PRESS FORWARD, MEN (Artist Proof)
by Bradley Schmehl
Overall Print Size: 20" x 30"
Edition Size: 95
Thomas Jonathan Jackson was much more than a brilliant military campaigner and tactician. He was a devoted Christian, family man, leader and patriot, and it is more than fitting that his fame should have spread as widely as it did. In the words of English clergyman S. Parkes Cadman, "His alliance with eternal realities, his foretaste of the powers of the world to come, his deep and genuine piety, his adherence to the Bible, the Church, and the Lord's day, his keeping of his own conscience before God and men, are the outstanding traits of a spiritual prince who was greater than anything he did, and whose deeds took rise in his being." Here Stonewall Jackson is at the apogee of his greatest military triumph at Chancellorsville, frozen in a moment of time, in an aggressive, urgent posture that epitomizes the image and attitude of the General - the very image and attitude which endeared him to his men and to the patriotic hearts of Southerners, and which struck fear and awe into the hearts of his enemies. In the midst of the brilliant flank attack which had the Orange Turnpike as its axis of advance, he is seen among his troops, urging them onward with a favorite phrase: "Press forward, men!" Jackson was desperate to convey the urgent need to maintain the momentum of the assault which by now was flagging. Daylight was in short supply, as evidenced by the pale orange moon under which Jackson and his party of reconnoitering officers would be fired upon by a regiment of jittery North Carolina soldiers a few hours later, with extremely dire consequences. The men of Jackson's second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, had marched all day in non-abating heat and dust, with little water and little food, through densely wooded country over roads that at places were little more than footpaths, to assemble for and mount an attack on an enemy that never suspected a general engagement would ensue that day, until the Confederates were upon them and the enemy right flank had collapsed entirely.
"PRESS FORWARD, MEN" shows the Confederate assault about an hour and a half after its commencement at 5:15 PM on May 1, 1863. Jackson had the artillery shown in the dusty background here brought up to assume a forward firing position in the hopes of maintaining the offensive. The fight had reached a critical stage, a the right wing of the Army of the Potomac, under the command of Major General Joseph Hooker, did eventually regain its composure, and mounted a spirited defense. Despite being caught completely off guard, Major General Oliver O. Howard's Eleventh Corps succeeded in inflicting 1,000 casualties on Jackson's men and stalling his advance.
Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.