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Old 04-26-2007, 09:38 AM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

oh wow that beautiful. such awesome detail !!!
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:59 AM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by drawingislife
Ken, are these pictures already done or are you cranking them out THAT fast? Im loving this thread! Campfire is getting low though, gotta go find wood.
No, no ... I'm not Al. Don't I WISH I could do these that fast! These were all WIPs here at earlier dates in threads of their own. You could look at all threads started by me and you'll find them within the last year. I'm just posting them here as well because they deserve to be in this thread. There is one more coming eventually, of Major John Pelham, CSA. After that they will all be done as WIPs in this thread.

I hope everyone is enjoying the discussions here. And it's not just limited to a few of us ... anyone should feel free to comment if they wish. I promise not to execute anyone if they disagree with me.
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:01 AM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

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Originally Posted by xxLauraxx
oh wow that beautiful. such awesome detail !!!
Thank you so much, Lauraxx. Welcome to our humble campfires here, I hope you find it interesting. And I WILL be doing drawings ... but just on weekends. Other than that I'm full of hot air.

Ken
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:18 AM
drawingislife drawingislife is offline
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Hey Laura...Ill whip up some bacon and sloosh for you if you are going to be around the campfire...anyone else for sloosh while Im up?
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:55 AM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

have to know what sloosh is before I partake, but I am at the campfire with interest
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:05 AM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

there must be 10,000 bloodhounds in the south who bear his name.

That is a great portrait!

OH, Drawingfromlife--don't forget to throw in the goober peas! (this last comment is dedicated to the memory of the boys of the Tennessee Militia).

Ken! Keep going! This is getting exciting!
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Old 04-27-2007, 09:22 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Ah Say...Ah say...bump!
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Old 04-27-2007, 10:28 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyl746
have to know what sloosh is before I partake, but I am at the campfire with interest
Hi Nancy. Rations back then were pretty disgusting actually. The union men ate better in general than the southern boys but it was often pretty much the same - the big difference was in quantity. They got a square of hardtack which was really a hard biscuit about 3" x 3". It was baked so hard that it would literally last for years. Generally the best way to make it edible once more was to soak it in water for awhile. In addition to that they generally were issued lard, perhaps some salt and other minimal odds and ends. For meat, there was salted pork. Sometimes the armies camped or stood still long enough for fresh beef to be slaughtered and distributed, but that was much more rare as war is a fluid thing. The pork was packed in barrels of brine to preserve it - remember there was no refrigeration. Unfortunately it was all too often rancid though the soldiers didn't concern themselves with that. It was either eat the stuff or starve. To supplement this, they would forage on the land looking for farms or houses and whatever they could beg, buy or steal.

So Sloosh was a combination thing the southerners made. They would take the lard, mix their cornmeal with it along with egg, broken hardtack biscuits (after being careful to pick off the weevils that would try to escape when it was roasted) and whatever else they could get. This mixture was very thick and wrapped around their ramrods and then cooked over the fire. It was terribly unhealthy, but it was filling.

While I'm talking about nutrition, it is interesting (in a gruesome way) to note that there was a very decided difference in the corpses - north and south. A battle could produce thousands of dead bodies in a day or two which were not immediately buried and were left where they fell for a period of time. Decomposition began immediately and was often helped along by rain and then the beating sun. Northern bodies would swell to twice or more their living size and become discolored while southern bodies had little swelling and remained less discolored. The difference was so profound that it was often mentioned in reports and writing of observers - both American and foreign.

Gettysburg comes to mind. It was fought on July 1-3, 1863 and both armies moved on immediately after, leaving their dead strewn out over a fishook shaped front of 7 or 8 miles. There were over 53,000 casualties in those 3 days. I don't have exact figures with me, but generally the dead were about 10-15% which would mean at least 6,000. But don't forget all the horses and mules that traveled with each army. They also were killed in far greater numbers and left where they fell. I've seen estimates that there were in excess of 15,000 animals lying there as well. It rained late in the day and into the night of July 3rd and then the sun came out with a vengeance the following days. The civilians of the town were left with this mess to clean up on their own. Then consider that most of them had been forced to flee for their lives as the battle ebbed and flowed around them and they did not return for a couple days at least. The stench was unbelievable ... I've read memoirs that said you could start the smell the battlefield 10-15 miles away. It took months to get it all cleaned up. Animals were piled high and burned with the smoke wafting for miles. The dead soldiers were interred any way they could be as quickly as possible - often where they fell. They were marked with the intention of returning for them and moving them to more fitting final resting places but, unfortunately, this was not always done. Bones are still commonly found while excavating or even sometimes after particularly heavy downpours. One particularly stupid farmer found a large number of dead horses on his farm when he returned. So, being somewhat lazy, he decided to toss as many of them in his well as he could and then covered it over. Of course, they leached into the ground water so he could not sink another well on his entire property until they were removed and disposed of properly.

As usual, I've wandered from the subject at hand. As disgusting as this image may be, it was a very real truth to many people whose lives were touched by the war as it passed. What I wrote of Gettysburg was true of Shiloh, Chancellorsville, Manassas, Atanta, Fredericksburg, Petersburg and literally thousands of other places throughout Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania and many other states. There were even small battles as far west as California and the Indian Territories. It was a vast war for it's day ... and we haven't even mentioned the blockade of the southern coast - a 3,000 mile length of coast that the north finally managed to seal off to some extent. And the thousands of miles of rivers ....
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Old 04-28-2007, 12:15 AM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

You guys make this "Damn Yankee" hungry as can be. How about some Sloosh Drawingislife . By the way ken, nice mustache.

Jim
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Old 04-28-2007, 01:48 AM
drawingislife drawingislife is offline
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Sloosh, coming up! Anyone else while Im at the fire??

And Jim, you know what a damn yankee IS dont you? A Yankee is a Northern person who comes to the South...a Damned Yankee is one that comes to the South and STAYS!
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Old 04-28-2007, 06:57 AM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlukach
By the way ken, nice mustache.
Thanks, Jim. Anybody who decides to tackle portraits of the 19th century, had better plan to be drawing for plenty of facial hair. I generally do not try to draw hair exactly but just get the feel of it. I'm going to be moving on with Chamberlain today and I am really looking forward to getting to his stache. Might even get started there today since it's on the left side.

Say, how many ramrods have you got, drawingislife?
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:52 AM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Hey draw--not to be confused with a carpetbagger, eh!
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Old 04-28-2007, 05:49 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Here's another 3 hours on Chamberlain. I'm just working on shading his neck/jaw and believe it or not, the mustache has quite a bit more length to it. However, with the uniform going under it I decided to leave it be as it is now and finish it last. I haven't tackled the hair yet. Well, as I always say, my drawings are silly putty people because I move things all the time.


On the afternoon of July 2, 1862, Colonel Chamberlain's command, the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment was very weak at only about 250 men (most regiments in the army at that time were about 400-500 men - some more). I suppose this is a good place to explain the units in the army of that day. The lowest group that a soldier belonged to was his company. These were known as company A, company B etc. Each company on paper was 100 men. 10 companies were grouped into a regiment (on paper ... the reality was that a regiment was generally 400-500 men). 4 or 5 regiments formed a brigade. Brigades maneuvered together under a Brigadier General. Both Confederate and Union troops were organized the same till here. In the Confederate Armies 4 or 5 brigades formed a Division. In the Union, it was 2 or 3. In the Confederacy, 3 divisions formed a Corps - in the Union 2 Divisions made a Corps. So a Confederate Division was about the equivalent of a Union Corps. The entire Confederate Army of Northern Virginia at the time of Gettysburg, consisted of 3 Corps with 52 Brigades. This does not include artillery or cavalry.

Back to the story ... recently another Maine regiment had decided to mutiny because their enlistments were up and they didn't want to fight any longer. They were placed under guard and given to Chamberlain to deal with. He made an eloquent speech to them about patriotism which had the desired effect and nearly all volunteered to fight. Shortly after noon word came that the 5th corps was to take position on the far left side of the Union Army, anchoring itself on a small rocky hill known as Little Round Top. The vagaries of war placed the 20th Maine on the very far end - in effect, they were the anchor of the entire army. If they gave way, the battle, and very likely the war, would be lost. Therefore they could NOT retreat and had to fight to the very last man. They were positioned just shy of the crest facing west. There was a larger hill to the south called Big Round Top but it was so forested that artillery was useless on it while they had managed to get a battery on Little Round Top. There was a forested valley between the two hills with extremely limited visibility. The southern army was across a creek and preparing to attack. The plan was en echelon meaning like a wave ... the first units attacked to the north and the next unit south went in and so forth. They could hear the sounds of battle to the north but they did not know what was happening except that severe fighting was going on somewhere.

Chamberlain sent a squad into the valley as lookouts with orders to run back with word if necessary. Then he ordered his lines and tried to calm the men. About 5pm the first wave of men in butternut and gray appeared in their front and a brisk firefight erupted. Men were screaming and falling on both sides but nobody had the upper hand. The rebels charged and were repulsed after hand to hand fighting. They withdrew but only to reorganize. The yankees frantically reloaded and reordered their lines to prepare for the storm they knew was coming. Shortly thereafter the rebels charged again. The lines wavered but they were driven back at last. During this charge Chamberlain felt a severe blow to his hip and was knocked to the ground. Frantically he felt himself expecting to find an open wound but it turned out a Confederate ball had struck his sword and bent it. He had also received a ball in the his boot but it had done little real damage. Several more times charges were made but each time the thin blue line held. The fight was severe for a length of 2 or so miles but there was little artillery due to the underbrush and trees. Chamberlain's men were running dangerously short of ammo and might not be able to withstand another charge so the men rifled the ammo pouches of the dead and wounded while patching up their wounds as best they could. Again the grey lines could be seen among the foliage coming on in seeming irresistible numbers. Yet once again they were driven back but the loses by now were appalling ... the blue lines had huge gaps and Chamberlain knew another such charge would drive his men from the field ... and in effect destroy the Union Army. He yelled "Fix Bayonets!" in the lull and gave his company commanders orders. As the rebels once more mounted an attack, they reached the blue lines and Chamberlain called out the order to "CHARGE!". As he had expected, the left half of his command swept into the grey masses as a door would swing. The hinge point was in the center of the 20th Maine and as the trap closed the remaining men of the regiment joined in and the Confederates began to surrended in groups. The charge flew by them and the victorious regiment would have driven them all the way to Richmond had Chamberlain stopped them at the base of the hill. The sun was sinking low in the sky by then, but the carnage of the second day of Gettysburg was about done. Chamberlain sent his prisoners to division headquarters - one group was delivered under guard of one man - with an empty rifle though the Confederates did not know that.

At the end of the day, the 20th Maine could field less than 100 men. With the deserters added, they had started the battle at roughly over 350 men. They spent a restless night piling stones into a wall for defense in case the battle resumed the next day. This wall still can be seen at the Battlefield Park to this day. The second day at Gettysburg etched into the American memory such names as The Peach Orchard, The Wheat Field, Devil's Den, The Slaughter Pen and Little Round Top. For his actions in the face of irresistible odds, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:19 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

I haven't got a lot of time today so here is another 2 hours work. I have to darken his side hair a bit yet. I worked on toning and shaping his jawline a bit more as well as his cheek. There is still some work to do in balancing the tonality of his skin. For the first time I'm trying to put some of the blemishes and bumps in his skin. If you look closely you can see them. Armin has said it is important to balance what you actually draw so as not to overdo things. I don't think this is too much ... what do you think? Some people have wondered about my method of doing hair ... this sort of shows most of the progress in it. This one shouldn't take much longer. Incidentally, the ear isn't done.


Unfortunately no time today to write anything historical. Next time .... there is still plenty to say about Joshua L. Chamberlain.

Jeff Daniels played him in the movie Gettysburg ... there is almost a spooky resemblance.

Thanks for looking,
Ken
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:58 PM
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Re: Civil War Portraits - The Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by SparrowHawk7
Jeff Daniels played him in the movie Gettysburg ... there is almost a spooky resemblance.

I've noticed that there is a similar spooky resemblance of Matthew Broderick in the film "Glory" to the real Robert Gould Shaw.

Chamberlain is lookin' good...about that mustache: Wow
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