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Schell, Frederick B., 1838-1902
Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi: Ruined Depot of Shreveport and Texas Railroad.
Civil War drawings collection, approximately 1861-1865.
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024, 212-873-3400
Drawing: Graphite and black ink wash on ivory paper. 9 5/8 x 13 1/4 in. A demolished depot, with one wall and a chimney remaining, appears in the foreground. Beyond is a landscape dotted with houses and larger buildings. Smoke appears from behind distant hills. Inscribed at upper left in graphite: 'smoke from Union Batteries beyond the hills.' At lower center: 'Ruined depot of / Shreveport & Texas R.R.'
Engraved for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, July 11, 1863 (XVI:406): 248-9, as 'Siege of Vicksburg--View of the Doomed City from De Soto [Point].' After a series of failed assaults, General Ulysses S. Grant realized that he would have to isolate Vicksburg from its supply lines. Federal troops began construct elaborate entrenchments that surrounded the city and moved closer to the Confederate fortifications. With their backs against the Mississippi and Union gunboats firing from the river, Confederate soldiers and citizens alike were trapped. Grant's army began to fill the 12 mile ring around Vicksburg. In short time it became clear that even 50,000 Union soldiers would not be able to effect a complete encirclement of the Confederate defenses. Major General Halleck quickly shifted Union troops in the West to meet Grant's need. With the arrival of Herron's, Washburn's, and Parke's divisions, Grant had 77,000 men around Vicksburg. The Confederates were stranded with munitions but little food. By the end of June, half were sick or hospitalized. During the siege, Union gunboats lobbed over 22,000 shells into the town and army artillery fire was even heavier. As the barrages continued, suitable civilian housing in Vicksburg was limited. A ridge located between the main town and the rebel defense line provided citizens with lodging during the siege. Over 500 caves were dug into the yellow clay hills of Vicksburg. Whether houses were structurally sound or not, it was deemed safer to occupy the dugouts. About the Artist: Frederick B. Schell was a 'special artist' for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. Among his many drawings and sketches are those created during the siege of Vicksburg. His drawings were widely published in a variety of publications.
New-York Historical Society
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865, Destruction & pillageDwellingsBuildingsCities and townsRailroad stationsSmoke
SketchesDrawings (visual works)Image
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