The Graduate Center - City University of New York

"The War in America: Scene presented in the ditch and on the southern slope of Fort Wagner, Charleston Harbour, the morning after the assault of July 18."

Based on a sketch drawn in July 1863, this engraving published two months later in the Illustrated London News depicted the grim aftermath of the attack led by the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Colored Regiment on the Confederate fort in Charleston harbor. The eyewitness sketch by the newspaper’s special artist Frank Vizetelly, the only pictorial journalist to cover the southern perspective of the war, was dispatched to England on a British ship that managed to evade the Union Navy’s blockade of southern ports. With the exception of the bolt of lightning stabbing down from a thundercloud over Charleston, the engraving published in the Illustrated London News on September 26, 1863 closely resembled Vizetelly’s drawing.

Creator: Frank Vizetelly

Date: September 26, 1863

Publisher: Illustrated London News

Source: American Social History Project