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Surrender of a Confederate Soldier

1873 Julian Scott Born: Johnson, Vermont 1846 Died: Plainfield, New Jersey 1901 oil on canvas 19 3/8 x 15 1/2 in. (49.2 x 39.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Nan Altmayer 2012.23 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, East Wing


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At the age of fifteen, Julian Scott lied about his age to enlist in the Union army. He rose from drummer boy to infantryman, and for his service he earned the Congressional Medal of Honor. After his discharge he became an artist, initially focusing on images of heroic moments of sacrifice during the war.  He painted this Confederate soldier with dignity. The raised white flag is simultaneously a surrender of the individual, his family, the Confederate cause, and the Southern way of life. The soldier’s wife cradles their infant child, while the enslaved man with them looks away, perhaps envisioning the changes in his own future. Scott imbued this work with respect for his Confederate counterpart, sounding a hopeful note for the future.

Keywords

Figure(s) in exterior - battlefield

History - United States - Civil War

Object - other - flag

Occupation - military - soldier

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Julian Scott

Born: Johnson, Vermont 1846 Died: Plainfield, New Jersey 1901

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