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1863 Currier and Ives View of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War

The Battle of Gettysburg, Pa. July 3, 1863. - Main View

1863 Currier and Ives View of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War


The turning point of the American Civil War.


The Battle of Gettysburg, Pa. July 3, 1863.
  1863 (undated)     9.25 x 12.75 in (23.495 x 32.385 cm)


This is an 1863 Currier and Ives view of the Battle of Gettysburg. Union troops, carrying the stars and stripes, determinedly charge Confederate lines in the face of point-blank enemy fire. Two Confederate canons appear in the foreground, and three Confederate casualties lie on the ground in front of the advancing Union force.
The Battle of Gettysburg
Fought from July 1st through the 3rd, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg was the defining moment of the American Civil War (1861 - 1865). The Confederacy began the war by advancing aggressively and successfully under the brilliant generalship of Maj. General Robert E. Lee (1807 - 1870). Buoyed by his May 1863 successes at the Battle of Chancellorsville (April 30 - May 6, 1863), Lee launched a grand invasion of Pennsylvania, intending to push as far as Harrisburg, or potentially Philadelphia. The Union and Confederate forces first engaged on July 1 of 1863. The Confederates met with some initial success, seizing weakly defended but strategic ridges before reaching a stalemate. The Confederates decided to break the stalemate with an aggressive charge on the well-fortified Union position of Cemetery Ridge. Pickett's Charge, as it became known after its leader, the Confederate Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett (1825 - 1875), was a disaster, incurring heavy losses and turning the tide of the battle. In subsequent engagements, Union forces again and again prevailed, forcing the Confederate army into a torturous retreat to Virginia. The Battle of Gettysburg resulted in between 46,000 and 51,000 casualties, proving the costliest single battle in U.S. history. In the aftermath of the battle, on November 19, President Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) issued the historic Gettysburg Address, redefining the purpose of the war. Pickett's Charge proved to be the Confederate high-water mark. Not only did the Confederacy lose the Battle of Gettysburg, but from this point forward, they also began to lose the war.
Currier and Ives Civil War Prints
Currier and Ives' prints of events in the American Civil War (1861 - 1865) are among the most accurate and significant records of the Civil War published. Taken as a whole, the dozens of prints issued by Currier and Ives between 1860 and 1867 represent a comprehensive contemporaneous record of the war. The prints were drawn and engraved based upon eye witness accounts and sketches shortly after the relevant events and battles. Most are small format (9 x 11 or so) and are not of the same high quality as Currier and Ives' more famous larger images, a factor of the haste by which they were compiled, engraved, and printed. Each was produced to address commercial hunger for information about the war - where nearly everyone had a friend or family member on the front. A complete collection of Currier and Ives Civil War issues is essential to any serious collection of as-it-happened Civil War imagery. The entire series of Currier and Ives Civil War views were reproduced in 1960 in a series of 8 portfolios. These reproductions are common on the market, but originals have become rare.
Publication History and Census
This view was created and published by Currier and Ives from their premises at 152 Nassau Street in New York City in 1863. Scarce to the market.


Nathaniel Currier (March 27, 1813 - November 20, 1888) was an American lithographer best known as part of 'Currier and Ives'. Born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, Currier attended public schools until fifteen, when he apprenticed with the Boston lithographic firm of William and John Pendleton. The Pendletons were the first successful lithographers in the United States and were responsible for educating the next generation of lithographic printers. In 1833, Currier left the Pendleton's shop to work with M.E.D. Brown in Philadelphia. A year later, Currier moved to New York City, where he planned to start a business with John Pendleton. When Pendleton backed out, Currier found a new partner, founding 'Currier and Stodart', but the concern survived for just a year. Currier opened his own lithographic studio in 1835 as an eponymous sole-proprietorship. He initially printed the standard materials, including letterheads, sheet music, and handbills. Later in 1835, Currier began issuing current event imagery. Some of his news printers were issued in the New York Sun. By 1840, Currier had moved away from 'job printing' and further toward fine-print publishing. His Awful Conflagration of the Steam Boat 'Lexington', was published in the Sun that year, as well as being separately issued. James Ives (March 5, 1824 - January 3, 1895) began working under Currier in 1850 as a bookkeeper. Ives contributed greatly to the growth of the business, particularly as a manager, marketer, and businessman. Ives became a full partner in 1857, and the firm was renamed 'Currier and Ives'. Currier and Ives produced over 7,500 images and is best remembered for its popular art prints, particularly Christmas scenes and landscapes. They also produced banners, illustrations of current events, views, and historical scenes. Currier retired in 1880 and turned the business over to his son Edward. Currier married Eliza West Farnsworth in 1840, with whom he had one child Edward West Currier. Eliza died in 1843. Currier remarried to Lura Ormsbee in 1847. Other than being a lithographer, Currier also served as a volunteer New York City fireman during the 1850s, and he liked fast horses. More by this mapmaker...

James Merritt Ives (March 5, 1824 - January 3, 1895) was an American businessman, bookkeeper, and lithographer who oversaw the business side of the famed lithographic firm Currier and Ives. Born in New York City, Ives was a self-trained artist who began working at the age of twelve. He married Caroline Clark (1827 - 1896) on June 24, 1846, who was the sister-in-law of Nathaniel Currier's brother, Charles Currier. In 1852, Nathaniel Currier (March 27, 1813 - November 20, 1888) hired Ives as the bookkeeper for his firm N. Currier, Lithographer, on Charles's recommendation. Ives' talent for art and his knowledge of the artistic world soon became apparent to Currier, who valued his insights as well as the business acumen. Currier offered Ives a full partnership in 1857. They renamed the firm 'Currier and Ives' with Ives as the general manager. Ives began to play a role in selecting artists and prints to publish, and was responsible for pursuing publication of scenes of middle-class America that made the firm famous. After Ives died in 1895, his sons continued to work with Currier's son to manage the firm until it was liquidated in 1907. Learn More...


Good. Exhibits light toning and soiling. Closed tear extending one and three-quarters (1.75) inches into printed area repaired on verso.


Library of Congress Control Number 90709061.