"Oh I Wish He Were Ours" by Mort Kunstler

Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Print

Lee, going toward Gettysburg 6/26/1863

Image size: 17 1/4" x 23 1/8"

Edition size: 1000 S/N

Issue price: SOLD OUT--only available on our secondary market--call for current price and availability--800-237-6077)

In reading the classic Robert E. Lee by Douglas Freeman, I came across a rather unimportant moment in history that I thought would make a wonderful painting, and at the same time be able to show the sentiments of much of the North during the long hot summer of 1863.

A woman loyal to the North was overheard to say in admiration, "Oh I wish he was ours!" as Lee marched by. The veneration of Lee in the South is well known, but what is not generally known or portrayed is the admiration of the General in the North during the Civil War.

I have shown Robert E. Lee, on Traveller, as the center of interest, marching along what is today Route 11, but was then a tree shaded country lane. Following Lee on horseback is Lt. Col. Walter Taylor, an aide. The infantry marches north, unaware that the fateful Battle of Gettysburg lies ahead. It had rained earlier in the day accounting for the lack of dust on the road.

I traveled between Hagerstown and Chambersburg looking for an appropriate spot. However, I could not not find the type of house I was looking for on Route 11. The house in the background is typical of the houses at the time that were in Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. There are many that still exist in the area. The Maryland countryside spreads out in the distance.

Directly behind the Confederate battle flag is a white oak, the official state tree of Maryland. The state bird, the oriole, can be seen perched on one of the branches, and black-eyed susans, the state wildflower, abound along the roadside.

The white picket fence was typical of the time and area, as was the "worm" fence in the foreground.

Marching north with the confidence born with repeated victories, a week later, after Gettysburg, the Army of Northern Virginia would head south and recross the Potomac for the last time.

 

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