Gettysburg Illustrations - WileyStudio

Doc reenacted as a Battlefield Illustrator-Photographer, and Dixie as an Ice Angel-Photographer. Eventually, the full color, black and white, and period-style Illustrations will cover most key events and personages of the battle held to be the turning point of the American Civil War.

INTERESTING NOTES ON CIVIL WAR BATTLEFIELD ILLUSTRATORS: Alfred Waud, Frank Vizetelly, and other Civil War Battlefield Illustrators were civilian artists who produced artworks as they followed both Union and Confederate Armies throughout the war. Their initial quick battlefield sketches were further developed in camp, then sent by horse couriers or blockade runners for conversion into engravings in publications such as Harper's Weekly, The New York Illustrated News, and The Illustrated London News. In this way, live action battlefield events were brought to American and European audiences quickly - for the time - and made the Civil War the first conflict viewable in history as it unfolded. Photography was a new technology - so the photographic work of Gardner and Brady was not yet reproducible in printed publications. In addition, camera shutter speeds were slow and not capable of capturing live action - which is why the photography of the time tended to capture after-battle scenes, portraits, and static images - making the work of battlefield illustrators the only way to convey battlefield live action scenes. Illustrators like Waud and Vizetelly lived frequently with front line troops and were in much personal peril as they worked. A typical up to 30-minute pencil sketch was further rendered in camp or in the field then sent in to a publisher in as few as two days where the conversion into wood block or metal plate engravings were made by a team of artists for printing and distribution to a waiting public. Waud, following the Army Of The Potomac worked for Northern publications and could get his work published fairly quickly, but Vizetelly - following the Army Of Northern Virginia - faced the added constraint of having to send his work to The Illustrated London News via blockade runners from Wilmington, North Carolina. Of interest; there was a Northern Bounty on both Vizetelly AND his work - as it was considered propaghanda against the north. Such was the commitment of Battlefield Illustrators and publishers at the time. Illustrated newspapers with Civil War Battlefield Scenes were in very high demand and sometimes sold more than 300.000 copies per issue.

Armistead's Encouragement

This is a Civil War Battlefield Illustration similar to the work of battlefield artists who portrayed a war in short time step-by-step to a waiting public for the first time in history. Photography at that time was not capable of capturing live action. This "Period Battlefield Illustration" was produced in one day - from a working action sketch that took 28 minutes.

The complete scene features three main battle sweep areas; the focus point being the theme at the bottom.

Confederate General Armistead is shown encouraging his brigade with saber raised pointing at the goal of Picket’s Charge; Ziegler's Grove and The Copse Of Tress. And, his hat is not yet suspended on his saber tip. Some of Armistead’s Brigade have already passed him but he continues the encouragement for those still around. Not all of the Confederate Soldiers are directing their gaze at Armistead nor moving forward fast enough, which has raised the ire of the incredulous Confederate Sergeant Major at right. A Fighting Chaplain is shown kneeling at center consulting an Open Bible and no doubt in intense prayer. Other soldiers are concentrating on the task at hand; fixing bayonets and prepping their gear. The smoke of battle drifts through them and evidence of grass and wheat is at their feet.

Generals Garnet and Kemper lead on horseback, wounded lie in the center foreground, battle flags true to unit positions can be seen, and Union Artillery takes its toll - with hats, gear, and the unfortunate flying. Just above Garnet and Kemper’s Brigades the first two major battlefield obstacles can be seen; the rail fences on either side of Emmitsburg Road, and above that there is the rest of the open ground to cross before The Angle and Low Wall.

The key terrain features are Ziegler’s Grove (upper left), The Copse Of Trees (upper left center), and The Angle just below and to the left of The Copse Of Trees. The Grove and Copse were the visual reference points for the convergence of the Confederate attack; and when Armistead and 200-300 Confederate Soldiers reached The Angle it marked what is now known as the “High Water Mark Of The Confederacy”. Confederate shell bursts are shown overhead and on the ground and the smoke of battle pervades the Union Line as the Union cannonade continues. At this brief moment the Union Line is holding musket fire... ...waiting for The Moment.

It is a "toward east" - from the west view of Cemetary Ridge and The Angle - different than "Gettysburg: Ash's At The Angle" also in this Patriot Series.

Time Of Execution: 12 Hours
Technique / Media: Contour Line Graphite and white Prisma-Color and gouache on sepia paper.
Size: 9" x 12"

scott wileyGettysburgillustrationArmisteadChaplainsaberAngleZiegler's GroveSergeant MajorslideshowDoc Wileydw