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.

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

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5 comments… add one
  • Jacob Dinkelaker Feb 8, 2011 @ 5:18

    Awesome image! Thanks for sharing.

  • Tim Abbott Feb 8, 2011 @ 4:23

    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 @ 6:47

      Thanks for the kind offer, Tim.

  • John Maass Feb 8, 2011 @ 3:14

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

    • Kevin Levin Feb 8, 2011 @ 3:25

      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.

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