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Confederate Veteran and Artist

Sixth-plate ambrotype by an unidentified photographer. Brian White Collection.
Sixth-plate ambrotype by an unidentified photographer. Brian White Collection.

Allen Christian Redwood (1844-1922) shaped how future generations of Americans remembered the Civil War. His illustrations appeared in numerous publications, notably The Century magazine’s Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. He also contributed to Frances Trevelyan Miller’s The Photographic History of the Civil War, where this portrait of him appears in the tenth and final volume.

The realism and authenticity in his works is due in part to his education. Born in Virginia and raised in Baltimore, Redwood studied art in New York City.

It is also due to his extensive experience during his army service. Starting at age 17 with the 55th Virginia Infantry, Redwood suffered three wounds: at Mechanicsville while capturing a Union battery; at Chancellorsville, where he allegedly witnessed the wounding of Stonewall Jackson; and at Gettysburg during Pickett’s Charge, where he and several dozen comrades advanced after the rest of the 55th refused to go any further after it came within 500 yards of the U.S. line. Redwood suffered a gunshot wound in the right elbow while aiming his weapon and managed to escape.

An example of Redwood's art. Library of Congress.
An example of Redwood’s art. Library of Congress.

Redwood joined the 1st Maryland Cavalry in early 1864. In May, his horse was shot from beneath him at Pollard’s Farm. In September, he was detailed to be a personal escort and bodyguard to Maj. Gen. Lunsford L. Lomax. Captured in March 1865 while attempting to steal horses from the Union cavalry to replenish Confederate stock, he spent the rest of the war as a prisoner. He signed the Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution in July 1865.

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