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Emancipation’s Encounters: The Meaning of Freedom from the Pages of Civil War Sketchbooks

Emancipation’s Encounters: The Meaning of Freedom from the Pages of Civil War Sketchbooks martha s. jones As surgeon's steward Harry Simmons sailed aboard the USS Sophronia from Sandy Hook, New Jersey, to Vicksburg, Mississippi, he recorded his impressions for his wife, Elizabeth, who awaited news back home in New York City. His diary entries chronicled "life on the sea, his duties on the ship, various locales in Florida and Mississippi, and several naval engagements."1 Simmons was a faithful diarist. But even more so, he was a dedicated sketch artist. Over the course of his six-month tour of duty, Simmons created 117 pencil and watercolor sketches that elaborated on his written observations and then went further. A participant in the fall of New Orleans and the assault on Vicksburg in 1862, Simmons predictably gives us images of ships and battlements, soldiers and sailors. His interest went beyond the drama of being at sea and at war, however; his sketchbook includes portraits of African American slaves and former slaves whom he encountered on his way up and down the Mississippi River.2 Simmons's two accounts--that in his diary and that in his sketches--are not identical. While his prose focused on the novelty and challenge of work aboard a Union naval vessel, his images demonstrate http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Emancipation’s Encounters: The Meaning of Freedom from the Pages of Civil War Sketchbooks

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 3 (4) – Nov 16, 2013

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University of North Carolina Press
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Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
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2159-9807
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Abstract

martha s. jones As surgeon's steward Harry Simmons sailed aboard the USS Sophronia from Sandy Hook, New Jersey, to Vicksburg, Mississippi, he recorded his impressions for his wife, Elizabeth, who awaited news back home in New York City. His diary entries chronicled "life on the sea, his duties on the ship, various locales in Florida and Mississippi, and several naval engagements."1 Simmons was a faithful diarist. But even more so, he was a dedicated sketch artist. Over the course of his six-month tour of duty, Simmons created 117 pencil and watercolor sketches that elaborated on his written observations and then went further. A participant in the fall of New Orleans and the assault on Vicksburg in 1862, Simmons predictably gives us images of ships and battlements, soldiers and sailors. His interest went beyond the drama of being at sea and at war, however; his sketchbook includes portraits of African American slaves and former slaves whom he encountered on his way up and down the Mississippi River.2 Simmons's two accounts--that in his diary and that in his sketches--are not identical. While his prose focused on the novelty and challenge of work aboard a Union naval vessel, his images demonstrate

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 16, 2013

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