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.



Custer's Clash

On 3 July 1863 - Day Three of Gettysburg - General Jeb Stuart led about 4000 Confederate Cavalry onto what is now known as the East Cavalry Field three miles east of the main battlefield of Gettysburg and near Hanover, Pennsylvania. It was General Lee’s plan for Stuart to ride in from the east and break the back of the Union Fishhook while Pickett and other Confederate Generals completed the Infantry Charge on the center of the Union Line from the opposite side. By doing so, Lee hoped to execute a classic pincer movement that could win the battle and perhaps lead to the end of the war.

Stuart had the advantage of numbers - but was countered by Union Cavalry armed with Spencer repeating rifles. Though outnumbered, Union General Gregg’s dismounted Union Cavalry used the Spencer’s to good affect, and at about 1300 hours General Custer violently charged Stuart - interestingly at the same time the Confederate artillery barrage opened up on Cemetery Ridge miles away. After 40 minutes of intense conflict, the Union held the field.

Participants on both sides relayed that Custer’s headlong charge was the most violent they experienced in the war. It was said that the clash sounded like falling timber; horses on both sides turning end-over-end crushing their riders as the two sides screamed and vied for control of the field. After harsh fighting and several more charges, Custer’s 1st Michigan Cavalry Regiment and the rest of the Michigan Wolverines drove Stuart’s Confederate Cavalry into retreat, and Custer has been attributed with helping to save the Union Army from defeat.

The viewpoint of “Custer’s Clash” is to the north-northeast and the clash took place west of the Lott Farm, near the intersection of Low Dutch Road and Hanover Road. Stuart is shown center left, Custer center right, and upended horses, downed rail fences and other obstructions are depicted throughout the scene. The Confederate Battle Flag that Custer captured is shown upper left, and Custer’s Guidon with crossed cavalry sabers upper right. The 7 flags, weapons, swords, uniforms, hats, and rank insignia are accurate to that time; Custer holding his battle sword and the .44 caliber Army Colt he carried at the time. Look close; you’ll note many fine details, one among them Stuart’s Hat with the six-pointed star.

Time of Execution: 135 hours
Technique / Media: Etched Rendered Graphite on Illustration Board
Size: 11” x 17”

Scott WileyGettysburg1st Michigan Cavalry RegimentMichigan WolverinesCavalryPickett's ChargeCusterStuart150th Gettysburg Reenactment IllustrationdrawingUnionConfederateLott FarmEast Cavalry FieldLow Dutch RoadCemetery RidgeHanover Road.44 Caliber Army ColtStuart's HatGeneral GreggSpencer RiflePickettUnion FishhookDoc Wileyslideshowdw