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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.

Iron Horses, Men of Steel - limited edition print SOLD OUT
Winchester, Virginia, June, 1861

This limited edition print is SOLD OUT


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: 17-3/4” x 25-1/4” • Overall Size: 23-1/2” x 29-3/4”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 1100
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 100
Signed Valley Edition • Edition Size: 500
Signed Martinsburg Edition • Edition Size: 350
Signed Patron Edition • Edition Size: 100

Mort Künstler's Comments
Before I ever completed the painting, Jackson Commandeers the Railroad in 1999, I knew I wanted to do a sequel showing another part of the operation. This great event of moving locomotives and railroad equipment overland and through towns had never been depicted and would be a natural follow-up to the scene showing the disassembling of the locomotives in the Martinsburg railroad yards.

In my research for the previous painting, I learned about the taking apart of locomotives and how to move them. Winchester was the natural choice for me as the setting for this new painting since it was the largest town between Martinsburg and Strasburg, where the locomotives were reassembled and put back on the tracks. Since Loudoun Street has been featured in my paintings Jackson Enters Winchester and After the Snow, I wanted to portray this new scene in a completely different way that would not be reminiscent of the other two. I finally came up with the idea of using a high perspective which enables the viewer to see down the entire street. This presented a whole new set of problems, which, in the beginning, seemed almost insurmountable. Using a different perspective meant that I had to find out additional information on what buildings were in Winchester during the Civil War, what they looked like and who occupied them. Added to this was the magnitude of the event that required me to portray crowds of people that would have turned out to witness the spectacle.

The forty-horse team used to pull the stripped-down boiler was rigged four abreast and driven, artillery style, by a rider who controlled his four horses. Since thoroughbreds, quarter horses, mules, etc. were conscripted for the arduous movement, some owners refused to part with their mounts, unless they drove them personally. The result was a joint military-civilian operation. Artillery riders with their distinctive red markings are in key positions in the lineup as outriders are available for troubleshooting. The rest of the equipment - cowcatchers, lights, cabs, stacks - were transported by wagons and oxcarts.

Looking north, on the left side of the street in the distant background, is the columned, three-story Taylor Hotel, the featured building in my first painting of Loudoun Street, Jackson Enters Winchester.

On the extreme right side of the painting is a building that was an auction house run by C. B. Rouss. The building no longer exists and has been replaced with a parking lot. However, the Senseny Building, just to the north, still stands in all its glory. It has been fully restored and is now known as the Feltner Building, the corporate headquarters for the F & M National Bank. The open area with the tree and iron fence around it is the courtyard in front of the Winchester Courthouse that was featured in my other Loudoun Street painting, After the Snow.

Going further back on the right side of the street is Rouss Avenue, known as Railroad Avenue during the war. It is the narrow street on the other side of the fence between the courtyard and the three-story Taylor Confectionery and Bakery. Taylor's was torn down and replaced in 1902 by the F & M Bank, a building which still stands today. Loudoun Street, once know as the Old Valley Pike, is today a main street featuring a beautiful walking mall with many of the buildings seen in this painting still intact. All of the names on the signs and the locations of the various businesses are as accurate as could be ascertained and would not have been possible without the help of Ben Ritter, the most knowledgeable historian of Civil War Winchester.

I hope that this painting captures an event of epic accomplishment and helps instill a spirit of learning from the past and inspire preserving what we have in the present for future generations.


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 © 2001-2022. 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.