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With a Rebel Yell - Book Poster

Poster - $25.00


This is the Commemorative Poster from the publication of the book Gods and Generals – The Paintings of Mort Künstler. The book was published by The Greenwich Workshop Press in 2002. This poster is only available on this website.

Historical Information

Those who heard it never forgot it. Such was the power of the legendary Rebel Yell. It was an odd mixture—part hunting shout, part hog-call, part excitement, part fear, and part bravado. Recalled a Civil War veteran who heard it in combat: “Then arose that do-or-die expression…that penetrating, rasping, shrieking, blood-curdling noise that could be heard for miles on earth….” Those who emitted it said it could never be duplicated outside of battle.

Among the numerous battlefields over which it arose was Second Manassas, where Confederate troops found themselves sorely pressed on the first day of fighting. After driving the mighty Army of the Potomac away from Richmond in the Seven Days Campaign, General Robert E. Lee and his newly organized Army of Northern Virginia moved boldly to strike another Federal force. The target was General John Pope’s 75,000-man Army of Virginia, which was poised to move against the Confederate capital from Northern Virginia. In a daring military gamble, Lee left the Richmond defenses and engineered a brilliant tactical maneuver against Pope’s army near Manassas, Virginia.

For two days, the armies launched a series of bloody assaults against each other. At one point, the Confederate left flank was struck a fierce blow by courageous Federal troops from New York and Pennsylvania. The men in blue hammered at two brigades of Carolina troops under Generals Maxcy Gregg and Lawrence O’Bryan Branch. Exhausted, low on ammunition and depleted by heavy casualties, the valiant Carolinians braced for another attack. Just when the Southern line seemed on the verge of breaking, fresh Virginia troops under General Jubal A. Early joined the battered Confederate defenders and struck the advancing Federals head-on in an open meadow.

The Southerners charged into combat, a veteran of the battle would recall, “with a wild Confederate yell.” The two forces collided in a hand-to-hand and face-to-face struggle—and then the Northern line broke and fell back in retreat. The next day on the field of battle, the Southern success would be repeated and Second Manassas would become one of Robert E. Lee’s greatest victories. It would also remain a reminder of that uniquely Southern phenomenon, the Rebel Yell, an audible and ecstatic expression of the decidedly Southern, almost joyful, all-or-nothing attitude that carried the Southern Cross above countless fields of fire. At Second Manassas and elsewhere, it was the battle cry of brave men who knew they faced men of equal courage—Americans all.

Mort Künstler’s Comments

For this painting, I chose to focus on the legendary Rebel Yell. Nothing on the Southern side of the Civil War experience personifies for me the courage and commitment to duty displayed by Southerners more than the Rebel Yell. It was a unique Southern phenomenon that is very difficult to capture in any form. I chose to focus on a desperate moment of fighting at Second Manassas that represents to me the courage and convictions of soldiers from both sides. It also was a moment of combat in which the Rebel Yell played a prominent role.

I hope With a Rebel Yell shows the drama, excitement and courage so common in that purely American war. I was so pleased that the publisher selected With a Rebel Yell for the jacket cover of the companion book to Gods and Generals.

Size: 28" x 22"

Medium: Poster


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.