This is an 1862 Currier and Ives view of the Second Battle of Bull Run, fought during the American Civil War. Union Major General John Pope's Army of Virginia appears on the left and General Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia occupies the right. Orderly battle lines appear in the background, with Confederates in ranks firing at the advancing Union troops. However, in the foreground, the order dissolves into chaos, with hand-to-hand combat and dead or wounded on the ground. Some Confederate soldiers are retreating.
The Second Battle of Bull RunThe Second Battle of Bull Run was fought in Prince William County, Virginia, on August 29 - 30, 1862. Fought on the same ground as the First Battle of Bull Run (July 21, 1861), Confederate Major General Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson (January 21, 1824 - May 10, 1863) attacked a Union column at Brawner's Farm on August 28, 1862. The attack resulted in a stalemate, but did get General Pope's attention. That same day, Confederate General James Longstreet broke through Union lines at the Battle of Thoroughfare Gap and moved to join Jackson's army. After the engagement at Brawner's Farm, Pope believed he had cornered Jackson, which persuaded him to concentrate his entire force against Jackson's army. However, Pope was unaware of Longstreet's breakthrough and approach. On August 29, Pope's army assaulted Jackson's heavily defended position with little success and heavy casualties on both sides. Longstreet arrived around noon and took a position on Jackson's flank. Pope renewed his attack on August 30, apparently unaware of Longstreet's arrival. Pope's force was devastated by Confederate artillery. Then, in the largest simultaneous mass assault of the war, Longstreet's entire army of 25,000 men charged. Longstreet's men crushed the Union left flank and drove Union forces back to Bull Run. If not for the effective rearguard action by the retreating Union Army, this would have been a replay of the Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run.
Currier and Ives Civil War PrintsCurrier 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 dozes 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 eyewitness accounts and sketches shortly after the relevant events and battles. Most are small format (9 x 11 or so) 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 1860 in a series of 8 portfolios. These reproductions are common on the market, but originals have become rare.
Publication History and CensusThis view was created and published by Currier and Ives from their premises at 152 Nassau Street in New York City in 1862. Two examples of this view are cataloged in OCLC and are part of the institutional collections at the Library of Congress and George Mason University. A third example is part of the collection at the D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, Massachusetts.
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...