Camp Slaves in Print

Just finished writing about this wonderful print published by the New York engraver John Chester Buttre. Many of you are no doubt familiar with Prayer in “Stonewall” Jackson’s Camp (1866). Buttre essentially stole it from an earlier sketch done by Adalbert Johann Volck.

Buttre made a number of changes, including adding Confederate Generals Richard S. Ewell and A.P. Hill. He made it a point, however, to keep Jackson’s camp slave, Jim Lewis, in the scene. I have to believe that Buttre intentionally placed Hill in this disinterested pose given his relationship with Jackson.

The chromiolithograph featured in the headline above was published in London in 1871 and was based on Conrad Wise Chapman’s painting The Fifty-Ninth Virginia Infantry–Wise’s Brigade (1867).

I am on the hunt for other wartime and postwar engravings, lithographs, etc. that include camp slaves. Thanks for your help.

About the author: Thank you for taking the time to read this post. What next? Scroll down and join the discussion in the comments section. Looking for more Civil War content? You can follow me on Twitter. Check out my forthcoming book, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, which is the first book-length analysis of the black Confederate myth ever published. Pre-order your copy today.

7 comments… add one
  • fundrums Jan 4, 2017 @ 5:07

    Not sure if these qualify but our friend Brooks has some related cartoons here: https://cwcrossroads.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/black-confederates-in-cartoons/

    – Michael Aubrecht

    • Kevin Levin Jan 4, 2017 @ 5:15

      Thanks, Michael. I am familiar with these images.

      Happy New Year.

  • Mike Musick Jan 4, 2017 @ 7:03

    The Library of Virginia has a series of 12 illustrations, probably by Confederate veteran William L. Shepard, identified as “Life Scenes of A Confederate Soldier” (I also have a set). One of these is labeled “The Camp Darkey.” Another has the caption “Good Times 1861,” which includes a servant bringing a dish to a sumptuous soldiers’ meal. Also, the article by veteran Allen C. Redwood, “The Cook in the Confederate Army,” includes several illustrations by the author. One, titled “Dress Parade,” shows a group of African Americans gathered in a camp, clad in parts of uniforms, and being drilled by one of their number. All are armed with sticks. This appeared in Scribner’s Magazine, 4, vol. 18, pp. 560-569, August 1879. A link to the article is in the comments section of the deadconfederates.com blog post “Were Cooks Enlisted in the Confederate Army?,” of July 17, 2011.

    • Kevin Levin Jan 4, 2017 @ 7:10

      Hi Mike,

      Great to hear from you and Happy New Year. Thanks for the LVA reference. Andy actually sent along the Scribner’s piece yesterday, which I missed.

    • Kevin Levin Jan 4, 2017 @ 7:12

      Don’t you know, the LVA images are available online.

      These are great. Thanks again, Mike.

      • Mike Musick Jan 5, 2017 @ 14:36

        You’re welcome, Kevin. Another take on this by William L. Sheppard is “Confederate Camp-Servant on the March,” page 531 of “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War,” vol. II (NY, 1884, ’87, ’88). Not a flattering depiction of the subject.

        • Kevin Levin Jan 5, 2017 @ 14:46

          I am familiar with that one. Thanks, Mike.

Now that you've read the post, share your thoughts.