Richard J. LeFevre (1931 - 2000)
watercolor and mixed media on paper
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 the Vicksburg battlefield before I did this painting, but I had some thoughts about what Mississippi must be like. I visualized a very blue sky and a very orange sunset or sunrise. As we drove into Vicksburg late in the day a few years ago, this is precisely the sky that we saw. It was from that time on I believed in the muse. Shown at the lower right side is Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman who led a failed attacked on Vicksburg during the siege. The Confederate commander of the Army of Vicksburg was a Pennsylvanian, Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton (shown far left), who was married to a woman from Virginia and chose the Southern Cause. Of course the large figure in the painting is Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The lower part of the piece features the Mississippi River with a gunboat along the levee. The gunboat was actually a simple raft that had been fitted with a wood-burning stove by the Union to give the appearance of a real gunboat. This subterfuge caused the Confederates to waste a lot of ammunition firing on it.
Bequest of the Artist
Richard J. LeFevre (1931 - 2000), “Vicksburg,” Ewing Gallery Permanent Collection, accessed March 29, 2023, https://ewinggallery.omeka.net/items/show/214.