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An Artist's Story of the Great War

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Edwin Austin Forbes (1839 – 1895) was an American artist who sketched and painted scenes of American Civil War, including dramatic battles, commanding portraits of the leaders, and sketches of the everyday life of a soldier. His drawings won a medal at the Centennial Exposition of 1876.

When he was only 22 in 1861, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper hired Forbes as an artist and deployed him with the Union Army during the American Civil War. Over the course of the next two and a half years, he sketched majr battles and daily camp life in the Union army. These sketches he collected in the volume Life Studies of the Great Army in 1876.

. In 1890, he completed a 2-volume work called Thirty Years After: An Artist's Story of the Great War, which contained memoirs of his life as a Civil War "special" for Leslie's. Below are some of the sketches from that work.

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