1876 "Gettysburg. Repulse of Longstreet's Assault" Engraving after John B. Bachelder

Presented here is an 1876 engraving of John B. Bachelder and James Walker’s Gettysburg. Repulse of Longstreet’s Assault together with two ornately decorated Union Officer swords. The engraved scene depicts the decisive battle on the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Researched by the photographer and topographer John B. Bachelder and painted by James Walker, the original painting was created in 1870. This detailed engraving was done by H. B. Hall Jr. and published by the aforementioned Bachelder in Boston, Massachusetts.

Otherwise called Pickett’s Charge, the battle occurred on July 3, 1863. Pickett’s corp commander, Lieutenant General James Longstreet was placed in charge of the attack despite his hesitations. Longstreet’s central role led to the title of the work, Repulse of Longstreet’s Assault. In an attempt to gain control of an important supply route, nine Confederate brigades charged across three-quarters of a mile of open ground against cannon fire to take Cemetery Ridge from the defending Union Army. Despite their overwhelming numbers, the Confederate forces were repelled with considerable casualties marking not only a decisive victory for the Union, but also the beginning of the slow defeat of Lee’s Army. The furthest the charging forces advanced before being repulsed would forever be known as the “High Water Mark of the Confederacy.” The Confederate army never recovered from the losses at Gettysburg and it effectively ended Lee’s campaign into Pennsylvania.

Bachelder exhaustively researched the battle and hoped that, along with James Walker, their work would become as famous and widely celebrated as Washington Crossing the Delaware by Leutz. To achieve his goal, Bachelder studied the landscape and consulted both Union and Confederate soldiers to ensure the accuracy of his work. After Walker painted it with precise technical detail, several officers present on that day agreed that it was a fantastic depiction of the event. Even General James Longstreet wrote that the painting was a “fair and complete representation of that eventful scene.” Shortly after the painting was produced, Bachelder had engravings published. His research and collaboration with Walker had a profound influence on the country’s memory of Gettysburg.

CONDITION:

Overall very good condition. The engraving has two small creases at the bottom center, but otherwise there is no notable damage. The two Union Officer swords show signs of wear throughout appropriate for age including rubbed handles and metal. The blades are ornately decorated and the left sword has the abbreviation “U. S.” engraved onto it. All elements are beautifully framed together according to archival standards with an explanatory plaque at the bottom.

Framed Dimensions: 47” H x 57.5” W x 5.5” D.




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