This original, hand-colored lithographed titled The Army of the Potomac: The Wagon Trains of the Army of the Potomac en Route from Chickahominy to James River VA. During the Seven Days Fight (Fording Bear Creek One Mile below Savage Station) June 29th 1862, is an evocative piece of Civil War history. Created by John Bachelder, an artist renowned for his accurate and detailed depictions of battle scenes, this print offers a vivid representation of a crucial moment during the Seven Days Battles. The scene showcases the Army of the Potomac crossing Bear Creek, Virginia, with an extensive baggage train stretching into the distance. Bachelder's on-the-spot sketching and deep engagement with the military provide a unique perspective on this critical logistical moment of the war.
The lithograph showcases a complex scene, as the Army of the Potomac crosses Bear Creek, Virginia. The baggage train, stretching in many columns into the distance, highlights the logistical challenges faced by military forces of the time. The inclusion of wagons and soldiers on the move provides insight into the mobilization of an army during a pivotal campaign.
John Bachelder (1825-1894) was not just an observer of the war; he immersed himself in the military experience. By traveling with the troops and making on-the-spot sketches, he was able to capture the essence of life on the battlefield. His work was respected by many Union officers, as evidenced by General John Caldwell's statement praising the accuracy of Bachelder's artwork. This connection with the military allowed Bachelder to provide an inside look at the war's complexity, capturing moments that would otherwise have been lost to history.
Published in Boston by J.B. Bachelder and lithographed by J.H. Bufford, the print serves as a testament to the importance of art in documenting history. It goes beyond mere illustration, providing a nuanced understanding of military strategy, logistics, and the human experience during one of America's most tumultuous periods.
The Seven Days Battles were a series of six major battles over seven days from June 25 to July 1, 1862, near Richmond, Virginia. They were part of the Peninsula Campaign and were marked by heavy casualties on both sides. The depiction of the Army of the Potomac's movement between Chickahominy and James River reflects a crucial phase of this campaign.
In summary, Bachelder's print is not just a piece of art but a rich historical document. It encapsulates a specific moment in time during the Civil War, reflecting the chaos, planning, and perseverance of the people involved. His keen observational skills and commitment to accuracy have left us with an enduring visual record that continues to inform and inspire.
John Bachelder (1825-1894) was a painter, lithographer, photographer and historian. Early in his career he produced an important and appealing body of work depicting sites and cities in the northeastern United States. On his own initiative he traveled to Gettysburg immediately after the battle, where he spent no fewer than 84 days traversing the field, making sketches, and interviewing witnesses to the events. Later that year he published a spectacular and detailed bird’s-eye view of Gettysburg, his first published depiction of the battlefield. He went on to become the preeminent 19th-century historian of the battle and for years served as director of the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association.