Interview with Peter Wood, Author of Near Andersonville: Winslow Homer’s Civil War

A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to sit down with Peter Wood, professor of history, emeritus, at Duke University to talk with him about his recent book, Near Andersonville: Winslow Homer’s Civil War. The book tells the story of Winslow Homer’s remarkable Civil War-era painting, Near Andersonville.

In the following video, Peter describes how the painting came to be in the private collection of the family of a teacher, Sarah Kellogg, who lived on the Sea Islands in South Carolina and taught liberated slaves during the Civil War.

Peter relied on the records of the National Archives to tell the story of Near Andersonville.  At the end of the interview above, he describes the Union Troops’ failed attempt to liberate the prisoners of Andersonville. The captured soldiers are pictured in the painting. In the slideshow below, you will find the July 26, 1864 letter from General Stoneman to General Sherman requesting permission to try to release the prisoners.  He says, “Now is the time to do it before the Rebel Army falls back and covers that country – and I have every inducement to try it.”

A portion of the July 26, 1864 letter from General Stoneman to General Sherman

Also from the National Archives, is the pension application from Winslow Homer’s brother, Arthur Homer, indicating that he had served on the “Kingfisher” during the Civil War.

arthur-homer-pensionA portion of Arthur B. Homer’s Navy Pension File

If you have any questions about this book, Winslow Homer, or the painting Near Andersonville, please comment below.  Peter Wood has graciously agreed to answer any questions from you.