American Civil War pencil art
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The Family History Files of Dalton Ray Phillips







I don't claim to be an artist but I do like to draw. I do a lot of it now that I am retired. I am pretty much home bound and drawing is relaxing for me. I do all of my drawing with a mechanical pencil loaded with 2B leads. PLAIN AND SIMPLE - THAT IS MY WAY. 

At last count, I had almost 400 sketches stashed away in my digital achieves. Some good, some bad, most about average

- all done by me. I typically turn out 2 or 3 new sketches every day. 

I will refresh this page often with new drawings.


If you have comments, suggestions or criticism just send me an email.


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Silas, a Negro slave. Slavery was an evil thing and it needed to be ended long before it was. To say the Civil War was not fought over slavery would be naive. It is a real shame that it took such a terrible war to get slavery abolished.  
A Mulatto boy is suspended in chains from a device some southern slaveholders used to keep the uppity slaves in line. The southerners used a variety of these devices. Slaves would be suspended like this for hours in the hot sun, deprived of water and food, and were sometimes beaten with whips. Not all of the slaveholders used devices such as this one but too many of them did.



These two aging Negro slaves, husband and wife, have been beloved house servants for the family for over thirty five years. The lady was the primary caretaker for all of the children during their early years. The man was the Chief Servant, over all of the other house slaves, for almost twenty years. Now elderly and getting frail, they have no desire to be set free. They want to stay with their white master and  continue to serve what the consider to be their family. The war has ended. What is left of the family is now terribly poor. They have approached the family with a proposal to stay on and continue to work, just for their keep. They nervously await the decision of the family members, now meeting behind closed doors to discuss the matter.  
Confederate skirmishers getting lined up.  
A Confederate soldier on sentry watch in the winter.  
A Confederate soldier signs up for parole after Lee's surrender.  
ULYSSES S. GRANT: I believe this sketch captures the spirit of General Grant. He was not known for his military brilliance. He was short and stocky, smoked cigars, did not keep his beard trimmed neatly and sometimes drank too much whiskey. He was not an imposing figure. But he could get things done and win battles because he was stubborn and tenacious. He had the will to win battles - a quality that was lacking in many of the Federal generals.  
An old Yank remembers Total War in Georgia.  
A Confederate Navy officer.


A Confederate Cavalry officer getting ready to lead a charge.  
After the Battle of Shiloh, Confederate soldiers gather to discuss the action.  
A Confederate Navy Blockade Runner Captain on the lookout for Yankee interceptors.  
A Yankee soldier. Most southerners later said they fought to stop the invasion by the Yankees and protect their homeland, not for the right to own slaves. Most Federals later said they fought to end the rebellion and preserve the Union and did not give much thought to the slavery issue.  
A rebel marches off to join the fight to stop the Yankee invasion. Volunteers came from every walk of life. The typical Confederate soldier was poor and did not own Negro slaves. However most of them believed slavery was a good thing and had ambitions to own slaves when they could afford it. Slaves were the main labor force in the South  for tending to and harvesting cotton, which was labor intensive. The southerners were more concerned about stopping the Yankee Invasion and protecting their loved ones and property. They  expected it all to be done in a short time.  
The General weeps.


A Southern Planter sipping tea during the opening days of the Southern War of Independence. Most people on both sides thought it would all blow over in a few months. It was finally taken seriously after the Battle of Shiloh (Tennessee) which happened in April of 1862.  It was a long and brutal war after that. Many of the old southern aristocratic class were reduced to poverty by the time the war ended in 1865. Most of the south was left in rubble.  
ATTACK BOTH WAYS: Nathan Bedford Forrest was known for his unconventional aggressive actions on the field of battle. A practical man, Forrest firmly believed it was always better to attack rather than try to defend against an attack. On one occasion, when they were being threatened by attack by the Federals from two different directions, a subordinate officer asked him what they should do. Forrest tersely replied "Attack them both ways".


A Cherokee Confederate. Many native Americans fought as Confederates, especially those from the five civilized tribes with roots in the southeastern states - then old Dixie.  
A Confederate cavalryman. They rode behind dashing and cavalier commanders like Stuart, Hampton, Gordon, Forrest and Mosby. They were the Knights of the Confederacy.  
A Confederate sentry. This was a duty that was dreaded by most young soldiers. But they knew it was necessary and they all had to take their turn at doing it. Such was the life of a soldier.  
Coming at you. Tangling with Texas Confederate Calvary up close was not a pleasant experience for the Yanks. The Texas cavalry were a wild bunch. They were generally undisciplined but excellent horsemen. They were sometimes used for shock and awe because they were so wild, ugly and mean looking.  
Honoring the fallen. A grizzly old Confederate Sergeant gives a simple salute to a fallen comrade with his saber. Present Arms! The final salute.  
A rebel soldier. The typical Confederate soldier was poor and uneducated. Most of them were raised on small farms in rural settings. Some owned small farms but only a few owned black slaves. Most of them were outdoorsmen, skilled hunters and fishermen - used to living on meager subsistence and working hard. They had been brought up handling firearms and many were excellent marksmen. They made good soldiers and endured the hardships this cruel war presented gracefully. Robert E. Lee lauded them as being the finest soldiers any General could ever have serving under him.  
My great grandfather, James Sanford Callahan, enlisted in the First Texas Mounted Rifles when it was formed in 1861 by Henry McCulloch. He was 17 years old. It was disbanded a year later. He transferred to the Arizona Brigade, First Texas Cavalry - Hardeman's. As far as I know, he spent the war years patrolling the Indian country in the Texas frontier. Keeping the Indians in check was a a big problem in Texas during the war years. The lack of support by the Federal Government in controlling the hostile Indians and bandits on the frontier was listed as the main reason for Texas leaving the Union to join the Confederacy on the official Declaration of Secession.   
A Rebel cavalryman giving up at the end of the war. Beaten but unrepentant -  many of them went on to live long lives. Some went to their graves still believing in the cause of the Confederacy.  
Released from a Prisoner of War Camp near Chicago, a paroled Confederate starts the long walk home in Dixie. Already sick and half starved, many of the men in this situation never made it home.  
The last stand by a young Confederate officer.


Remembering Shiloh in 1895. Old soldiers from both sides get together to tell stories.  
Union General George Henry Thomas: The Rock of Chickamauga. With more like him on the Union side,  the war would have ended much sooner.  
Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest: The Wizard of the Saddle. A very impressive figure during the war years, he suffered from diabetes. It took its toll on him. He was described as being a mere shell of his former self at a reunion, held shortly before he passed away. He died in 1877 in Memphis, Tennessee. His name is blemished by his association with the KKK. I do not believe it is right to judge the men from that era by the standards of today. Forrest was a great General because he led his troops in harm's way and brought most of them back home safely. His troops were some of the best provisioned of all of  the Confederates. He took good care of his troops and led them from the front.  
Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. He had piercing blue eyes that sometimes seemed to glow, like there was a light behind them. Some soldiers swore they saw an eerie blue aura around Jackson at the first Battle of Bull Run. One of the many nicknames for him was "Old Blue Light".  
Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson weeps uncontrollably at a staff meeting as he reads about the death of a young child he befriended. A very religious and eccentric man, Jackson often baffled those who served under him. He was secretive and rarely shared his full plans with the subordinate generals. He issued orders that were sometimes considered to be crazy and did not explain his reasoning. Even the most loyal of the subordinates considered him to be aloof and peculiar. A strict disciplinarian, he had ordered men shot for cowardice, sometimes  without a full hearing.  He also ordered a "take no prisoners" policy. Still, he loved being around little children and would sometimes get down on the floor to romp with them, at inappropriate times. He once  even let the little children play in the room where he was meeting with his staff officers. 

He died on May 10, 1863 from wounds he received several days earlier, when he was shot by a friendly sentry near Chancellorsville, Virginia.

Old Tom Fool. Thomas Jackson as an instructor at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Jackson was odd and eccentric and became an easy target for the young cadets. They nicknamed him Old Tom Fool and made fun of him. He took it all in stride, accepting it as just part of the job.  
Stonewall Jackson watching the movements of the enemy from high ground some distance away. He would have the staff stay back a hundred yards or so away from him, out of his ear range. He had exercises he did daily - raising his arms up above his head, one at a time. He would hold each arm up like that for several minutes at a time. He believed it let the blood drain down to his trunk and helped with his circulation and digestion. When he was on these reconnaissance trips, he wanted to be alone. He did not want to be bothered by having to deal with people, with their  idle conversation and the other distractions.


Stonewall Jackson. Sitting on a stump, eating peanuts. He wore a common uniform and often did not wear any markings showing that he was a General. People took him for a Private soldier and were surprised when they learned that this slovenly looking man was the Great Stonewall.  
Jackson and his Bible. He carried his Bible with him everywhere he went and read from it every day, whenever he had the chance.


Jackson meets with a cavalry officer to discuss plans for liberating a village in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia which had been under the control of the Federals for some time.  
The great Thomas Jonathon "Stonewall" Jackson.  
Colonel S.W. McCain, Texas Confederate cavalry. I know nothing about him but found a photograph indicating that he served with the First Texas Mounted Rifles. My great grandfather also served as a private in that unit, along with his older brother. The inscription on the old photograph was faded and smeared and I am not sure the name is correct. If anyone has any information about it, please share it with me.  
A.P. HILL CONFEDERATE LIEUTENANT GENERAL. Early in the war Hill served as a subordinate under General James Longstreet. A feud started between these two very high strung individuals. It almost resulted in a duel. General Lee stepped in at the last minute to call an end to it. To keep them apart, he transferred Hill to serve under General Thomas Jackson. Hill excelled as a division commander under Jackson. He commanded the the Light Division of Jackson's Copr. Longstreet and Hill eventually got back on friendly terms. He had problems as a Corps Comander after Jackson died. He was killed at Petersburg, Virginia in 1865.  
Richard Ewell Lieutenant  General CSA. Always obedient, Ewell was often mystified by the behavior of his superior officer, Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson. He stated more than once that he believed Jackson was crazy. He saw Jackson as a "Bible thumper and  religious zealant". He always obeyed Jackson's orders nonetheless. Jackson's death had a big impact on him. He seemed to lose confidence in his own judgment. He was criticized for being indecisive at the Battle of Gettysburg. He later became a devout Christian himself. After the war ended, he was a gentleman farmer in Tennessee and spent much of the time in his later years doing public service work and doting on his grand children.  
General  James Longstreet CSA: Lee's Old War Horse. He did not give Lee his full support at the Battle of Gettysburg and was openly critical of some of Lee's decisions and orders. He was blamed by many for causing the South to lose the war because of his lack of loyalty to Lee and  his poor performance at Gettysburg.  Lee took full responsibility for it. After the war ended, Longstreet became involved in several big investment schemes. A few were marginally successful - most of them were not successful at all. He became a Republican and was was called a "scalawag" by some powerful people in the South.


Lieutenant General Wade Hampton III, CSA, Cavalry. Older than most of his contemporaries, he was nonetheless an impressive figure. He lacked a military education but proved to be a capable tactician and commander. He went up against some of the best in the Union Army. Many of them later praised him. He was tall and carried a straight sword that was almost four feet long. He would often wield the oversized sword as he attacked on horseback and was a fearsome sight. He was known for his strength and physical endurance and the ability to inspire his men. Brave and dashing, he was wounded several times.  From the aristocratic class, his family owned many black slaves to work the fields of a large plantation in South Carolina. He was wealthy and invested much of his own money in buying cannons, equipment and supplies for his troops. He went on to be a powerful politician after the war ended.  
Lieutenant General Joseph "Fighting Joe" Wheeler, CSA, Cavalry. He was born in Georgia but spent much of his childhood in Connecticut. He fought gallantly for the Confederacy. He went on to serve with distinction in the U.S. Army.  
A Confederate parson. This parson will probably be part of a crew firing a cannon tomorrow. There were no dedicated Chaplains. Many parsons served but they were not there to preach the gospel.  The business of fighting a war came first.  
Colonel  John Mosby, CSA, cavalry. The Gray Ghost. He led his Rangers on daring attacks behind the Federal lines to confuse their communications and disrupt their resupply systems. Mosby and his troops were hailed as heroes in the south but were often branded as raiders, outlaws and bandits by the Federals.  
A Confederate Drummer Boy. My great grandfather, William Elijah Gooch, supposedly ran away to join up with the Confederate Army as a drummer boy when he was 12 years old. That is the story but I have no proof.  
This sketch shows my great grandfather, James Sanford Callahan on the right reuniting with his older brother, Wesley Hughes Callahan, after they were separated for sometime near the end of the Civil War. They were very close. They were both Confederate cavalrymen.  
A Confederate soldier returning home at the war's end surveys the damage. The destruction was everywhere. Almost all of the big plantation mansions were razed and burned. The small farms were ransacked and picked through so there was nothing of real value left there. Some of the homes and outbuildings on the smaller farms were still standing but they were run down and dilapidated. The people were living in poverty. The gloom and despair of it all was overwhelming. Many returning soldiers made the decision to go west to escape having to look at it. They left their homes and the loved ones who survived  behind and headed west,  with only what they could carry. It was a new beginning for them.


Gloom and despair was everywhere. The people were hopeless and lost their drive and gumption.  
A southern widow with her 5 children. It was a common sight in those times. The high number of widows and orphans caused great concerns for many years after the war ended.  
An aging former Southern Planter and his wife. Once wealthy and powerful, many of the old planters died with very little - some in complete poverty.  
The long walk home.  




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