REDUCED! This is one of Troiani's best painting and our own Stephen McKinney did the research for this snapshot of time at Antietam. Lee's rode to Colonel John Brown Gordon's position at the "sunken road" to encourge Gordon and his men to fight hard. He was followed by General Robert Rhodes and General Daniel Harvey Hill. Moments later a Federal artillery fired at the horsemen and the round passed through Hill's horse kill the horse instantly. Gordon's men that day wore the first issue ANV jean cloth jackets with slash pockets and our bugler wears anotice the red bible and carved wook pipe one man is smoking and the US Model 1841 Mississippi Rifle carried by these troops. All of these items researched are in the State of Alabama Archives and History Deptartment and Mr. McKinney had access to these items identified to this unit. Gordon would go on the be confirmed a Major General and it is he who formally led Lee's ANV to the surrender.
Colonrl Gordon's troops were engaged. For hour after hour a desperate struggle continued on the left of Lee's lines, in which charge and counter-charge succeeded each other, until the green corn which had waved there looked as if had been showered upon by a rain of blood. But during those hours of death not a shot had been fired upon the centre. Here Colonel Gordon's men held the most advanced position, and were without a supporting line, their post being one of imminent danger in case of an assault in force.
As the day passed onward the battle on the left at length lulled, both sides glad of an interval of rest. That McClellan's next attempt would be made upon the centre General Lee felt confident, and he rode thither to caution the leaders and bid them to hold their ground at any sacrifice. A break at that point, he told them, might prove ruinous to the army. He especially charged Gordon to stand stiffly with his men, as his small force would feel the first brunt of the expected assault. Gordon, alike to give hope to Lee and to inspire his own men, said in reply,—
"These men are going to stay here, general, till the sun goes down or victory is won."
Lee's military judgment, as usual, was correct. He had hardly got back to the left of his line when the assault predicted by him came. It was a beautiful and brilliant day, scarcely a cloud mantling the sky. Down the slope opposite marched through the clear sunlight a powerful column of Federal troops. Crossing the little Antietam Creek they formed in column of assault, four lines deep. Their commander, nobly mounted, placed himself at their right, while the front line came to a "charge bayonets" and the other lines to a "right shoulder shift." In the rear front the band blared out martial music to give inspiration to the men. To the Confederates, looking silently and expectantly on the coming corps, the scene was one of thrilling interest. It might have been one of terror but for their long training in such sights.
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This product was added to our catalog on Friday 23 May, 2014.