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Old 04-24-2007, 06:52 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

I am along in this journey learning history and admiration for your drawings.
Lourdes
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:57 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Thank you loulop. Glad to have you. This could be a pretty lengthy series, but I can guarantee interesting tidbits of history on each drawing and that I will do my best with everything I choose to draw.

Ken
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:11 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Hi Ken,

This is going to be a winning series! I'll join you if there's room!

Alison2
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:17 PM
drawingislife drawingislife is offline
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Im in. I am a HUGE Civil War buff...This is gonna be good. Pulling up a sleeping bag and some hard tack and will be watching this one.
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Old 04-24-2007, 10:43 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

My wheelchair is now in front of the monitor for both you and Al. These series pieces are wonderful. I am learning so much. Thank you.
Midge
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:16 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Welcome, Alison. there's plenty of room ... I don't know how many portraits I'll do here, but there will be quite a few.

Good to see you drawingislife. I'll get you some salt pork and a bit of rancid bacon to go with that biscuit so you can make sloosh. Do us a favor though ... build the fire outside and be sure to share - but pick out the weevils first.

It's always a pleasure to have you stop by one of my threads Midge. I cannot hope to keep up with Al's prolific ways, but I'll do my best to keep you entertained and interested. We should all learn something about drawing and American history along the way so it should be a fascinating journey.

If anybody wants to start a conversation about this period, feel free. The same goes if you want to ask a question about this war. We've got a number of buffs here already who will tell you all you could want to know. I have studied this period exclusively as a hobby for over 25 years now and have a rather extensive library both in book and CD. I am not going to take the time to do much research in the tidbits I write concerning my drawings so it will all be off the top of my head. If I should be in error about something, I trust someone will speak up and remind me of where I have erred.

The only thing I ask is that we keep any disagreements civil. Some think the war ended in 1865, but it still is being fought, albeit in different ways, but the feelings go deep in this country. It defined us as a people as well as divides us still. Anybody who wants to understand us as a people would do well to study this pivot time in our history.

And if anyone has any questions about how I do anything or suggestions, please speak up. I always encourage participation in any of my threads.

Ken

[EDIT] Incidentally, much of what you learned in school about this war was probably wrong or twisted out of whack. I suspect some will learn some very interesting facts as this journey unfolds and I hope to perhaps challenge some beliefs as well.

Last edited by SparrowHawk7 : 04-24-2007 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:35 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Ken, I am not a civil war buff, but hope to learn more. I can yell you that around these parts ther are a lot of people who think it's still going on. One question I have is the makeup of the Armies, Were they professional or more private individuals and/or units comeing togather? I'm moving my stool closer to Drawingislife's fire and maybe talk him out of some of that Sloosh, Weevils and all.

Jim
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:50 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlukach
Ken, I am not a civil war buff, but hope to learn more. I can yell you that around these parts ther are a lot of people who think it's still going on. One question I have is the makeup of the Armies, Were they professional or more private individuals and/or units comeing togather? I'm moving my stool closer to Drawingislife's fire and maybe talk him out of some of that Sloosh, Weevils and all.

Jim

I want sloosh!! I want sloosh!!

I do know there were black union soldiers. I'm sure some folks here could enlighten us on if most were freed slaves or not. The movie 'Glory' comes to mind. I don't know how historically accurate it was but, it was hard to not shed a tear.

I know the war was about many things including slavery. There are times when I think this country is making strides forward in racial relations and then you have huge set backs from the likes of Imus and Michael Richards(Kramer) . This is what I've come to realize: I can't vouch for anybodies actions but, my own. I see life in beautiful color. Red, Brown, Black, Yellow, and white to name a few. As cliche' as it sounds living life by the golden rule is the way I try to live. " Treat people the way you would want to be treated".

Bah!! enough ranting!! It's late here and mah belly is empty. Pass me some sloosh!! A side of Weevils t'would be nice too, I recon.

Ken you are doing a mighty fine job my friend and this will be a treat to camp out to!
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:52 AM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Hi Jim. That's a good question. The vast majority on both sides were civilian volunteers. In fact, one thing that actually drove some States out of the Union (Virginia for instance) was Lincoln calling for 75,000 volunteers to put down or subjugate the south. Throughout the first few years of the war the vast majority of soldiers were volunteers. The size of the regular army at the outbreak was only a few thousand ... most of whom were patrolling the territories and some in Oregon and California.

The vast majority of officers, however, were West Pointers or regular army trained. Nearly all had first "seen the elephant" in the Mexican War in 1848-50. Many had returned to civilian life after that because advancement was TERRIBLY slow and the duty was boring. Grant served, for instance, in Oregon but was so bored and missed his beloved wife, Julia, so badly that he spent much of his time drinking. He finally decided to resign and tried several things back in Illinois, including farming. He was an abject failure at everything he tried. But when the war came along he promptly enlisted and was put in charge of a recruiting office with the rank of major, if I remember correctly. He rose in rank rapidly and began to win battles in the early going when no other Union general could seem to do anything but run. However, more on him when it comes time to do his portrait. In the south, the soldiers actually ELECTED their officers in the beginning. It was a popularity contest in which skilled soldiers were often passed by in favor of a friendly soul. This cost a good number of lives before the policy was abolished. And it was a hard thing to do. You have to understand that companies were raised in a single county so fathers, sons, brothers, family members and neighbors were all in the same unit. They all knew one another so discipline, which was critical, was very hard to force. And the States insisted that the officers for their men be from the same State (State's Rights). And then consider that if a regiment got itself in a tight place in a battle, it was quite possible that all the men in a single town could be killed in a matter of minutes. Some mothers lost all their boys and their husbands in a single engagement. I don't think it was until WWII that this policy was abolished.

As the war grew more bloody and seemed that it would go on forever, the draft was begun - on both sides. The north allowed a draftee to buy a substitute to serve in his stead. This was the first time the cry "Rich Man's War; Poor Man's Fight" was heard. The government also offered bounties where they would pay a recruit a very large sum to enlist. One of my great great grandfather did this ... and promptly deserted to enlist again elsewhere ... in all 7 times though he never was caught (good thing). He was also married to 4 women at once. Quite a character!

However, to keep desertion down, they would enlist and promptly be put in the stockade under guard and taken to the front by trains. Some of these men did make good soldiers, but most were skulkers and worthless.

It may surprise you to know that BOTH sides had what were known as Colored regiments. In the north they were made of both exslaves and freedmen. Their officers were always white. That was a terribly dangerous assignment as the Confederates would take no colored prisoners nor would they take their officers. There were a number of massacres. The movie Glory was actually very well done and accurate. However, the south also fielded colored regiments towards the end of the war. The soldiers were offered their freedom in return but they did not play any significant role. The colored soldiers in the northern armies did, however. And they paid dearly for their freedom in blood. They were also paid about half of what white soldiers were.

As for the cause of the war ... I think there are a lot of varied reasons, but you can't quite get away from slavery. It was something that was not brought up at first but it was never far under the surface. The south resented northern industry and numerical strength in the house and senate because they could vote down southern bills. The south saw that as if they were forced to do what the north wanted. And as far back as the Continental Congress and Founding Fathers, there had been a disagreement between southern and northern factions as to the strength of the individual states in deciding laws and enforcing them. The south always felt that they were voluntarily a member of the union and therefore were free to leave or secede whenever it no longer suited them. This is just what they did in 1860 beginning with South Carolina, under the guise of "State's Rights". Not all the southern states left right away, but eventually 13 states created an amalgam Confederacy. Several states such as Kentucky and Maryland never left the union, but they also were not northern either. Lincoln suspended habeus corpus for the entire war in Maryland (which surrounds Washington, DC). Union troops going through Baltimore were actually fired upon in the early days.

Well, I could go on and on, but that's enough for the moment. I don't want anyone to get bored. And another drawing I've done that deserves to be in this thread is this:

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Old 04-25-2007, 12:11 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

What a great thread. Exciting and inspiring. Can't wait to see how this unfolds.
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:54 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Hi Scott. Welcome ... not only to this thread but also to WC. We're glad to have you aboard ... both. Someone with your abilities and experience is always an asset.

Ken
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:12 PM
drawingislife drawingislife is offline
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Let's get this part of the Civil War in perspective from the get go. Most people think the war was STARTED over freeing the slaves. That is what you were taught, right? Well, that isnt actually true. Freeing the slaves was a punishment to the South after the war was fought. Sure, slavery became - BECAME - a very valid point DURING the war, but it wasnt WHY the war started. It actually started over something that you are probably wearing right now...cotton. Just like was said earlier, it was really industrial disagreements...please correct me if I anm wrong.
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:15 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

AWESOME drawing of Lincoln, BTW.
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:24 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

I just popped in to say this is a very exciting thread for me. I wanted to suggest that, if you get the chance, to include John Wilkes Booth and maybe his brother Edwin. While Edwin had nothing to do with the assasination, there was interesting conflict between the two over the issue of the civil war.

BOTH were celebrities (of the same kind of stature as Tom Hanks or Tom Cruise) and so their respective opinions mattered to an adoring public.

Just a thought!
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:19 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

That's a good idea Jay ... I'll bet there are a few really good photos of him too.

I have to disagree somewhat with your contention about the cause of the war, drawingislife. You're right that slavery wasn't an obvious cause. Initially it was the breakup of the Union that was the major problem. In fact in Lincoln's 1st inaugural speech he said:

"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."

He also said:
"If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that."

But the fact that he said it at all certainly shows that slavery had been a large part of the underlying currents in this country since even before the Revolution. It was known as the "peculiar institution" which is a nice way of saying "let's not talk about it". But I do not think cotton played a role particularly - at least as far as the breakup of the union was concerned. The crop of 1860 was particularly large and the world market was glutted - including northern warehouses. Once the Confederate government took control they determined to withold shipment of cotton in the hope that it would force intercession from Europe. Huge mountains of bales of cotton in 1861 and later rotted on the wharves throughout the south. In Britain, the textile mills had plenty to keep going in spite of the embargo and it wasn't until 1862 that they even began to feel the pinch. Unemployment rose and there were some riots, meanwhile the Confederate armies were winning victory after victory. The pressure was on Lord Palmerston in increasing amounts to sue for peace.

There were also mounting problems between the north (still the US) and Great Britain. In early 1862 a British ship carrying Confederate representatives Mason and Slidell on their way to London was stopped by a US cruiser and the two men were removed. This incident (The Trent Affair) nearly caused the English to declare war on the US (again!). The US Congress was ready to declare war on England but Lincoln, in his wonderful midwest logic simply said "one war at a time". He was SUCH a perfect man for the job at precisely the correct moment in time! But you know, as much as we revere him now, he was absolutely hated and despised at the time. Newspapers drew him as an ape and he was made to look foolish and stupid because of his midwestern farm upbringing and his 'common' sayings. It wasn't until after he was martyred that his popularity really grew.

In the early war years, though, the northern plan was to simply preserve the union. Major General George Brinton McClellan, the supreme military commander of the US through most of 1862 (and eventually a subject for a drawing here), was dedicated to convincing the errant States to return - not by subjugation, but by realizing the hopelessness of the situation. He envisioned it as though they would return and everything would be as it was. This was patently impossible once blood had been spilled but he never realized that. Still, he never fought really to win by destroying the Confederate armies and was extremely ineffectual as a fighter. He even ran against Lincoln in the election of 1864 after he had been removed from command in disgrace as the peace at any cost candidate. He did exceptionally well and Lincoln feared he would be defeated and the war lost.

It wasn't until the Emancipation Proclamation in late 1862 that slavery became the moot issue of the war but that's another long subject. By then the Confederacy had released the ban on export of cotton, but it was too late.

PS - my use of the word "moot" here is correct. This particular word is my absolute pet peeve. It does NOT NOT NOT mean obsolete or unimportant!!!!! Moot as a noun, is a gathering of people or sages for the specific reason of discussing something. The something they have met to discuss is called the moot point. Read Tolkien ... the Ent Moot ... where the Ents met to discuss what they were going to do about Saruman. This word has been *******ized by the English language ... along with many others. Consider the word "bad" as another example. Harumph!
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