philadelphia craftsman, Samuel Sartain. $75



Lyon at Battle of Wilson's Creek
F.O.C. Darley. "Genl. Lyon's Charge at the Battle of Wilsons Creek." Prints from The Great Rebellion. Connecticut: Hurlburt, Williams, & Co., 1862. Ca. 4 1/2 x 7. Engraving. Very good condition

This engraving by American artist F.O.C. Darley shows Lyon at Wilson's Creek. Many post-bellum accounts included this battle with Lyon's tragic bravery. $75



Death of Lyons
F.O.C. Darley. "Battle of Wilson's Creek.--Fall of Genl. Lyon." From John S.C. Abbott's The History of the Civil War in America. New York: Henry Bill, 1866. 4 3/8 x 6 1/4. Steel engraving by Geo. F. Perine. Very good condition.

Another dramatic image of the battle by F.O.C. Darley, this showing the moment of Lyon's death. $75



Death of Gen Lyon
F.O.C. Darley. "Battle of Wilson's Creek, Mo. Death of General Lyon." From The Great Civil War. New York: Virtue & Yorston, ca. 1865. 5 1/8 x 7 5/8. Engraving by V. Balch. Very good condition.

A third image of the death of Lyon by Darley. As always with his work, lots of action. $75



Death of General Lyon
Alonzo Chappel. "Battle of Wilson's Creek--Death of Gen. Lyon." From Battles of the United States by Sea and Land. New York: Johnson, Fry & Co., ca. 1865. 5 1/4 x 7 1/8. Steel engraving. Very good condition.

Chappel was one of the most prolific of artists to recreate battle scenes from the Civil War and this is a very nice example of his work. $75



Battle of Wilson's Creek
"Battle of Wilson's Creek." Chicago: Kurz & Allison, 1893. 21 x 28. Chromolithograph. Very good condition.

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." Beginning in the late 1880s, when people began to look back at the Civil War and were interested in having pictures of its events, this firm issued a series of graphic and colored, though mostly made-up, images of the war's major battles. $575
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Battle-Field of Wilson's Creek, Mo., August 10, 1861 / Battle of Cedar Mountain, Va. fought August 9th, 1862 / Section of Buckingham and Appomattox Counties, Va., December 25th, 1863 / Section of Hanover, Henrico and part of Chesterfield Counties, Va., 1864 / Defenses of Macon, Ga., 1864 / Battle-Field of Chancellorville, Va., May 1 to 5. From the U.S. War Department's Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Gov't. Printing Office, 1891-95. Lithographed map, with some highlight color. Double folio size. On brittle paper. With old tears repaired with scotch tape.

Richard Stephenson has written, "This is the most detailed atlas yet published on the Civil War. It consists of reproductions of maps compiled by both Union and Confederate soldiers." [Stephenson, Civil War Maps, p 99.] The maps show many of the events of the Civil War with great detail, including topography, troop placements and movements, and other information of interest. These are the best near contemporary maps available of many of these battles, sieges, and other events of this conflict. $75
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©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. January 26, 2012