William T. Trego: Catalogue Raisonne

Hancock’s Corps Assaulting the Works at the “Bloody Angle” 1887

Courtesy of Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution / Art Resource, NY

Vital Statistics

Alternate title: Struggling for the Works at the Bloody Angle, Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia 12 May 1864
Pen and Ink drawing on paper, 8 1/16 x 11 7/8 inches
Signed lr: “W. T. Trego”
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution / Art Resource, NY

Commentary

This work was created originally for the Century Publishing Company to be used as an illustration in their publications. It illustrated the following passage, which describes the most intense hand-to-hand fighting of the Civil War:

“Just as the day was breaking, Barlow’s and Birney’s divisions of Hancock’s corps pressed forward upon the unsuspecting foe, and leaping the breastworks after a hand-to-hand conflict with the bewildered enemy, in which guns were used as clubs, possessed themselves of the entrenchments.” (G. Norton Galloway, “Hand-to-Hand Fighting at Spotsylvania,” Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, vol. 4 [New York: Century Company, 1887], p. 170)

This was one of two illustrations Trego provided for the Century Company in 1887. The other work, Duel Between a Union Cavalry Man and a Confederate Trooper, was done as a black-and-white oil painting instead of a pen-and-ink drawing. The reason for this different approach in two works for the same commission is unknown.

Reproductions

As an illustration for the article by G. Norton Galloway, “Hand to Hand Fighting at Spotsylvania,” Century Magazine 34, no. 2 (June 1887), p. 301. Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, vol. 4 (New York: Century Company, 1887), p. 170. “Losing the Romantic Illusions About War,” [Fredericksburg, VA] Free-Lance Star, 11 December 1981. Ron Field, American Civil War Fortifications (New York: Random House, 2005). The image was also issued separately as a print, and prints based on this image are still available today.

Condition

Condition unknown



< Preparatory sketch for "The Pursuit," 1884   Melancholy Union Soldier with Letter, c. 1898 >

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James A. Michener Art Museum William T. Trego Catalogue Raisonne