THE LAST RIDE & STONEWALLChancellorsville, Virginia, May 2, 1863
Stonewall Jackson had just completed a daring march that covered over a dozen miles to reach the rear of the Federal Army. At 5:15 p.m. General Joseph Hooker's Federal Army of the Potomac was caught completely by surprise as deer came bounding through their encampment, followed by two full Confederate divisions screaming the Rebel Yell. Jackson's men rolled up the flank of a full Union corps, despite a brave resistance.
By sunset, the Confederate advance had ground to a halt. Many of his regiments and brigades had become intermingled during the chaos of the ferocious attack. Voices of the victorious could be heard, but Jackson wasn't finished. He worked feverishly to reorganize his command as he rode along the Plank Road. One final push was needed to secure United States Ford and block the Union's escape across the Rappahannock. Precious minutes passed, but Jackson rode confidently, sure that a total victory was only a short distance away. At about 8:30 p.m. he and his staff rode forward to find some means to exploit the momentum of the attack. It was dark now, and when Sandie Pendleton realized they had ridden ahead of the skirmishers, he warned Jackson, "General, don't you think this is the wrong place for you?" Jackson shouted that the enemy was routed and ordered Sandie to go back and tell A. P. Hill to press forward. Soon they could hear Federal voices and axes cutting down trees for breastworks.
Time had run out, for the attack, and for Jackson. Within a few minutes General Stonewall Jackson would be wounded by his own troops as he tried to return through his own lines. The final hour of his greatest victory would be his last ride.
For years I've wanted to do a Civil War painting in the shape of an oval, and this is the first one. Photographs of the period were often placed in daguerreotype cases, which usually had a decorative metal oval framing the picture. I designed the oval brass mat to resemble these miniature cases in a larger form. This design element from the 1860s enhances the sense of history and connection with the past.
This print may still be available on the secondary market.
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