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Berghaus, Albert, active 1869-1880McClellan, George B. (George Brinton), 1826-1885
Cartoon: '24 Weeks on the Potomac': Illustration for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper (February 1, 1862). On verso: study for the same subject.
Civil War drawings collection, approximately 1861-1865.
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, 212-873-3400
Drawing: Black ink over graphite on ivory paper. 6 1/4 x 9 1/8 in. Larger than life Union and Confederate generals, [McClellan and Beauregard] each seated leisurely in a chair with drink nearby, view each other through telescopes. They are separated by a river, on each side military camps are set up, and soldiers throw stones across the river at each other. At upper center, a sun with facial features looks down at the soldiers. Inscribed at lower center in black ink: '24 weeks on the Potomac.' Inscribed on the verso along upper edge in graphite: 'Cartoon 'Masterly Inactivity' or 'Six Months on the Potomac' / in 'Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper'. Feb 1, 1862;' engraving published with signature 'A.B.,' for Albert Berghaus, Leslie's master engraver and artist.
This cartoon satirizes the extended military standoff between General McClellan's Army of the Potomac and Confederate General Beauregard's Army of the Shenandoah during the fall and winter of 1861 (fig. 106b.1). In this wry cartoon published in Frank Leslie's under the title Masterly Inactivity or Six Months on the Potomac, the enthroned McClellan and Beauregard recline leisurely, observing each other across the Potomac through exaggerated telescopes as the troops encamped at their sides hurl stones in a parody of battle. Following early Union losses, McClellan drilled his troops for several months without attempting any significant offensive action, while Beauregard took advantage of the respite from combat to assemble and train his army as well. McClellan ignored executive orders to advance until finally relieved of supreme command in March 1862, when he was ordered to lead the Army of the Potomac against Richmond, marking the beginning of the Peninsular Campaign. Reproduced in Roberta J. M. Olson, Drawn By New York: Six Centuries of Watercolors and Drawings from the N-YHS (London: Giles, 2008), 312-313. About the Artist: Albert Berghaus was a master engraver and illustrator for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, and is widely known for his sketches and wook engravings done of significant events during the American Civil War.
New-York Historical Society
McClellan, George B. (George Brinton), 1826-1885--Caricatures and cartoonsBeauregard, G. T. (Gustave Toutant), 1818-1893--Caricatures and cartoonsPotomac River--History--Civil War, 1861-1865SoldiersArmed Forces--OfficersTelescopesRiversMilitary camps
SketchesDrawings (visual works)Image
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