Officers at Camp Benton, Maryland, 1861

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    File name: 09_03_000050

    Title: Officers at Camp Benton, Maryland, 1861

    Creator/Contributor: Winslow Homer (1836-1910), artist


    Date created: 1881

    Physical description: oil on canvas

    Summary: Winslow Homer received his early artistic training as an apprentice in Boston and then moved to New York, where he established his reputation as an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly. In his role as “Special Artist” for Harper’s in 1861, Homer was sent to the front lines of the Civil War at the age of 25 to document both battle scenes and camp life.

    This impressive oil painting portrays three Union officers at Camp Benton, near the Potomac River, in the early months of the war. It features Captain William Francis Bartlett (1840-1876) and Lt. Col. Francis Winthrop Palfrey (1831-1889) of the 20th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers.

    This work is part of the Boston Public Library’s extensive 20th Regiment Collection, which was inspired by the gift of 287 military books by Palfrey’s widow in 1892 and significantly expanded by a gift of $10,000 from the surviving members of the 20th Regiment in 1896. This active collection now contains thousands of books, diaries, letters, and other materials relating to military affairs and Massachusetts.

    Location: Boston Public Library, Rare Books & Manuscripts Department

    Rights: No known restrictions.

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