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The Art of Mort Künstler / The American Spirit / The Civil War

Here you will find a pictorial chronicle of the drama and excitement of American History. These paintings give the viewer an insight into the tumultuous life of this young nation that mere words cannot achieve.



Charge at Trevilian Station, The - limited edition print
General Hampton and The Citadel Cadets, June 11, 1864


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The Official Lee's Lieutenants Series - Fifth in a Series of Six Limited Edition Prints.

Painted 1996

LIMITED EDITION PRINTS

Paper Prints
Reproduction technique: Fine offset lithography on neutral pH archival quality paper using the finest fade-resistant inks.
Each print is numbered and signed by the artist and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.


Image Size: 13" x 29-1/2" • Overall Size: 17-1/2" x 33-1/2"
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 1750
Signed Artist's Proofs • Edition Size: 75

Historical Information

After painting The Loneliness of Command, a single figure composition of Robert E. Lee sitting outside his tent at night, I wanted to paint something complicated. Instead of night, I wanted day. Instead of quiet, I wanted action. The painting would also be my fifth in the series of six Lee's Lieutenants paintings and I immediately thought of a cavalry charge. I had already painted J.E.B. Stuart, Lee's most famous cavalryman, in Stuart's Ride so why not Wade Hampton, who succeeded Stuart after his death and became Lee's ranking cavalry commander?

After doing considerable reading, I felt the charge at Trevilian Station on June 11,1864 would be perfect. Wade Hampton led a charge of Cadet Rangers recently arrived from the Citadel, to save a Confederate battery from capture. The painting would have Hampton, action, a complex composition, and daylight all in one - exactly what I was searching for!

Having painted Hampton before, I was well aware of his character, personality, uniforms, and accoutrements. He was riding his favorite mount, Butler, a bay. All of this was confirmed with South Carolinian, Jim Fox, who is an authority on Wade Hampton.

The cadets went into the charge with pistols, and were in reality mounted infantry, as they were equipped with long Enfield rifles rather than short carbines. To identify the Cadet Corps, I felt the flag was a necessity. Although there is no known flag to exist today - no physical evidence - there is ample written documentation. In Cadets in Gray, Gary Robert Baker records a vivid description of the flag. "...a very beautiful one of red and white silk. On one side is written the name of our company, 'Cadet Rangers' and beneath it on the white ground, 'Christmas 1862.'" (The date commemorated when it was presented to the cadets.) The flag also contained a crescent embroidered in gold in the upper corner of each side.

Jane Yates, Museum Curator at the Citadel, and Civil War researcher Paul Fowler were of invaluable aid in obtaining all possible accounts and facts on this very dramatic moment in the career of Wade Hampton, who was one of Lee's most capable lieutenants.

Joining Wade Hampton with the cadets of the South Carolina Military Academy - The Citadel - shows two great examples of Southern leadership.



 

 
All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2018. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.