The Graduate Center - City University of New York

"Family worship in a plantation in South Carolina."

One publication supplied extensive pictorial coverage of the Confederacy, but it was published far from the American South and its engravings were viewed by only a small minority of southern readers. With the outbreak of war, the Illustrated London News dispatched Frank Vizetelly to cover the Civil War. After the Illustrated London News published uncomplimentary engravings based on his sketches, Vizetelly was denied permission to accompany General McClellan's planned advance into Virginia. Frustrated, he went South to depict the Confederacy at war from the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862 to Jefferson Davis's ignominious flight from Richmond in 1865. Vizetelly’s engravings depicted more than warfare or camplife from behind Confederate lines; an ardent supporter of the southern cause, Vizetelly also sympathetically recorded the society built on slavery that lay at the heart of secession. While the Illustrated London News published 133 engravings based on his sketches, few of these images appeared on this side of the Atlantic; those that did were published in Harper's Weekly after Vizetelly's sketches were commandeered en route to England by the Union naval blockade.

Creator: Frank Vizetelly

Date: December 5, 1863

Publisher: Illustrated London News

Source: American Social History Project