The Union Image: Popular Prints of the Civil War North

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During the American Civil War, popular prints were frequently used to depict, define, and celebrate both the Union and Confederate causes. The Union Image explores the graphic arts that portrayed the Northern side?both in patriotic pictures and newsworthy illustrations published while the war raged and in retrospective images issued years later as major weapons in the postwar battle to shape the national memory.

Created not for connoisseurs but for ordinary Americans, these ...

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Overview

During the American Civil War, popular prints were frequently used to depict, define, and celebrate both the Union and Confederate causes. The Union Image explores the graphic arts that portrayed the Northern side—both in patriotic pictures and newsworthy illustrations published while the war raged and in retrospective images issued years later as major weapons in the postwar battle to shape the national memory.

Created not for connoisseurs but for ordinary Americans, these engravings and lithographs depicted battles, commanders, life in camp and on campaign, the sacrifices of home and hearth, and an election campaign that roiled the North in the midst of the war. This volume reproduces nearly 150 original prints, allowing readers to trace changes in Northern public opinion, from Northerners' early high hopes for success to their appreciation for the ultimate victors, the "real men of war," Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A splendid book that would not only look good on the coffee table, but would serve teachers of Civil War history.

The Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography

Excellent reproductions of original prints form the core of chapters that link various facets of artistic imagery to the history.

Virginia Quarterly Review

[B]elongs in the library of anyone interested in the Civil War.

Chicago Tribune

A work sure to please art historians and students of the history and popular culture of the American Civil War.

Choice

Useful to scholars as well as the casual reader, this book is highly recommended for both academic and public libraries.

Library Journal, starred review

Chicago Tribune
This handsome, oversized volume . . . a scholarly but lively text contributes to our understanding of life, politics and public opinion in the North, and is also an important contribution to the history of popular art in America. . . . The Union Image [captures] the spirit of the time and . . . [evokes], at least in part, what it must have been like to live in the North during the war. The magic of this book, which belongs in the library of anyone interested in the Civil War, is that it helps remind one that it was not so long ago, and that the people who lived through it were not so different from us.
Library Journal
Neely and Holzer follow their previous Confederate Image: Prints of the Lost Cause (o.p.) with a look at the uplifting propaganda prints of the North during and after the war. When the war opened with 4000 shells showering down on Fort Sumter in April 1861, not a single life was claimed, but the shelling shredded the American flag. The New York lithography firm of Currier & Ives immediately issued copies of "Bombardment of Fort Sumter" showing a soldier holding the tattered banner, which created a flag mania. Other companies soon joined in. Images of commanders nobly mounted, life in camp, tearful good-byes, lavish battle scenes showing Confederates in retreat, and dying soldiers with an angel hovering overhead were enthusiastically displayed in Northern homes to show patriotism. The 1864 Presidential campaign spawned more popular images. Over the years, the authors have scoured public and private collections to locate the 150 original prints represented here as well as new information on the artists and the printing processes. Their intent to recapture the spirit in which these prints were first published and their importance to American culture is successfully realized. Useful to scholars as well as the casual reader, this book is highly recommended for both academic and public libraries.--Joseph C. Hewgley, Nashville P.L. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807825105
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 1/24/2000
  • Series: Civil War America Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 8.81 (w) x 11.32 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark E. Neely Jr. is McCabe-Greer Professor of Civil War History at Pennsylvania State University.

Harold Holzer is vice president for communications at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS
Introduction. Flag Mania: Our Heaven-Born Banner
1. The Defenders of the Union: Heroic Tradition and the Popular Military Portrait
2. In Camp and on Campaign: Eyewitness Portfolios of Soldier Life
3. The Domestic Blockade: The Home Front in Prints
4. Twilight of the Wooden Ships: Technology and Tradition in Navy Prints
5. Slow and Steady Wins the Race: The 1864 Presidential Campaign in the Graphic Arts
6. The Real Men of the War: Print Portraits of the Victors
7. The Entire Field Could Be Observed: Civil War Battle Prints
Epilogue. Toward a New Union Image?
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

A selection of color plates follows.

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