Capturing the Horror of the Crater

Over the past few years I’ve seen a wide range of images of the battle of the Crater.  Once I tidy up a few loose ends in my Crater manuscript I am going to turn to making a decision about illustrations for the book.  I am planning to include images that give the reader a sense of the drastic changes that have taken place to the physical landscape as well as how various illustrators have come to terms with the battle itself.  Yesterday I spent some time in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which features a wonderful exhibit of Civil War drawings from the Becker Collection.  The collection includes sketches of various aspects of camp life and battle that were done for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly.  Eventually, I came across, Andrew McCallum’s sketch of the Crater.  I’ve never seen the original so the longer I stared the more difficult it was to walk away.  The detail is incredible and he really does capture the horror of the battle.  This one stands a good chance of making it into the book.

CraterThanks for reading this post. Scroll down, leave a comment and join the conversation. Follow me on Twitter and join the Civil War Memory Facebook group for continuous updates and additional links to newsworthy items from around the interwebs. Stay up to date by subscribing to this blog’s feed. You can also check out my recently published book, Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder.

5 comments… add one
  • John Maass Feb 8, 2011

    Never saw that, wish I could see it up close. I hope you chose images rarely seen….

    • Kevin Levin Feb 8, 2011

      There are a few that I was hoping to include that would have been new, but Earl Hess decided to use a few of them in his new book on the Crater.

  • Tim Abbott Feb 8, 2011

    Kevin, I am so glad you got to see the Becker collection exhibit. I am related through my cousins to Sheila Gallagher, the co-director of the collection at Boston College who is a descendant of Becker’s and holds the copywrite with the college, and if that contact would be helpful to you I’d be glad to make the connection.

    • Kevin Levin Feb 8, 2011

      Thanks for the kind offer, Tim.

  • Jacob Dinkelaker Feb 8, 2011

    Awesome image! Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Comment