The image above, by William Waud and published in Harper’s Weekly on this day in 1864, says a lot about the state of the war at that particular moment. Captioned “General Grant’s Campaign—Return of Kautz’s Cavalry Expedition from Its Raid in Virginia,” it does not suggest success or glory, but rather the exhaustion of that long, intractable siege that was the Petersburg Campaign.
Not to read too much into one engraving, but contrast Waud’s image with two cavalry-related sketches from the magazine’s May 30, 1863, edition:
“A Cavalry Attack” by Thomas Nast: now there is some action! This, too, projects a certain amount of martial confidence:
The above drawing shows Colonel H. Judson Kilpatrick‘s “Late Cavalry Raid Through Virginia,” before this happened and the air went out of cheering on “Kill-Cavalry,” as the colonel was sometimes called.