Frederic S. Remington (1861–1909)
Morgan's Raiders Capturing a Train, ca. 1895
Ink, ink wash, and opaque white on paper
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
In Kentucky and Tennessee during the Civil War, the Confederate guerilla forces commanded by Colonel John H. Morgan continually harassed the Union army. They often slipped to the rear of the federal columns to cut lines of supply, overrun isolated outposts, or as Remington depicts here, capturing a supply train. The black and white wash drawing appeared as an illustration for an article about some of Morgan’s exploits titled “The Story of a Thousand” published in Cosmopolitan magazine in March 1895. “Now and then,” the writer wrote of Morgan, “he pounced down on some undefended train or unsuspecting post. Then there was a sudden flurry, a sharp skirmish, a quick surrender, and the restless partisan was far beyond pursuit before the laboring infantry caught up with him.” Remington’s drawing seems to depict a particularly embarassing incident where a Colonel Hutchinson, of Morgan’s command, with a hundred and sixty men, succeeded in capturing a Union outpost and a large supply train through the subterfuge of dressing some of their number like Union soldiers in order to approach and “get the drop” on their unsuspecting victims, as they are doing here. In delightful Victorian prose, the author of the article characterized Colonel Morgan as a “pestiferous antagonist” to his hapless Union opponents.