Thomas Nast's "The War for the Union"
You are viewing Thomas Nast's first Civil War
illustration for Harper's Weekly. It is an original leaf from a
November 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly. The illustration is a
dramatic image, and is captioned, "The War for the Union - Surprise of a
Confederate Guerrilla Unit by a Squadron of the U.S. Cavalry."
Thomas Nast "A War for the Union"
(Click on Image for Enlarged View)
The leaf shows the Union
Cavalry putting a surprised group of rebel soldiers to the sword. In
the center of the illustration, one confederate on horseback can be seen
being run through with a sword. Others can be seen being shot, stabbed
This is a completely
pro-union illustration, and was meant to rally support on the home front at
a time when things were not going that well for the Union army. Later
in the war, Nast's illustrations were not always as pro-union, and he would
go so far as to appear to endorse compromise with the South. But, for
this, his first Civil War illustration, he is glorifying a Union victory.
We hope you enjoy this complete Gallery of
the Civil War works of Thomas Nast. We have created this digital
archive for the use of researchers and students of Thomas Nast. Please
remember that the digitally enhanced images are Copyright ©
Son of the South Material, so do not use them without asking permission.
A Note to our Readers
We created this
Thomas Nast Gallery to digitally preserve Nast's Civil War work for
posterity. We are now making the original, 140 year old leafs
available for a price of $250 each. The proceeds from the sale of the
material will enable us to continue to expand the material featured on our
site. Please contact
if you are interested in acquiring one of these original leafs.