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.

Saddle Sniper

150th Gettysburg Reenactment Illustration

Scene is 4:30 Pm, 2 July 1863 at the south eastern end of Rose Woods tree line above and behind the Devil’s Den. The three Confederate Snipers from Hood’s Division are firing east-southeast at Union Skirmishers and Snipers on General Sickles’ extreme southern flank which have been pushed back to the northwest face of Round Top. Little Round Top, where the Union will flee, is visible behind the trees center to upper left.

The Saddle Sniper, like the other two, is equipped with a captured Sharps Rifle and scope, and is standing on his saddle, supporting the firearm on an oak limb; and on a dappled stallion. The technique was learned from Indians, used in the Civil War, and later adopted by German Mounted Infantry in WWI. Saddle Snipers could ride in, deliver shots, drop back in the saddle and ride away swiftly to safety and a new position. When dismounted the horses were tethered nearby. The Hope Saddle shown has a modification; a curved wood block mounted behind the seat; a footrest for added shooting stability.

Only the Saddle Sniper is firing; the other two Sharps are cocked while the Snipers site in their targets approximately 500 yards away on the face of Round Top. In the lower right Plum Run, a wagon trail, and The Slaughter Pen are visible. Union Infantry is firing, a broken down split rail fence corals the Saddle Sniper, and a disturbed owl in a tree knot-hole completes the scene. Find him.

The illustration was inspired by a 150th Gettysburg Reenactment battlefield sketch of a Union Signal Corps soldier observing Confederate Troops forming up for Pickett’s Charge; standing in saddle behind brush, supporting arms and binoculars with a tree limb. Research led to Saddle Snipers and the battlefield sketch was converted to the scene shown.

Time Of Execution: 50 Hours
Technique / Media: Contour Line Graphite and black ink, white and gray Prisma-Color and gouache on gray illustration board.
Size: 11" x 17"

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