Winslow Homer: News from the Civil War


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Winslow Homer Civil War Art:

News from the War

This is a poignant and fascinating Winslow Homer Civil War illustration.  It is from the June 14, 1862 edition of Harper's Weekly.  This illustration features various scenes associated with people getting news in the Civil War.  The image is captioned, "News from the War." I do not find Mr. Homer's signature on the illustration, but it is attributed to him in the leaf caption.

Winslow Homer News from the War Print

June 14, 1862 - News form the War (Click on Image for Enlarged View)

This is an absolutely incredible illustration.  Overall, it shows different people in different situations receiving news of the war.  Of perhaps most importance, the lower left image is captioned, "Our Special Artist".  As most of you know by now, that was the descriptor often used by Harper's Weekly to describe Winslow Homer.  The fascinating thing, therefore, its that the gentleman with the beard sitting on the barrel, sketching the soldiers would be none-other-than Winslow Homer himself! This image would represent, therefore, a Winslow Homer self portrait!  I am aware of no other images that Homer did of himself.  The image, if taken literally, would indicate that Homer wore a beard during the Civil War.  I am not aware of any photograph of Homer with a beard.

The upper left image shows a Navy Sailor on the deck of the ship.  It appears that it is mail day on board the ship. One sailor has received a letter from home, while another, rather sad I might add, sailor appears to have no letter.

The top center illustration is one of a beautiful woman, alone at home, with a letter in her hand.  She is weeping bitterly.  Apparently the letter has brought terrible news  . . . perhaps the worst . . . and she is grieving over the news.

The upper right image shows women talking to injured soldiers home from the war.  One had had a leg amputated, and another has his arm in a sling.  No doubt the women are seeking news of the war directly from these soldiers.

In the lower right we see soldiers running up to a train, which is delivering newspapers.  The train apparently is throwing bundles of newspapers to the soldiers.  One hapless soldier apparently has been conked in the head and knocked over by a bundle of newspapers.  The soldiers are eagerly running to get copies of various newspapers.  One of the papers being read by two soldiers clearly is a copy of Harper's Weekly!

This is a fascinating illustration, and one that you can spend hours pouring over.

A Note to our Readers

We acquired the images above for the purpose of digitally persevering them on this site for all to enjoy.  With the digital archive complete, we are making the original, 140 year old illustrations available for purchase.  By selling these original illustrations, we are able to acquire more material to archive on this site.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the original Harper's Weekly leafs on this page, contact The leafs are available for a price of $250 a piece, and the proceeds will go to continue to expand the resources on this site.




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