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Yankee Volunteers Marching into Dixie

Yankee Volunteers Marching into Dixie American History Visual Arts Music Nineteenth Century Life Civil Wars Ethics

 

When a war starts, people are sometimes excited (or, at least, art work of the time portrays such enthusiasm).

Whatever the reasons for war, each side often has a motive to right the wrongs (real or imagined) perpetrated against it by the opponents (or others acting on their behalf).

During wars, which usually last much longer than anyone anticipates at the start, governments (or individuals working at the government's behest) often create artwork, songs, posters and other materials to bolster support for the war and to maintain the people's confidence in it.

Sometimes those works of art genuinely express the artist's support for a cause (and are not government-requested). Other times, the works of art act as propaganda.

This 1862 image is an example of an artist’s interpretation of excitement in war. Entitled “Yankee Volunteers Marching into Dixie,” it is a fanciful portrayal of “Uncle Sam’s” soldiers going to fight in the South (where they would fight against other Americans).

The Library of Congress describes its holding with these words:

Music cover showing a patriotic but fanciful portrayal of Union forces marching on the South at the opening of the Civil War. Led by a blue-uniformed officer with a drawn sword, a large troop of men march forward.

All are dressed in the large white top hats, striped pantaloons, and jack boots characteristic of Yankee character Brother Jonathan.

In the background, to the north, is the Potomac River and, beyond, the Washington skyline with the Capitol building.

John Henry Bufford produced this work during 1862. It was published in Boston.

Click on the image for a much-better view.


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Library of Congress.  PD.

 

 

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