Panorama of the Seat of War. Birds Eye View of Kentucky and Tennessee showing Cairo and part of the southern states
New York: John Bachmann, 1861 [but 1862]. Chromolithograph, by Bachmann. Sheet size: 20 7/8 x 31 inches.
A fine copy of this bird's-eye by Bachmann, 'one of the finest American artists and lithographers specializing in bird's-eye views' (Stephenson & McKee), recalling a pivotal moment in the Civil War. 'Bachmann did six views of the Confederate States like this one ... They are very rare.' (Rumsey).
The clouds of smoke over Fort Donelson show that this image is intended to recall a moment in time between February 11th and the 16th, 1862, when Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant besieged and secured the surrender of Fort Donelson. The 12,000-stong garrison's unconditional surrender was a major victory for the Union and a catastrophe for the South: Kentucky stayed in the Union, and Tennessee became vulnerable to a Northern advance along the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. Grant, who received the nickname 'Unconditional Surrender', was also promoted to Major General, and came to be considered as an important figure in the western theater of the war.
Stephenson Civil War Maps (1989) 23.5; Rumsey 2657; Reps p.160 ('No finer artist of city views worked in America than John Bachmann).