Panorama of the The Union Army of the Cumberland

Panorama of the The Union Army of the Cumberland

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Late in the American Civil War (1861–1865), veterans of the Union Army of the Cumberland, believing that General William S. Rosecrans had been unfairly removed from command in 1864, engaged William D. T. Travis to paint a documentary of the general's career. As a staff artist for Harper's Weekly and the New York Illustrated News, Travis had followed the army, seeing and sketching much of what he later painted. This scene, the first of 32 on the huge panorama produced by Travis, represents the young soldier's farewell to home and family. Each scene is 8 feet high and 16 feet long, on a single roll of canvas over 500 feet long. When he finished in May 1865, Travis took the panorama on tour. The artist narrated from a prepared script as the canvas was wound from one of two great spindles to the other. From 1865 to 1871, in lecture halls and churches throughout the Midwest, Travis displayed the panorama to considerable acclaim.
Object Name
painting, panorama
Rosecrans, William S.
Travis, William DeLaney Trimble
Physical Description
canvas (overall material)
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 8 ft x 512 ft; 2.4384 m x 156.0576 m
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Civil War
See more items in
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, General
Popular Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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"A description by my great-grandfather of Rosecrans' inspection of the Indiana 84th in Wartrace, Tennessee on 8/3/1863: . "The 2nd we had general review and the 3rd we had grand review inspected by Rosey himself. He is a very pleasant man. He will talk to a private as quick as he will to the shoulder straps. He asked the boys a great many questions. If they had plenty to eat, good bathing place, if we hoped any, pitched … any, if we had any expert racers. The boys said we had some pretty good racers but they run the wrong way. He said he was no better than a private. If he wanted to gain a victory, he looked to the privates and not to the officers. Altogether, he is a heavy set man, brown hair, sandy whiskers, blue eyes and a large oval nose. He had his family all with him. I saw them all. " "

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