Civil War Sketch Book: Drawings from the Battlefront

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W.W. Norton & Company, 2012 - History - 251 pages
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"In an era before photography could capture the excitement and drama of battle, illustrators known as "Special Artists"--among them such celebrated draftsmen as Winslow Homer and Thomas Nast--created some of the most important, influential and enduring images of the Civil War. Reporting to newspapers like Harper's Weekly and Frank Leslie's Illustrated News, the Specials were prototypes for contemporary combat photographers. They brought a visceral immediacy to the clash, creating rich and nuanced images of soldiers in camp, slaves at work and troops on the move. Often overlooked by historians and scholars, the illustrations span the war and its many theaters, including rarely seen views of Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, and Gettysburg, and the famous stampede of Union soldiers fleeing the rebels at Bull Run. Many of the images have never been researched or published before; the stunning sketches from the Joseph Becker Collection, for example, have only recently been recovered. Marking the 150th anniversary of the fighting, this book gives readers the sense that they are touching history, for the Specials were at the scene. Their illustrations (some stained with blood) represent priceless artifacts from our nation's greatest conflict."--Book jacket.

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About the author (2012)

Alan Brinkley is professor of history at Columbia University and author of numerous books, including The End of Reform.

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