DC -- Donald W. Reynolds Center (NPG) -- Exhibit: Civil War:
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SIPGCW_090221_035.JPG: Pistol carried by Colonel Elmer Ellsworth:
Colonel Elmer Ellsworth was carrying this Colt revolver when he entered a hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, in the predawn hours of May 24, 1861, to remove a Confederate flag from a flagpole atop the hotel's roof. On his way back down the stairs, with the flag in his grasp, Ellsworth was taken by surprise by the secessionist innkeeper, who instantly killed him with a blast from a shotgun. The innkeeper in turn was instantly shot and killed by one of Ellsworth's fellow officers, Francis Brownell, who donated this pistol and other artifacts related to Ellsworth's death to the Smithsonian.
SIPGCW_090221_048.JPG: Elmer E. Ellsworth (1837-1861)
Born Malta, New York
The death of Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth in Alexandria, Virginia was a flash point at the start of the Civil War. Ellsworth was the first Union officer to be shot in the four-year-long struggle. He commanded the Eleventh New York Fire Zouaves, which participated in the invasion of Northern Virginia on May 24, 1861. His death at the hands of a local innkeeper made him a martyr in the North. Ellsworth's funeral took place in the White House, where thousands viewed his corpse lying in state. Throughout the conflict, he would be recalled on stationery, in sheet music, and in lithographs.
SIPGCW_090221_061.JPG: Wood carving of George B. McClellan:
This wood carving was reputedly removed form the stern of a ship built in Thomaston, Maine.
SIPGCW_090221_100.JPG: PGT Beauregard
SIPGCW_090221_107.JPG: Allan Pinkerton, 1819-1884:
In the late summer of 1861, private detective Allan Pinkerton was recruited by General George B. McClellan to organize a secret service for his new Army of the Potomac. One of Pinkerton's primary duties was to use his operatives to try to discern the strength of the opposing Confederate forces. Under the best of circumstances, this was never a precise science. Pinkerton routinely overestimated the enemy's size and strength, which only fueled McClellan's natural tendency to be overly cautious in waging war. This image of Pinkerton (left), posing for the camera with President Lincoln and General John A. McClernand, was taken in 1862 near the Antietam battlefield shortly after the battle.
SIPGCW_090221_113.JPG: Dorothea Dix, 1802-1887
In 1861, Dorothea Dix was appointed superintendent of women nurses in Washington, DC, a title she would hold without salary for the next five years. On the brink of sixty, dour in temperament, and disciplined in her work, Dix was totally dedicated to her task. The qualifications she set were harsh even by the standards of her day: "All nurses are required to be plain looking women. Their dresses must be brown or black, with no bows, no curls, no jewelry, and no hoop-skirts." And she would consider no women under age thirty.
Dix worked throughout her life to improve conditions for the mentally ill. Her pioneering efforts established many institutions, such as St. Elizabeths in Washington, DC, the hospital that commissioned this portrait.
SIPGCW_090221_116.JPG: Pauline Cushman (1833-1893)
Born New Orleans, Louisiana
In 1862, Pauline Cushman was a struggling actress in a Louisville playhouse. A new opportunity soon presented itself, however; the chance to be a Union spy and infiltrate the rebels in Kentucky and Tennessee. Her allure and beauty aided her in obtaining information of value to the Federal army. Yet the frustrated actress soon proved to be wanting as a spy as well, generating suspicions and finally getting caught with secret papers. Confederate General Braxton Bragg had her tried, and a military court sentenced her to hang. Her sentence was delayed when her health broke, and then military operations intervened. Bragg moved his army, leaving Cushman behind. Rescued by Yankees at Shelbyville, Tennessee, she traveled north to much acclaim. President Lincoln made her an honorary major, and in her new uniform, she lectured about her clandestine adventures behind enemy lines.
SIPGCW_090221_128.JPG: George Armstrong Custer, 1839-1876:
In June 1861, George Armstrong Custer graduated last in his West Point class of thirty-four. Never a bookish soldier, Custer was keen to wield a sword in the Civil War, in which he served from beginning to end, from Manassas to Appomattox. Fearless and fortunate, Custer made the most of every opportunity of engaging the enemy. Promotions followed quickly, and at age twenty-three he became the youngest Union officer to wear a general's star.
Before the war was over, he was donning a pair of stars and was commanding the Third Division of Philip Sheridan's cavalry corps. In the days just before Lee's surrender, it was Custer's men who played a supporting role in blocking the South's retreat near Appomattox. One of the white surrender flags was even presented to Custer himself.
SIPGCW_090221_156.JPG: William H. Seward, 1801-1872:
When William Henry Seward lost the Republican nomination in 1860 to Abraham Lincoln, many people felt it was a "sacrifice of commanding ability in favor of respectable mediocrity." But Seward's belief that the struggle between the slave and free states was "an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces" had made him some unforgiving enemies. In the end, Seward supported Lincoln actively and became his secretary of state. So closely was he associated with Lincoln's policies that he was attacked on the night the president was assassinated, in an unsuccessful attempt to cripple the government.
SIPGCW_090221_168.JPG: The Council of War
In this group sculpture, General Ulysses S. Grant (standing, left) lays out his plans for an unrelenting campaign against the Confederacy in Virginia and throughout the South to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and a seated President Lincoln. Stanton described this actual meeting, or council of war, which occurred in Washington in August 1864.
The artist [John Rogers ] patented this sculpture in 1868 and sold plaster replicas such as this one for twenty-five dollars.
SIPGCW_090221_188.JPG: USS Monitor model
SIPGCW_090221_223.JPG: William T. Sherman, 1820-1891:
"War is war and not popularity-seeking." With these words to his Confederate opponent at Atlanta, General William T. Sherman suggested the attitude that made him both a successful commander and a bitterly hated figure in the South. He stripped war of glory and chivalry. His destructive march through Georgia and his later campaign in the Carolinas dismantled the economic base of the Confederacy and shattered the morale of its citizens. His methods anticipated twentieth-century "total war."
Influenced perhaps by Sherman's reputation for several tactics in the field, artist GPA Healy once noted that he found the Union general a forbidding portrait subject at first. But as the posing progressed, he found the general quite friendly.
SIPGCW_090221_227.JPG: William T Sherman (close-up)
SIPGCW_090307_002.JPG: John Brown 1800-1859
There were those who noted a touch of insanity in abolitionist John Brown; he believed he had been called by God to embark on a personal crusade to end slavery. Brown and five of his sons were actively engaged in the bloody guerilla war being waged in Kansas in 1855-56, between proslavery and anti-slavery factions. But in 1857, Brown began making plans for the 1859 raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, an event that would make him both infamous and immortal. The scheme to commandeer firearms with which to arm a slave rebellion failed, and Brown was captured, tried, and hanged. His insurrection found favor among many northern abolitionists. In response, southerners viewed Brown as a sign that they must either break their allegiance to the Union or be destroyed by an increasingly fanatical North.
SIPGCW_090307_013.JPG: John J. Crittenden, 1787-1863:
During the campaign of 1860, many southerners declared that Abraham Lincoln's election to the presidency would give them no choice but to secede from the Union. One notable exception was Kentucky senator John Crittenden. This passionate advocate of national unity undertook the task of reaching an accommodation designed to derail the secessionist movement of 1861. Central to his plan was a proposal that would have permanently guaranteed the rights of slaveholders below the nation's 36.30 parallel. By now, however, bitterness over the slavery question ran too deeply, and neither North nor South could accept this conciliating measure. Instead, Crittenden had to content himself with ensuring that his own Kentucky did not secede; it was largely through his exertions that this state remained loyal to the Union after most of the South had left.
SIPGCW_090307_025.JPG: Stephen A. Douglas:
The presidential election of 1860 was the second time that Stephen Douglas had faced Abraham Lincoln in a political contest. The first had occurred in 1858, when Lincoln unsuccessfully tried to take Douglas's seat in the US Senate. This carving is thought to be a memento of that occasion, and its unknown maker probably intended it as a mate to a similar surviving carving of Lincoln. A contemporary once described Douglas as a "lively five-footer full of brains, bounce, and swagger." Despite its primitive aspect, the carving seems to bear out that description.
SIPGCW_090307_033.JPG: John C. Calhoun, 1782-1850:
South Carolina's John C. Calhoun was a formidable presence in American politics for nearly four decades. In that time, he served twice as vice president and sat in two cabinets. It was during his later years in the Senate, however, that he had his greatest impact as a champion of southern interests and formulator of a sectional dogma of states' rights. But even as he defended the South against attempts to curb slavery and argued for the right of states to reject federal policies, he sensed that he was fighting a losing battle. His dying words in 1850 were "The South, the poor South."
One of five known versions of the likeness that the artist, George PA Healy, made from sittings with Calhoun in 1844, this portrait originally belonged to Calhoun himself.
This large engraving titled Union was published in about 1865, at the close of the Civil War. Presumably, the picture celebrates the return of peace, the union of states, and the national leaders who contributed to winning the war. Yet in reality, this engraving is an altered version of a print first published in 1852, at a time of growing sectional strife that would soon lead to secession and civil war. The artistic alterations involved the replacement of several prominent southerners with northerners, most noticeably the figure of Senator Jon C. Calhoun of South Carolina with that of President Abraham Lincoln, who is shown in the center with his hand resting on the Constitution and holding a pen. Other prominent figures include General Winfield Scott (seated far left), Senator Henry Clay (seated center), and Senator Daniel Webster (standing beside the bust of Washington).
SIPGCW_090307_047.JPG: Henry Clay, 1777-1852:
His admirers called him "Gallant Harry," and his impetuous charm made him quite possibly the most beloved politician of his generation. But the real legacy of Kentucky's Henry Clay was his unstinting devotion, in the House of Representatives and later in the Senate, to maintaining a strong American union. In the early 1830s, as southern states threatened to nullify federal authority over a tariff bill that would have hurt plantation economies, Clay set aside his own preference for the new law to orchestrate a compromise. In 1850, with the North and South on the verge of armed conflict over the extension of slavery into the new western territories, Clay again stepped in with proposals that, temporarily at least, satisfied both sections. This last act of his career earned him the title of Great Pacificator.
SIPGCW_090307_066.JPG: Stephen A. Douglas, 1813-1861:
The political prominence of Illinois senator Stephen A. Douglas rested largely on "popular sovereignty" -- a formula he had devices in the early 1850s to quell the controversy over slavery's westward extension by permitting the settlers of new territories to decide through balloting whether or not to allow slaveholding. In his quest for the presidency in 1860, he continued to urge this principle. By then, however, it satisfied neither North nor South. Although he was Lincoln's nearest rival in the four-way contest that year, his defeat in November was almost inevitable.
This portrait served as a visual backdrop at campaign rallies on Douglas's behalf.
SIPGCW_090307_072.JPG: Daniel Webster, 1782-1852:
If John C. Calhoun was the South's leading advocate of states' rights, New England's Daniel Webster was easily its most celebrated opponent. Endowed with an imposingly broad brow that seemed to underscore his eloquence in the Senate and courtroom, Webster was unmatched in his gift for speaking. In 1830, he enthralled his audience as he turned an exchange with South Carolina senator Robert Hayne into a debate over states' rights. Ending his oration with "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable," he left his listeners spellbound, and it was many minutes before any dared to speak. From that moment, Webster was for many a living emblem of national unity.
Francis Alexander painting this portrait in 1835 to commemorate Webster's role in an 1835 to commemorate Webster's role in an 1818 Supreme Court case that protected Dartmouth College's charter from being negated.
SIPGCW_090307_081.JPG: Charles Sumner, 1811-1874:
In the decade before the Civil War, Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner numbered among the most vehement critics of slavery in Congress. In fact, the harshness of his antislavery speeches led to one of the most dramatic events in Senate history -- a physical attack on him in the Senate chamber by a southerner, which left him gravely injured. After the Civil War, Sumner became an ardent champion of the effort to ensure a full measure of rights for the South's newly freed slaves.
SIPGCW_090307_091.JPG: The Union is Dissolved!
Home of John C. Calhoun -- slavery's arch-defender and architect of his state's doctrine for secession -- South Carolina stood at the forefront, after Lincoln's election, in calling for southern separation from the Union. A week after the presidential polls closed, one of the state's residents likened its fevered political climate to that of the French Revolution. As the days passed, this spirit of rebellion only escalated. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina declared its independence from the North and urged its more hesitant southern sisters to do likewise.
This famous handbill was published by the Charleston Mercury to announce the state's historic decision.
Facsimile of the original printed broadside, 1860.
This reproduced has replaced the original to protect it from further exposure to light.
SIPGCW_090307_116.JPG: Charles Sumner again
SIPGCW_090307_122.JPG: Prominent Candidates for the Republican Presidential Nomination at Chicago:
As this wood engraving suggests, Abraham Lincoln was just one of several candidates who were in contention for the Republican Party's nomination for president in 1860. Moreover, at the start of the convention in May, he was not even one of the favorites. Many believed that William Henry Seward, the party's chief spokesman against slavery and a former governor of New York (center picture), stood the best chance, including Seward himself. But Lincoln bested them all. After he was elected president, Lincoln selected four of his rivals pictured here to serve in his cabinet. They included Seward for secretary of state, Edward Bates for attorney general, Salmon P. Chase for secretary of treasury, and Simon Cameron for secretary of war.
SIPGCW_090307_128.JPG: Great Cry and Little Wool:
This satirical broadside, dated July 2, 1861, mocks President Lincoln and his cabinet members for their efforts to reunite the union by force of arms. The unidentified artist, a Baltimore secessionist, used a title from an ancient proverb, "great cry and little wool," whose meaning is similar to the more modern saying, "to cry over spilt milk."
SIPGCW_090307_140.JPG: Edwin McMasters Stanton, 1814-1869.
With the war costing the federal government a million dollars a day, Edwin M. Stanton proved ideal for the vital cabinet post of secretary of war. In January 1862, he replaced the inefficient and politically motivated Simon Cameron, who left the department mired in waste and scandal. Stanton immediately brought about an effective reorganization, establishing strict procedures for negotiating war contracts and vigorously investigating fraudulent ones. Although many officials in Washington found Stanton irascible and arrogant, he maintained good relations with generals in the field, and Lincoln grew to rely upon his precision and vigor in administering the war effort.
SIPGCW_090307_145.JPG: The Great (In)Censor of the Public Press:
Shortly after Edwin Stanton assumed his new duties as secretary of war, he immediately began a reorganization of the War Department and implemented strict policies for conducting business both on and off the battlefield. One of his edicts was to restrict what the press was reporting about the war. In may 1862, during the Peninsular Campaign in Virginia, the editors of Vanity Fair mocked Stanton for his alleged censorship of the press and restrictions of news reports from the battlefield.
Bobbett and Hooper Wood-engraving Company (active 1855-1870?), after Henry Louis Stephens Wood engraving, published in Vanity Fair, New York, May 17, 1862.
SIPGCW_090307_166.JPG: Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865:
Abraham Lincoln is regarded as one of the greatest men to occupy the presidency. Yet in his day, there were those who accused him of moral cowardice when he initially insisted that the purpose of engaging in a war with the South was to preserve the Union and note to eliminate slavery. His wartime suspension of basic civil rights gave rise to charges of despotism, and when the conflict went badly for the North, the blame inevitably fell on him. But as Union forces advanced toward victory in the field, Lincoln's eloquent articulation of the nation's ideals and ultimate call for an end to slavery gradually invested him with a saintly grandeur. Following his assassination in 1865, his reputation became virtually unassailable.
SIPGCW_090307_189.JPG: Gideon Welles, 1802-1878:
For Gideon Welles, the job of secretary of the navy was daunting from the start because the United States had almost no effective navy to speak of, and what vessels were in existence were mostly old and scattered around the globe. Moreover, many senior officers resigned during the secession crisis. In spite of these difficulties, Welles succeeded in building a navy that played a vital role in winning the war. His implementation of the Union's blockade of the Confederate coast was typical of the challenges he faced with a makeshift fleet. Yet in time, this grand strategy eventually proved effective. Welles's endorsement of ironclad vessels was also ambitious for its day and had many influential detractors, but it anticipated the direction of the modern navy.
This photograph by Mathew Brady's studio is perhaps the best existing view of Welles's ill-fitting wig, which received ample notice in his day.
SIPGCW_090307_196.JPG: Salmon P. Chase, 1808-1873:
As a lawyer and antislavery leader in Ohio, Salmon P. chase was known as the "attorney general" for runaway slaves. In 1855, he cast his lot with the new Republican Party and soon viewed with William Henry Seward for its leadership. A candidate for the party's presidential nomination in 1860, he lost to Abraham Lincoln but was named secretary of the treasury in the new cabinet.
Although Chase helped to write the Emancipation Proclamation, his relations with Lincoln became strained. The personal antagonism between Chase and Secretary of State Seward weakened the cabinet, and that, combined with Chase's insatiable desire to become president, eventually led to his replacement. In 1864, Lincoln appointed him chief justice of the Supreme Court, where he showed political wisdom in handling constitutional problems created y the Civil War and Reconstruction.
SIPGCW_090307_208.JPG: President Lincoln and His Cabinet:
In spite of vocal prodding from northern abolitionists, President Lincoln steadfastly refused to make the abolition of slavery a goal for his administration in the early stages of the Civil War, lest doing so would alienate slaveholding border states that remained loyal to the Union. By mid-1862, however, Lincoln's concern for enhancing the moral weight of the United States in the eyes of the world convinced him that it was time to act. This lithograph depicts one of the most historically significant of Lincoln's cabinet meetings when, on July 22, 1862, he read a draft of his Emancipation Proclamation for the cabinet's consultation and advice. Two months later, Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declared that on January 1, 1863, all slaves would be forever free in those regions of the South still in rebellion.
SIPGCW_090307_213.JPG: Andrew Johnson, 1808-1875:
Andrew Johnson of Tennessee was the only senator from the South to remain loyal to the Union, and in 1864, in an effort to win the votes of southern unionists in the presidential election, he was picked to be Abraham Lincoln's new running mate. Yet Lincoln's tragic death in April 1865 thrust Johnson into a critical position of power; after a tumultuous four years of war in which Lincoln had expanded the powers of the presidency, Johnson became the victim of a Congress inclined to curtail his executive authority. His violation of the Tenure of Office Act (later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court) in the removal of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, led to his impeachment in 1868. Johnson's acquittal by a single vote was not just a personal victory but a national vindication of he office of the presidency.
SIPGCW_090307_224.JPG: The Republican Party Banner for 1860:
In the 1860 presidential election, Hannibal Hamlin of Maine was nominated to run alongside Abraham Lincoln as the Republican Party's candidate for vice president. Ironically, in comparison to Lincoln's meager two-year experience as a US congressman, Hamlin had served two terms in the House of Representatives and had been elected three times to the US Senate. A staunch advocate of rights for black Americans, Hamlin proved to be a supportive vice president. In reality, however, he played no active role in the day-to-day business of the White House; at that time, executive protocol did not even include the vice president at routine cabinet meetings. Hamlin was content not to have been chosen to serve a second term, and he later described the vice presidency as a "nullity."
SIPGCW_090307_243.JPG: Winfield Scott, 1786-1866:
A veteran of the War of 1812 and a hero of the Mexican War, General Winfield Scott, the Union's senior commander at the start of the Civil War, had served under fourteen presidents, beginning with Thomas Jefferson. Yet Scott, seventy-five, once known as "Old Fuss and Feathers" for his strict attention to military codes of dress and conduct, was now in declining health; gout and dropsy, coupled with the corpulence of his six foot, five inch frame, had reduced him to being an armchair general, no longer able to ride a horse.
Still, Scott's mind was alert and focused on military matters. Although his "Anaconda Plan" -- which would blockade the enemy's seaports and divide the Confederacy in two by taking control of the Mississippi River -- was seen to be largely impractical at the start, it ultimately proved to be a winning strategy for the Union.
SIPGCW_090307_260.JPG: George B. McClellan, 1826-1885:
After the Union army's defeat at the First Battle of Manassas on July 21, 1861, President Lincoln appointed thirty-four-year-old General George B. McClellan to command federal operations in Virginia. Within weeks, "Little Mac" transformed the remnants of a demoralized volunteer army into a disciplined fighting machine and christened it the Army of the Potomac.
But achieving victory required engaging the enemy in battle, and in this McClellan procrastinated, much to Lincoln's exasperation. When he did lead his troops into battle, he was slow to advance and quick to retreat. Finally, after McClellan failed to pursue Robert E. Lee's army following the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam in September 1862, Lincoln relieved him of his command. McClellan reemerged briefly in national politics in 1864 as the Democratic Party's unsuccessful presidential candidate.
SIPGCW_090307_271.JPG: Wood carving of George B. McClellan:
This wood carving was reputedly removed form the stern of a ship built in Thomaston, Maine.
SIPGCW_090307_278.JPG: Robert E. Lee, 1807-1870:
Robert E. Lee was born into a family prominent in Virginia society and early American politics. A young man with an intense desire to prove himself, he attained the highest rank available to cadets and graduated from West Point in 1829. Initially, Lee opposed both secession and war. But when Virginia voted to secede from the Union, he resigned from the US Army and went to his native state's defense. Placed in command of the Army of Northern Virginia in June 1862, Lee gave the Confederacy moments of hope and several early victories. His army was always severely outnumbered, so it was a triumph that he managed to keep it on the field for the duration of the war. By 1864, however, time and resources were working against him, and in May, Ulysses S. Grant became his last and fateful adversary.
SIPGCW_090307_281.JPG: Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910
For years, Julia Ward Howe yearned to take a more active part in public affairs. But her husband, the noted Boston reformer Samuel Gridley Howe, insisted that she confine herself to running their home. In 1861, however, the unwittingly transformed herself into a minor celebrity by writing the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Composed during a visit to Washington, this fiercely martial poem, dedicated to the Union cause, was set to the music of "John Brown's Body." By 1865, it had become the North's unofficial wartime anthem.
After the Civil War, Howe finally broke the constraints imposed by her husband to become one of the best-loved figures in the growing women's suffrage movement. This portrait was begun in Howe's last years by her son-in-law, who attempted to portray her as she might have looked years earlier, writing the "Battle Hymn".
SIPGCW_090307_302.JPG: Confederacy March:
When this sheet of music appeared in 1861, it reflected the South's optimistic hopes for the success of its new government under the able leadership of President Jefferson Davis. Yet within months of its jubilant beginning, the Confederacy would be severely tested by the exigencies of war. By the beginning of 1865, its final collapse was all but a fait accompli.
SIPGCW_090307_312.JPG: Jefferson Davis, 1808-1889:
"The man and the hour have met," announced the Alabama secessionist William L. Yancey when Jefferson Davis was elected president of the Confederate States of America in February 1861. Davis, a former US senator and secretary of war, was a reluctant secessionist, hoping that the South would remain loyal to the Union. But when the secession movement gained momentum in early 1861, he dedicated himself to the cause of independence. As president of the South's hastily formed government, he faced the twin difficulties of repelling invading northern armies and appeasing southern states'-rights advocates who challenged his efforts to build a unified Confederate nation. After an interview with Davis in late 1864, a northern writer for the Atlantic Monthly attributed the South's ability to endure to the "sagacity, energy and indomitable will of Jefferson Davis."
SIPGCW_090307_337.JPG: Pierre G. T. Beauregard, 1815-1893:
In the spring of 1861, General Pierre G. T. Beauregard was commanding the rebel militia in Charleston, South Carolina, when he was ordered on April 12 to begin the bombardment of Fort Sumter, and drive the federal forces out of Charleston Harbor. That success earned him a field command in Virginia, where he helped lead the Confederate army to victory at the First Battle of Manassas on July 21.
This portrait by the noted Chicago painter George P.A. Healy was painted from life at the time of Fort Sumter's surrender. Healy began the painting in New Orleans, where he had met Beauregard. When Beauregard was ordered to Charleston, Healy followed in anticipation of finishing the portrait, which he succeeded in doing only a few days before the bombardment. In the painting, Fort Sumter can be seen in the distance.
SIPGCW_090307_376.JPG: Benjamin Franklin Butler, 1818-1893:
Benjamin Franklin Butler was a Democratic politician in military garb fighting a Republican war, and he sorely tried the patience of Lincoln and his advisers. His heavy-handed administration of the military district of New Orleans in 1862 was especially controversial. Butler was accused of everything from issuing orders designed to harass female secessionists to pilfering the silver spoons from the house he occupied.
In the summer of 1864, Butler wrote his wife asking if she wanted to see him. If so, he continued, "Do the next best thing -- send down to Brackett and get the marble bust he has done."
SIPGCW_090307_384.JPG: Abraham Lincoln and George McClellan at Antietam:
The Battle of Antietam, Maryland, on September 17, 1862, was not the conclusive Union victory that President Lincoln has desperately hoped for. Still, it was enough of a win for him to issue his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which stated that on January 1, 1863, all slaves in states still in rebellion would be free. Yet in the days immediately after the battle, Lincoln became distressed at general George B. McClellan's failure to pursue Robert E. Lee's retreating army. In early October, Lincoln visited McClellan at his headquarters at Antietam to personally urge him to attack. This photograph of Lincoln with McClellan and his staff was one of several taken on October 3 and is a rare view of Lincoln at the front.
SIPGCW_090307_396.JPG: Robert E. Lee and his Generals:
Near the end of the war, the French lithographer Goupil issued this revised version of a print formerly titled "Jefferson Davis and His Generals." This latest version featured Robert E. Lee in the place of Davis, and included only the best-known and most accomplished southern generals. They are (left to right): Wade Hampton, Jeb Stuart, Jubal A. Early, Joseph E. Johnston, John B. Hood, Robert E. Lee, Ambrose P. Hill, Stonewall Jackson, James Longstreet, PGT Beauregard, and John H. Morgan.
SIPGCW_090307_402.JPG: Robert E. Lee and His Generals.
SIPGCW_090307_415.JPG: Sword presented to Charles Wilkes:
The city of Boston presented this jeweled sword to Captain Charles Wilkes in 1862. It recognizes his service as commanding officer of the USS San Jacinto during the arrest of Confederate commissioners James M. Mason and John Slidell, while they were en rote to England on the British mail streamer Trent.
SIPGCW_090307_424.JPG: Charles Wilkes, 1798-1877:
In November 1861, Captain Charles Wilkes of the US Navy precipitation what would quickly become a diplomatic crisis for the Lincoln administration early in the war. As commander of the USS San Jacinto sailing off the coast of Cuba, Wilkes, acting wholly on his own initiative, commandeered two Confederate envoys -- James Mason of Virginia and John Slidell of Louisiana -- from a British mail steamer, the Trent.
Great Britain was outraged by this violation of neutral rights and demanded the release of the envoys and an apology from Washington. Lincoln had no choice but to acquiesce or face possible armed retaliation from Great Britain.
Wilkes emerged from the Trent affair relatively unscathed by public opinion and was lauded as a hero in the North. He is also remembered for his scientific explorations and survey of the Antarctic coast in the early 1840s.
This reproduction has replaced the original to protect it from further exposure to light.
SIPGCW_090307_432.JPG: Samuel Francis Du Pont, 1803-1865:
At the start of the Civil War, Samuel F Du Pont was one of the navy's senior and most distinguished officers. Accordingly, he was given command of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, the largest fleet ever commanded by a naval officer up to that time. His capture of Port Royal, South Carolina, in November 1861 was the first major Union naval victory of the war and demonstrated the effectiveness of the navy's improved ordnance against shore defenses. The victory earned Du Pont the rank of rear admiral. In 1863, however, Du Pont, leading a fleet of ironclads, failed to take Charleston and suffered the worst naval defeat of the war. He asked to be relieved of his command and the request was granted, thus ending a forty-five-year career in the navy rather ignominiously.
SIPGCW_090307_438.JPG: $100,000 Reward!
This printed posted, issued five days after Lincoln's death, announced a $100,000 reward for the capture of John Wilkes Booth and two of his known accomplices, "John H. Surrat" and "David C. Harold." They were wanted in connection with the assassination of President Lincoln at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865. In the days and weeks that followed, more became known about the conspirators (the name of John Surratt and David E. Herold would be correctly spelled), and others were identified. Federal soldiers tracked Booth to Carolina County, Virginia, and mortally wounded him. Afterward, there was a clamor for the reward money, a portion of which was divided among the officers and twenty-six soldiers who had captured Booth and taken Herold into custody. Surratt saved himself by fleeing to Canada, while his mother, Mary Surratt, was found guilty, largely by association, and hanged.
SIPGCW_090307_460.JPG: Assassination of President Lincoln:
On the night of April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was attending the play "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre in Washington DC. That evening, the guard assigned to the president abandoned his post, and as a result, John Wilkes Booth found it easy to enter Lincoln's private box and shoot him. As Booth leapt out of the box to the stage about twelve feet below, he caught the spur of his boot on a draped American flag and broke his leg when he landed. Nevertheless, he escaped. Union soldiers concerned him twelve days later in a barn in Caroline County, Virginia, where he died of a bullet wound.
SIPGCW_090307_467.JPG: John Wilkes Booth, 1838-1865:
A member of one of America's most famous theatrical families, John Wilkes Booth was fiercely dedicated to the South. By the final months of the Civil War, he had become obsessed with his deep hatred of President Lincoln. In late 1864, thinking that the Confederate cause could be salvaged with Lincoln out of the way, he conspired to kidnap the Union president and deliver him into Confederate hands in Richmond. After that scheme failed, he began planning Lincoln's assassination. On the evening of April 14, 1865, his plan tragically unfolded when he fatally shot Lincoln as the president sat watching a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington DC.
SIPGCW_090307_490.JPG: Top of Ulysses S. Grant portrait frame.
SIPGCW_090307_494.JPG: Ulysses S. Grant, 1822-1885:
As a young man, Ulysses Grant was not interested in military life, but entered West Point in order to secure an education. In 1854, he resigned his army commission and tried several business ventures, all unsuccessful. Fortunately for the Union, Grant re-enlisted at the start of the Civil War. Nothing much was expected of him, now a brigadier general, until he began winning victories in 1862, the first at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, where his terms were "unconditional surrender." Although some said he was not fit for high command because he was known to drink, President Lincoln promoted him to lieutenant general in 1864 and gave him command of all Union armies.
After the war, Grant recommended a lenient policy of reconstruction, and in 1868 he was elected to the first of his two terms as president of the United States.
SIPGCW_090307_511.JPG: George Pickett, 1825-1875:
A West Point graduate and veteran of the Mexican War, George Pickett led the courageous but disastrous charge that bears his name at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1863. Confederate General James Longstreet remembered how Pickett looked as he led his gallant charge, "his jaunty cap raked well over his right ear, and his long auburn locks nicely dressed, hanging almost to his shoulders. He seemed rather a holiday soldier than a general at the head of a column which was about to make one of the grandest and most desperate assaults recorded in the annals of war."
(Sculpture by Edward Virginius Valentine.)
SIPGCW_090307_531.JPG: John Singleton Mosby, 1833-1916:
Depending on one's sympathies, John Singleton Mosby was either a guerrilla or a cavalry hero. This native Virginian was by profession a lawyer, but when the Civil War began, he joined the Confederate cavalry in time to fight at the First Battle of Manassas in July 1861. Placed under the command of General JEB Stuart, Mosby fought with distinction in the Peninsular Campaign and at Antietam. In 1863, he was authorized to organize a group of rangers who operated behind enemy lines, struck without warning, and then dispersed to meet later at a prearranged spot.
(Sculpture by Edward Virginius Valentine.)
SIPGCW_090307_545.JPG: William S. Rosecrans, 1819-1898:
Affectionately called Old Rosy by his troops, William S. Rosecrans proved to be one of the North's best strategists early in the war. In July 1861, Rosecran's brigade won the Battle of Rich Mountain, Virginia, thus securing a Union foothold in territory that would ultimately become the state of West Virginia. His ability to maneuver the enemy was especially evident in the western theater, where he commanded the Army of the Cumberland in the Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro, Tennessee). At Chickamauga, George, in September 1863, however, his army suffered disaster when one of his orders was misconstrued. This allowed the enemy to attack through a wide gap in the federal line. The mistake cost Rosecrans his command and virtually ended his active service in the war.
SIPGCW_090307_573.JPG: AP Hill, 1825-1865:
General Ambrose Powell Hill was perhaps the most enigmatic member of that historic cadre of senior officers known as Lee's lieutenants. His fleet, hard-hitting attacks in Virginia during the Peninsular Campaign, Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas, and especially his counterattack at Antietam, Maryland, all in 1862, earned his command the proud sobriquet of the Light Division. At Chancellorsville in May 1863, Hill aptly stepped in for his chief, Stonewall Jackson, after Jackson suffered the fatal wound that would induce Lee to reorganize his army. Promoted to lieutenant general, Hill was given command of the newly created Third Corps. Ill health, however, seemingly plagued him at critical moments during the war and too often left him incapacitated.
This popular image was probably the last one taken before Hill's death at the end of the war in April 1865.
SIPGCW_090307_587.JPG: Joseph E. Johnston, 1807-1891:
Joseph E. Johnston joined the Confederate army as a leading contender for high command. His brilliant performance at the First Battle of Manassas earned him a general's commission and seemed to foretell further military successes. Yet his promotion was the beginning of a difficult working relationship with Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The two simply did not trust each other. When assigned to command in Tennessee and Mississippi, Johnston complained that his orders were insufficient and lacked authority. In turn, when the strategic river town of Vicksburg fell into Union hands, Davis blamed Johnston for circumstances beyond his immediate control.
What impaired Johnston most was his over-cautiousness, which his superiors interpreted as passivity. He liked ideal situations in which his army had a numerical edge and could take the defensive, but at no time was the Confederacy ever blessed with superior numbers.
SIPGCW_090307_597.JPG: David Glasgow Farragut, 1801-1870:
President Abraham Lincoln considered the appointment of David Glasgow Farragut as commander of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron the best one he made during the Civil War. Sailing in the flagship USS Hartford on April 24, 1862, Farragut led his fleet of seventeen vessels in a successful run by the Confederate defenses, engaged and defeated the enemy flotilla, and captured New Orleans.
Rear Admiral Farragut spent the next two years blockading the Gulf Coast and maintaining Union control over the lower Mississippi before preparing for the capture of the Mobile Bay defenses in August 1864. By month's end, Farragut's fleet had forced the Confederate surrender. This, the major victory of Farragut's naval career, earned him the rank of vice admiral. Two years later, in declining health, he was commissioned admiral.
This portrait was painted early in Farragut's naval career, when he was a lieutenant.
SIPGCW_090307_629.JPG: Samuel Francis Du Pont, 1803-1865:
At the start of the Civil War, Samuel F. Du Pont was one of the navy's senior and most distinguished officers. Accordingly, he was given command of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, the largest fleet ever commanded by a naval officer up to that time. His capture of Port Royal, South Carolina, in November 1861 was the first major Union naval victory of the war and demonstrated the effectiveness of the navy's improved ordnance against shore defenses. The victory earned Du Pont the rank of rear admiral. In 1863, however, Du Pont, leading a fleet of ironclads, failed to take Charleston and suffered the worst naval defeat of the war. He asked to be relieved of his command and the request was granted, thus ending a forty-five-year career in the navy rather ignominiously.
SIPGCW_090307_641.JPG: John Ericsson, 1803-1889:
Before he came to the United States in 1839, the Swedish-born engineer and inventor John Ericsson revolutionized navigation with his development of the screw propeller. He achieved fame during the Civil War when he designed the ironclad warship Monitor, the federal response to the threat of the Confederate ironclad Virginia (the refitted USS Merrimack).
Ericsson, posing with a model of his "tin can on a raft," always worked alone and had previously perfected engines for many purposes, including fire engines and a steam locomotive. He later developed the forerunner of the modern naval destroyer.
SIPGCW_090307_679.JPG: James Ewell Brown (JEB) Stuart. 1833-1864:
When this image was taken in 1863, JEB Stuart was in command of the cavalry in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Lee relied heavily on Stuart's ability to gather intelligence about the enemy's strengths and whereabouts and to screen his own army's movements. Stuart's cavalry tactics became legendary, and success drove him to new and daring feats. During the Gettysburg campaign, Stuart's overly ambitious reconnaissance put him out of communication with the main army at what proved to be a critical moment. He never let down his vigilance afterward or gave his chief anxious moments of silence about the enemy again. In May 1864, Stuart died from wounds suffered in a clash with Union forces at Yellow Tavern, near Richmond.
This reproduction has replaced the original to protect it from further exposure to light.
SIPGCW_090307_690.JPG: Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, 1824-1863:
At the First Battle of Manassas in July 1861, the unrelenting vigor with which Confederate General Thomas Jonathan Jackson held his position inspired a general nearby to rally his troops with the cry, "There is Jackson standing like a stone wall." From that moment on, he was known as "Stonewall" Jackson, a name that he repeatedly lived up to, fighting under the command of General Robert E. Lee.
The deeply religious Jackson believed intensely in the righteousness of the southern cause, and a key to his success was his ability to instill his own fighting fervor in his men. One of his most brilliant victories came at Chancellorsville in the spring of 1863. Tragically for Jackson and the South, this would prove to be his last battle, as he died of wounds accidentally inflicted by his own men.
SIPGCW_090307_709.JPG: Philip H. Sheridan, 1831-1888:
Placed at the head of Ulysses S. Grant's cavalry in 1864, General Philip H. Sheridan faced his greatest challenge on October 19 in the Shenandoah Valley. Informed that his troops were being overrun at the Battle of Cedar Creek, he leapt on his horse and galloped some twenty miles at breakneck speed to rally them. He arrived on the field in two hours and turned an almost certain defeat into a victory.
News of this event excited the imaginations of northerners. President Lincoln was pleased because he could not afford any setbacks on the battlefield with the presidential election only weeks away. Artist Thomas Buchanan Read visited Sheridan's camp to mark preliminary sketches for a painting of the general's legendary ride. After the war, Read completed several versions of the work, including this one, which Grant's family owned for many years.
SIPGCW_090322_020.JPG: Lewis Thornton Powell, 1845-1865:
Using the pseudonym "Lewis Payne," Lewis Thornton Powell was the youngest and most stoic of the Lincoln conspirators associated with John Wilkes Booth and the assassination attempts of April 14, 1865. A former member of John Mosby's Confederate rangers, Powell was given the task of assassinating Secretary of State William Seward, who was at his home near the White House recuperating from a recent carriage accident. Miraculously, Seward survived Powell's knife attack but was facially scarred for the rest of his life. Powell was arrested a few days later and confined to the Old Capitol Prison. He was tried, found guilt, and sentenced to hang with three other conspirators on July 7.
In this photograph by Alexander Gardner, Powell is seen wearing the heavy iron manacles that the prisoners wore during their confinement and trial.
SIPGCW_090322_033.JPG: Sword presented to Charles Wilkes:
The city of Boston presented this jeweled sword to Captain Charles Wilkes in 1862. It recognizes his service as commanding officer of the USS San Jacinto during the arrest of Confederate commissioners James M. Mason and John Slidell, while they were en rote to England on the British mail streamer Trent.
SIPGCW_090322_065.JPG: Matthew Maury
SIPGCW_090322_069.JPG: John Mosby
SIPGCW_090322_079.JPG: George Pickett
SIPGCW_090322_092.JPG: USS Monitor model:
Built by John Ericsson at Green Point, Long Island, and launched on January 30, 1862, the USS Monitor saw its first naval action at Hampton Roads, Virginia, on March 9, 1862. Against the CSS Virginia, which was twice as large and had ten guns to the Monitor's two, the Monitor proved to be a worthy opponent. Although the four-hour engagement ended in a draw, it signaled the end of the era of the wooden warship. The Monitor sank in a gale off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, on December 31, 1862.
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Description of Subject Matter: Two of the threads running through the United States before the Civil War were the principle of union and the reality of slavery. In the North, Americans insisted on union above all else; in the South, Americans insisted on slavery above all else; and in the great American West, pioneers and sellers were left to choose between the two.
The Americans represented in this gallery felt strongly about these issues of liberty, union, and slavery. One of them, John Brown, did as much as any single person could do to push the divided nation to the brink of secession and civil war.
Abraham Lincoln's election to the presidency in November of 1860 enraged radical southern leaders, who fiercely defended the institution of slavery. As the Republican Party candidate, Lincoln wholly endorsed his party's platform to ban the extension of slavery into the western territories. Although he clearly stated his intention not to interfere with slavery where it already legally existed, southern extremists did not trust the new president-elect. In response, southerners enacted their doctrine of states' rights: "The Union Is Dissolved!" proclaimed the Charleston Mercury on December 20, 1860, when South Carolina became the first of eleven states to secede. A call to arms on both sides followed on the heels of secession. "Both parties deprecated war," President Lincoln reflected four years later in his second inaugural address, "but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came."
Lincoln and His Cabinet:
Upon entering the office of the presidency, Abraham Lincoln had every reason to feel skeptical about the ultimate success of his administration. Faced with a civil war, responsibility rested on his angular shoulders as it had done with no other American president before or since. Moreover, Lincoln had to win control over his cabinet, which at the start was at odds with him and with itself: three of the seen members had been Lincoln's rivals for the party's nomination, and four of the seven had at one time belonged t the Democratic Party. In selecting men who were his political equals, Lincoln was putting his leadership ability to an early and critical test. His successful management of this "team of rivals" for the good of the nation was a supreme test of his self-confidence and mastery of men.
Winslow Homer's Civil War Engravings:
In 1861 and 1862, Winslow Homer made sketches of camp life and skirmishes between Union and Confederate soldiers. His sketches captured the homesickness, numbing routine, and sudden violence of the conflict. The engravings made from his sketches and published in newspapers and magazines often romanticized the realities of the war, but eager readers welcomed these glimpses of the conflict. Homer also made wood engravings of events at home during the war, often focusing on absent soldiers and the war effort in New York.
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