|2007 Christmas Special|
Lions in Winter
by John Paul Strain
|Title: Lions in Winter
General Robert E. Lee and General Stonewall Jackson
Near Fredericksburg, Virginia – Winter of 1863
Image Size: 19 1/2" x 28 7/8"
Edition Size: 800
|Reproduction Technique: Fine Offset Lithography
Printed on 150# dull-coated art reproduction cover that is archival quality and neutral pH, using premium fade-resistant inks.
As the Christmas season passed and the new year of 1863 began, the prospects for the future seemed bright for General Robert E. Lee and General Stonewall Jackson. After the great victory at the Battle of Fredericksburg the Confederate high command believed that the turning point of the war had occurred. Southern forces had fought a much larger foe to a draw at Antietam, achieved victory at Fredericksburg and the Chickasaw Bluffs, and counted coups at Galveston and Holly Springs. There had been brilliant exciting cavalry raids into Western Tennessee and Kentucky, and even a symbol of Federal naval power, the iron clad gunship the Cairo, had been sunk in the Mississippi.
During the winter months of 1863 Confederate forces made their winter quarters well back from the Rappahannock. During those snowy days Generals Lee and Jackson, often riding together, began to formulate their plans to crush President Lincoln’s armies and end the war. The two great men who had often worked independently of each other now joined to form one of the greatest leadership commands in history.
For the North this period was known as some of the darkest days yet seen. All of President Abraham Lincoln’s hand-picked commanders had failed him, either through defeat or their own inaction. Burnside and his generals had blundered at Fredericksburg, and in the west Grant was according to the New York Times, “stuck in the mud of northern Mississippi, his army of no use to him or anybody else.” Treasury chief Salmon P. Chase told the President they were out of money and could raise no more. Lincoln would say in frustration, “the bottom was out of the tub, what should I do?”
President Lincoln and his command desperately needed to come up with a plan of action and a commander that could successfully lead the army, as the lions would soon be at the gate.