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"Battery Longstreet"

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"Battery Longstreet"
by Don Troiani

Image Size: 20" x 29 1/2"
Edition Size: 1000 signed and numbered
Canvas Edition Size: 45 Signed and Numbered
Current Price: Check our current price list.

It was just after noon on September 17, 1862, when the Battle of Antietam took a critical turn for Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The Federal forces had at last made a breakthrough at the now famous Bloody Lane and were sweeping towards the Hagerstown Pike and the right center of the Southern line. General James Longstreet, who commanded that part of the Confederate defenses, galloped forward with his staff to reconnoiter. To his alarm, he saw the Union attackers were just a couple hundred yards away and advancing fast.

Longstreet summoned every peice of artillery in sight to take up position in the Piper Farm apple orchard. Federal fire soon played with deadly results among the Southern gunners as the onrushing men in blue tried to force the Confederates to give way, Finally some guns of the famed Washington Artillery began to fall silent as their cannoneers dropped wounded or dead. Quickly the members of the Longstreet's staff dismounted and began working the pieces themselves, leaving their commander to remain in his saddle, smoking a cigar and hold the reins of their horses. The officers did their best as all the guns were worked "desperately, almost despairingly" to stop the blue wave from crushing their line. "Our fire was really strong and effective," remembered one of Longstreet's men with satisfaction. At last "some reliefs from the Washington Artillery came up...and with hearty shouts took their guns in hand." The frenzied defense had worked. The Union attackers had been torn up and called off the assult.

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