Transporting Confederate Troops
Original Author: Alfred Wordsworth Thompson
Created: 1861
Medium: Pencil and watercolor wash
Publisher: Virginia Historical Society

Transporting Confederate Troops

A military band, at left, welcomes Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston's troops that are arriving from the Shenandoah Valley to reinforce General Pierre G. T. Beauregard at Manassas Junction in July 1861. Beauregard was being targeted by Union troops and, in response, Johnston transported his troops—including the Tiger Zouaves of Louisiana, some of whom can be seen in their distinctive uniform at bottom right—via the Manassas Gap Railroad. Confederates from the Valley began arriving on July 19—the first time in history that troops had been transported to the battlefield by train—with Johnston himself arriving on July 20. The following day the First Battle of Manassas, or Bull Run, was fought. It was the first major battle of the Civil War and ended in a rout of the Union army.

This pencil-and-watercolor wash drawing was made by Alfred Wordsworth Thompson, an artist for Harper's Weekly and the Illustrated London News who made a series of nineteen drawings during the opening months of the Civil War, all of them set in Virginia.