Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Paintings of Conrad Wise Chapman

Battery Simpkins, Charleston, SC


Painting by Conrad Wise Chapman.

“Shows Morris Island, and one of the batteries on James Island, which was opposite Sullivan’s Island. Men may be seen coming up with ammunition.” – Conrad Wise Chapman, 1898

Confederate Quarter Guard


Painting by Conrad Wise Chapman, oil painting 1874; Confederate soldier, in fur hat, beard, brown winter coat, blue trousers and black boots holding a bayonet in his left arm, looks off to right; white snow-covered ground with few plants; in background are white tents, to right are two men with fire, to left is man chopping wood, beyond tents are barren trees and gray sky.

white point battery, Charleston Harber - 1863

Painting by Conrad Wise Chapman.

“This shows the whole harbor, and is an exact reproduction.  There can be seen Castle Pinckney; Fort Moultrie; Fort Sumter; Fort Johnson; and the Yankee batteries off Johnson Island; also a wooden fort, somewhat resembling a ship, in the harbor. General Beauregard may be seen, with one of the Engineers going over the plans.  Two big guns were brought to Charleston, at great expense, from England; one exploded, and is shown in the picture; it was always referred to as ‘the big gun,’ and although it often ploughed up the water, the damage done by it, if any, was very slight.  This painting is a copy of a large study of the same subject made by the artist for Mrs. Slocum of New Orleans, one of Louisiana’s ante-bellum governors; it was a very successful picture.” – Conrad Wise Chapman, 1898


“The three large guns shown in this picture commanded the only point in the harbor that was out of reach from Fort Moultrie on one side, and Fort Johnson on the other.  The Yankees were entirely unaware of the existence of these three guns, and when the United States ship ‘Keokuk’ attempted to pass through that part of the channel which could not be reached by the guns from the forts above mentioned, she was sunk by the shots from these three guns.” – Conrad Wise Chapman, 1898


Painting by Conrad Wise Chapman.

“The inventor of this boat, a man named Hunley, can be seen; also a sentinel.  This boat, it was first thought would be very effective; twice it went out on its mission of destruction, but on both occasions returned with all the crew dead.  After this happened the second time, someone painted on it the word ‘Coffin.’  There was just room enough in it for eight men, one in front of the other, with no possibility of anyone sitting straight.  The third time it started out, it never came back, nor was anything ever heard from it, but as one of the United States men-of-war in the harbor (USS Housatonic) was sunk at about the same time, the supposition was that they both went to the bottom together.  Other objects to be seen in the picture are, Sullivans Island, and a Dispatch boat.”  Conrad Wise Chapman, 1898

Battery Marshall, Sullivan's Island, December 4, 1863

Painting by Conrad Wise Chapman.

“Here are the barracks of the soldiers.  This being an extreme point, there was always a force ready in case of attack.  Negroes are at work putting up breastworks, under the supervision of an over-seer. Another object to be seen is the lookout sentinel.” – Conrad Wise Chapman, 1898

Battery on Long Island, December 4, 1863 by Conrad Wise Chapman

Painting by Conrad Wise Chapman.

“This is the extreme end of Sullivan’s Island, toward the enemy on Morris Island, and shows the views the Yankees had of the battery.  The two men shown are Lieutenant Martin, of Charleston, and one of his friends.” – Conrad Wise Chapman, 1898

Battery Bee

Painting by Conrad Wise Chapman.

“This battery was named in honor of General Bee; the soldiers seen are either coming on or going off duty. These guns were considered at the time to be among the best in the South, though they would be thought nothing of in these days.” Conrad Wise Chapman, 1898.

Battery Beauregard, November 22, 1863

Painting by Conrad Wise Chapman.

“Shows Fort Beauregard, and Fort Moultri in the distance; also the old ‘Moultrie House’ that was being pulled down while the artist was making his sketch.  A number of Yankee prisoners can be seen, the Corparal in charge giving an explanation to the Confederate officer.” – Conrad Wise Chapman, 1898

Battery Marshall from Long Island, November 18, 1863 by Conrad Wise Chapman

Painting by Conrad Wise Chapman.

“Shows boat ready to start out; old building used by the troops; sentinels; and dispatch boat.  This must be part of the battery not much exposed to the fire of the enemy; everything seeming to be very quiet.” – Conrad Wise Chapman, 1898