This, perhaps Nast's most
poignant Civil War Illustration, captures the dual celebration . . . the
celebration both of Christ's entry into Jerusalem, and the end of the Civil
The inset image on the
right shows Robert E. Lee's Surrender to Ulysses S. Grant. Lee and
Grant are pictured at Appomattox Courthouse. Grant appears to be
holding out his hand to Lee in peace. Lee stands tall and proud in
what must have been the most painful moment of his life. His cause was
lost, but not his pride, dignity nor honor.
This inset image is
captioned, "Surrender of General Lee to Lieutenant General Grant". The
larger banner beneath this inset reads, "Honor the Illustrious Dead.
And Heartily Sympathize with the Sufferings of our Gallant Heroes and Their
On the left is an inset
image showing Christ's entry into Jerusalem, which occurred some 1,835 years
earlier, to the day. The illustration shows Christ, seated on a donkey,
entering the Holy City. As described in the Gospels, the people are
waving Palm Branches at Jesus. In addition, people are placing cloaks
and mats in his path. One woman is seen holding her child for Jesus to
Beneath this inset image
is the caption, "The Saviors Entry Into Jerusalem". Beneath that is a
banner which reads, "We Hold Out the Olive Branch to Our Erring and
Misguided Brethren of the Southern States, and Pledge to All of Them Who Are
Loyal a Hearty Welcome to All the Benefits of a Free Republic".
The illustration also has
banners reading "Liberty" and "Union". We also see banners saying
"Praise God from whom All Blessings Flow", and "Blessed are the Peace
Makers". Surrounding the main images are the images of Heavenly Hosts,
appearing to celebrate the end of the Civil War.
To the left of the
illustration are the words, "We Recognize His Hand and His Kind Providence
in Bringing This Nation So Near to a Triumphant End to The Mighty Contest
for Freedom and Good Government." To the right of the illustration, we
read, "`The Armies of the Republic have by the Blessing of God Triumphed
Over the Foes of the Union, The Constitution, and the Laws."
So, we can clearly see in
this illustration that Thomas Nast humbly attributes the Union Victory as
being from the Hand of God.