Civil War Series


Civil War Series


Richard LeFevre


Richard J. LeFevre’s Civil War Series presents the history of the War Between the States (1861 – 1865) through works on paper that depict 32 of the war’s most significant battles. By combining his love of history and his skill as an illustrator, LeFevre used inventive mixed-media techniques to create these powerful images inspired by his personal investigation into that terrible and definitive era. He sought to authenticate the audience experience by incorporating images from period publications such as Harper’s Weekly and Leslie’s Illustrated. Century-old woodcut engravings, made from sketches by Civil War artists who were present at the battles, were flash-framed onto paper with a copier. They were further manipulated with watercolor, pencil, and collage techniques. Some contain photographic tintype images of prominent battle figures. Military leaders, such as Grant, Lee, Meade, Stuart and Farragut are represented in the context of events pertinent to each battle. Throughout the series, LeFevre includes quotes from legendary figures and battle-weary foot soldiers. Technical drawings of engines and ironclads describe precise details of war machines that accompanied soldiers in battle. The paintings are allegorical in nature and are presented in chronological order. The Gettysburg triptych is the centerpiece of the exhibit. The Civil War Series, which took LeFevre four years to complete, portrays the Civil War without bias toward the Union or the Confederacy. The paintings premiered at The United States Civil War Center in the Foster Hall Gallery at Louisiana State University in 1998. On several occasions, LeFevre created dynamic public presentations, augmenting images from the series with his own spoken narrative and live, period music.


Bequest of the artist

Collection Items

Yellow Tavern
The Battle of Yellow Tavern on May 11, 1864, is one of the smaller battles fought during General Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign. The battle itself was not terribly significant except for the fact that the great Confederate cavalry commander…

Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign was the beginning of the end of the war in Virginia. At this point, General Grant had been promoted and commanded all Union armies, but he retained Maj. Gen. George G. Meade as Commander of the Army of…

Wilson's Creek
Across the Mississippi River in the Trans-Mississippi district (that included states west of the Mississippi River and the Indian Territory), Missouri was an undecided and undeclared state. Men joined and formed regiments; they marched, drilled, and…

The day after the South’s devastating loss at Gettysburg, the Confederacy suffered another major setback when the key river city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, surrendered to General Ulysses Grant on July 4, 1863, after a 47-day siege. I had not visited…

Stones River
The Battle of Stones River, or the Second Battle of Murfreesboro as it was called in the South, was fought on December 31, 1862, through January 2, 1863, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This geographic portion of the war was known as the Western Theater.…

As General Ulysses S. Grant (shown on the left) progressed in his goal of taking the capital city of the Confederacy, he started north of Richmond and then proceeded east and south in order to encircle the city. Each time he attempted an attack on…
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