The Dragoon Newsletter
12 January 2017
Something a little different offering up work by artist John Paul Strain. John is a native of Virginia but now lives in Texas. Johns work is known throughout the world. The list attached is what is in stock at this time. I can however get any new and sometimes past editions of his prints. Johns work tends to sell out fast so do not wait… This newsletter will be going out to over one thousand clients and friends…
As you know the store is closing at the end of this month..However I will continue to serve you via the internet. All prints can be shipped worldwide…Please note due to being defrauded by Pay pal I will not do business with them. I prefer you pay by cheque, cash, International Money Order or even a bank transfer.. I can be reached by email phone 1-705-725-2085.. looking forward to hearing from you..Still have a few display cases available for sale..
Being offered by artist John Paul Strain……..
“CAVALIER OF THE SEA” number 94 of 350 printed $225.00 U.S.
By the summer of 1861, President Lincoln had placed into motion his plan to isolate the secessionist Southern States by imposing a blockade of their shipping ports. The South’s economy was based on “King Cotton” and trade with England and other countries. Four million English textile jobs relied on the importation of southern cotton, and in turn southern leaders would need immense amounts of arms and equipment from Europe to defeat the oncoming threat from the north. Blockade runners would become the lifeline of the Confederacy.
Before the Federal blockade was fully in place in the latter part of 1861, supplies were primarily carried across the Atlantic on sailing ships able to handle large quantities of goods. One ship could supply thousands of Enfield rifles and enough ammunition for 30 thousand troops in the field. As the blockade became more fully implemented, newer, faster and smaller steamships were utilized to elude Union vessels.
On May 28, 1861 Charleston received notification that it’s port was to be blockaded and that any ship approaching the city would be warned off or seized. A fifteen day grace period was to be given to neutral ships to leave the harbor. Undeterred, Confederate leaders went into action and readied war ships and privateers to counter the threat. The exploits of these bold sailors serving in the Confederate Navy, on privateers and supply ships became greatly romanticized in the newspapers as “Cavaliers of the Sea”.
Being offered by artist John Paul Strain……
“SOUL OF A LION” number 350 of 350 printed $225.00 U.S.
The critical moment in the battle of Gettysburg had arrived on a little known and seemingly insignificant hill called Little Round Top. Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain and his 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment were about to be over run by two confederate Alabama regiments. Almost one third of Chamberlain’s men were killed or wounded from previous assaults by Colonel William C. Oates’s Alabamians. With his men nearly out of ammunition, Chamberlain knew that his brave soldiers from Maine could not withstand another assault which was sure to come. Col. Chamberlain would later write, describing his thoughts that day, “A critical moment has arrived, and we can remain as we are no longer.” Chamberlain’s final orders from Colonel Strong Vincent had been to “hold that ground at all hazards.”
Little Round Top was at the end of the left flank of the Federal Army and offered a clear view of much of the battlefield. Earlier in the day, incredibly no one was given the assignment to defend such an important strategic piece of ground. A few signal men were occupying the hill when General Meade’s chief engineer Gouverneur K. Warren arrived on the hill and saw the danger. He quickly sent for help and Col. Vincent arrived with 4 regiments, and placed the 20th Maine at the end of the line.
Confederate Col. Oates was given the assignment to take Little Round Top, fortify and ring the hill with cannon to blow the Federal Army apart. Col. Oates said, “within half an hour I could convert Little Round Top into a Gibraltar that I could hold against ten times the number of men that I had.” Col. Oates rushed two regiments of about 640 men up the hill. The 20th Maine had been in place only 10 minutes before the southerners attacked.
In an hour and a half of intense fighting nearly forty thousand rounds were fired. Five times the Alabamians drove the Maine troops from their positions, only to be pushed back again and again. Chamberlain said, “At times I saw around me more of the enemy than of my own men; gaps opening, swallowing, closing again, squads of stalwart men who had cut their way through us, disappearing as if translated. All around , a strange, mingled roar.”
Now at the critical moment, Chamberlain decided to advance, and ordered his men to fix bayonets. While the right of his regiment held their positions, he ordered the men on his left to charge down the hill and wheel to the right. Sword in hand, with his brother Lt. Tom Chamberlain behind him, Col. Chamberlain charged down the hillside. The counter attack completely surprised the Alabamians, who wavered, broke and fled for their lives. Little Round Top held.
For his actions that fateful day Chamberlain would receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. General Sickel would later give Chamberlain a high compliment for his fighting spirit and kind heart saying, “you have the soul of a lion and the heart of a woman.”
Being offered by artist John Paul Strain…………………
“CHARLESTON STATION” numbers 557 and 561 of 750 printed. $225.00
If the great Stonewall Jackson was bothered by rain drops falling into his coffee while he waited for the Winchester and Potomac Railroad engine to get fired up at Charlestown Station, he didn’t show it. He also showed little concern about the huge Federal Armies that were closing in on him from numerous directions.
Adventures had unfolded hourly during Jackson’s audacious advance on the Federal Army. Fresh on the heels of his success in routing the Federals at Front Royal, he turned his attention to defeating General Banks’ army of 6500 men retreating north. Jackson hard-marched his men all night to catch Banks. With little rest and no food he and his army defeated Banks’ in the first battle of Winchester. Banks had been beaten but not completely destroyed as many of his soldiers were able to escape north towards Harpers Ferry. To General Jackson’s chagrin, lack of cavalry and the fatigue of his soldiers prevented pursuit. His soldiers had covered over 100 miles in 7 days and had been engaged in successful combat operations for 30 hours.
Jackson didn’t take long to reorganize and rearm his fighting force, and he was again in pursuit on May 28th. At the key crossroads town of Charlestown, 1500 of Banks’ men had turned to make a stand but were quickly defeated. However, Jackson’s cavalry chief Turner Ashby brought alarming news. Fremont’s Federal Army was heading towards them from the west. With Banks possibly reconstituting his command to the north, Jackson sensed a shift in the Federal priorities, and he was right. Washington was panicked at what Jackson was doing in the valley and drew two more divisions under General Shields to attack from the east. A courier on May 30th alerted Jackson to the new threat of Shields. Three Federal Armies were about to surround him. Jackson ordered his army back to Winchester to counter the threat.
The electric gray-blue sky and heavy rain seemed to accent the uncertainty and fate of General Jackson and his army. And yet as staff officers Sandie Pendleton and Jedediah Hotchkiss looked at his countenance, they could almost see his calm thoughts, and his eyes spoke silent words that trailed out over the steam from the railroad engine, all is well.
In this painting I was able to depict General Jackson wearing the famous rain coat that he wore in poor weather conditions. Jackson was wearing this jacket when he was wounded in the arm at Chancellorsville. Also depicted in the painting are three important members of Jackson’s staff. Colonel Alexander Boteler is in civilian clothes under the “Charlestown sign”. He has been given the assignment by Jackson to go to Richmond and try to obtain reinforcements. Jackson’s adjutant Sandie Pendleton is looking at his watch. Jackson’s “map maker” Jedediah Hotchkiss would not be riding on the train with the General, but would ride back to Winchester with the horses.
Being offered is by artist John Paul Strain………..
“A NEW YEAR WISH” number 349 and 350 of 850 printed $200.00 U.S.
Theirs was one of the great love stories of the Civil War. General Stonewall Jackson and his wife Anna were reunited in the snowy month of January after the Romney Expedition. The couple’s time together would be fleeting and meaningful.
On New Year’s Day of 1862 Jackson had led his troops on an expedition to destroy a concentration of Federal forces near Romney, Virginia. A heavy snowfall made the offensive arduous and challenging. The retreat of the Federal Army from the area and the capture of Romney and Bath, made the expedition a success. Nearly 100 miles of the B&O railroad tracks had been torn up by Jackson’s men with stores of confiscated supplies now in Confederate hands.
But General Jackson’s thoughts were not far from his loving Anna. After events had stabilized, the General, along with his staff headed back home at a quick pace. Riding along the slushy and muddy roads, Jackson pushed on for Winchester, covering 43 miles. Fighting fatigue and saddle sores one of his aids shouted, “Well, General, I am not anxious to see Mrs. Jackson as to break my neck keeping up with you! With your permission, I shall fall back and take it more leisurely!”
Arriving in Winchester, after cleaning up somewhat at the Taylor Hotel, the General hurried over to the Graham home “as joyous and fresh as a schoolboy”. There he embraced his loving Anna. Anna recalled his face “all aglow with delight”. He was home safe and it was time to celebrate his return and his 38th birthday.
On an evening ride together the couple stopped for a moment on the wagon bridge crossing Town Run Creek at Glen Burnie estates. Anna pulled out two pennies from her cloak and tossed them into the reflective pool, hoping two wishes would come true. The General’s wish was for success in his many challenges ahead. Anna’s wish was for her loving husband to always return home to her safe and sound. Only one wish would come true.
One of Winchester’s famous historical sites is the restored Glen Burnie historic house, home of the Wood and Glass families. The home was originally constructed in the 1790’s and is on the National Register of Historic Places. During the Civil War the estate was used as an encampment for Confederate cavalry and artillery units. And during all three major battles for Winchester in 1862, 1863, and 1864 the land was fought over by combat troops of both sides. Today thousands enjoy tours of the historic beautiful home and gardens.
Being offered is by the artist John Paul Strain …….
“SUNDAY IN WINCHESTER” Number 147 of 350 printed $200.00 U.S.
It was a stormy Sunday in Winchester on February 2, 1862 in many ways. Three days earlier General Stonewall Jackson had resigned from service from the Army of the Confederate States of America. His letter to Secretary of War J.P. Benjamin stated, “With such interference in my command I cannot expect to be of much service in the field; and accordingly respectfully request to be ordered to report for duty to the Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington; as has been done in the case of other Professors. Should this application not be granted, I respectfully request that the President will accept my resignation from the Army.”
The word of Stonewall’s resignation spread like wildfire across Virginia. The populous was in an uproar, soldiers under Jackson’s command were stunned, and there was a hornet’s nest of activity in the Confederate capital of Richmond about what to do. General Jackson however was calm and introspective, praying several times a day for guidance and intervention.
General Jackson, his wife Anna, and the Graham family attended services at the Kent Street Presbyterian Church where his friend Reverend James R. Graham was pastor. The Jacksons were guests in the Graham home during that winter and they had become part of the family. Family life with the Grahams and their three young children was appreciated by the Jacksons. Time spent with Anna in the winter months brought happiness to the General during days of military challenges and trials. Anna would become pregnant that month with their only child. Arriving at church from a carriage ride in the snow, Anna helped three year old Alfred Graham from his seat. The General had a special affection for Alfred.
Before the snowy weather had passed, President Jefferson Davis had sent an envoy to plead with General Jackson not to resign. The Confederate high command had learned an important lesson on how to handle Generals in the field. General Jackson withdrew his resignation. Attending church services three weeks later, General Jackson was asked to give the closing prayer. The General rose to his feet, bowed his head, folded his arms, and in a powerful voice that filled the sanctuary, prayed. “O Lord, God of Hosts, prevent, we beseech thee, the effusion of blood; but if we must fight, give us the victory. Amen.”
Being offered is by artist John Paul Strain……
“GENERAL LEE IS NEAR” Numbers 349 and 350 of 350 printed. Cost $225.00 U.S.
The warm summer month of August 1862 was a critical time for the Army of Northern Virginia. Its commander General Robert E. Lee was stalking his opponent, General John Pope like a hunter in the woods along the Rappahannock river. General Pope commanded a Federal army consisting of 50,000 troops and was waiting to link up with another Federal army of 80,000 men under the command of General McClellan. General Lee had to destroy Pope’s army before the link could happen.
General Lee’s plan was bold and audacious. He would deploy one of his top generals, Stonewall Jackson for the assignment. Jackson was to take his three divisions of 23,000 men and skirt around the right flank of Pope’s army using the Bull Run Mountains to screen his movements and cut through the mountains at Thoroughfare Gap. Then in the rear of Pope’s forces he would cut Pope’s communication and supply lines from Washington, the Orange and Alexandria Railroad line. Pope would be forced to move on the new threat and be further drawn away from McClellan. Then Lee and Jackson would attack together and take out Pope’s army, and turn on McClellan. The plan was daring and dangerous for Jackson and his command, as he could possibly find himself cut off from Lee, facing two huge Federal armies if all did not go well.
Jackson’s march began at 3 A.M. on August 25th with orders for no straggling. The men were pushed hard and made good time passing through the village of Orleans by mid-day. After a 26 mile march, the men went to sleep along the roadside. Passing through Thoroughfare Gap after sunrise the next day, Jackson headed for the town of Bristoe and the railroad. That evening at Bristoe the Confederates attacked the station capturing all the Federal troops that did not flee. Jackson’s men opened a railroad track derailing switch and soon a locomotive train barreling down the tracks crashed down the embankment in cloud of steam, smoke, and twisted metal.
After the excitement, Jackson consolidated his troops as it became dark. His men were exhausted after their 56 mile march in two days but Jackson wasn’t finished with the day. He sent General Isaac Trimble with his men to secure Manassas Junction before it could be reinforced. Trimble’s troops along with Stuart’s cavalry attacked Manassas Junction after midnight, capturing 300 Federals and the post commander. The following day Jackson and his men found that Manassas Junction held the mother load of supplies and commissary stores. The confederates stuffed their haversacks with all they could carry including such delicacies as rhine wine and lobster salad! General Jackson ordered his men to obtain four days rations and destroy all the rest. That night the army headed northwest to Sudley Springs Ford at Bull Run. Thanks to Jackson and his command, the first phase of General Lee’s plan had been successfully carried out on time, but now the alarm had been sounded and General Pope was on the way. It was now time to prepare for the deadliest part of the plan and take on 50,000 men. But Jackson needed the help of Lee to take on that kind of force. Where were they? Had they been held up, running into trouble? Had they been stopped at Thoroughfare Gap that was only 200 yards wide?
On August 28th Jackson had made his headquarters at Sudley Mills. One of the mills was a grist mill that turned out tons of corn, the other a large saw mill. General Jackson passed the early afternoon riding alone and restlessly worrying, while his men rested in the shade from the hot sun. At about 3:00PM at the mill a courier arrived. His dispatch reported that the second half of the Confederate army was approaching Thoroughfare Gap. General Jackson “beamed with pleasure” and with uncharacteristic exuberance shook the courier’s hand for the great news. General Lee was near!