Image type: painting
Source: U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks; http://valley.lib.virginia.edu/VoS/Images/get106p5493.html?q=db:images%20AND%20image_name:get106p5493.GIF
This painting caught my eye as soon as I saw it, and right away anyone can tell there is much to take out of this picture. My dad had always told me stories about Pickett’s Charge, and I never really thought it was at all factual, until I learned about it a couple years ago in history class. The story of the charge is inspirational and the way it is portrayed in this painting proves that to be true in my opinion. The Confederate infantry is charging in the painting. Clearly, as it is shown, the Union forces seem to have the advantage in firepower, which leads me to think about what may have been going on in these Confederate soldiers’ minds. Pictures of battles always make me think about the soldiers fighting, because there is most likely always that thought going through their heads that they might in fact die on that day. This is something I find to be both admirable and terrifying at the same time. Who would willingly participate in a charge that is destined to be a failure? Maybe it was something only the generals knew and chose not to share with the men in the infantry, or maybe there was no knowing at all. However, I still look at this painting and fear that thought of perhaps imminent death every time it crosses my mind.
One Confederate soldier looks to be running away in the front of the painting, which leads me to believe maybe he is just a young boy. The creator of this painting may have done it to show the horror of war, or the exact opposite to show the glory that can come out of battle. My thoughts on this picture may be the opposite of what the author was going for, but to me these little ideas and concerns are real and they exist. Hopefully they do for others as well.