Publisher: Currier & Ives
The New York lithographer-publisher Currier & Ives issued this print soon after the Battle of Gettysburg to commemorate the dearly won Union victory. The text below the image sets the tone:This terrific and bloody conflict between the gallant Army of the Potomac, commanded by their great General George G. Meade, and the hosts of the rebel Army of the East under General Lee, was commenced on Wednesday July 1st and ended on Friday the 3rd at 5 o’clock p.m.—The decisive battle was fought on Friday, ending in the complete rout and dispersion of the Rebel army.—A Nations thanks and undying fame ever crown the Arms of the heroic soldiers who fought with such unflinching bravery this long and desperate fight.Gettysburg proved to be the Confederacy’s last great effort to engage the Union on home ground, and the three-day battle produced more casualties than any other in the Civil War with 40,000 to 50,000 lost on both sides. In the foreground General Meade directs Major General Daniel E. Sickles–an historical inaccuracy since Sickles was not on the field on July 3, having been wounded the day before after famously disobeying an order from Meade. In the background the fierce fighting likely represents Pickett's Charge, the central action on July 3, where 12,500 Confederates assaulted the Union line on Cemetary Ridge and came close to breaking through but were repulsed. After the battle Robert E. Lee led his shattered army back to Virginia and the focus of the war shifted to Southern soil. Medium: hand-coloured lithograph with blue tint stone.
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