Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Artwork from the Western Front: Adolph Metzner Civil War Drawings July 5, 2017 by Julie Stoner

As an admirer of Civil War drawings, a recently digitized collection of drawings by Adolph G. Metzner piqued by interest. The difference in style from many other drawings of the time, along with the richness of color, drew me in to learn more about this man and his artwork.
Battle of Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, July 20, 1864. Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1864. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51237
Battle of Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, July 20, 1864. Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1864. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51237
Born August 13, 1834 in southwestern Germany, Adolph Metzner immigrated to the United States in 1856. Shortly after the start of the Civil War, Metzner joined the First German, Thirty-Second Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, fighting for three years on the western front of the war.
Adolph Metzner, Union officer in the 32nd Indiana Regiment, full-length portrait, standing, facing front. Photograph, between 1861 and 1865. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c26232
Adolph Metzner, Union officer in the 32nd Indiana Regiment, full-length portrait, standing, facing front. Photograph, between 1861 and 1865. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c26232
During the years with his regiment, Metzner sketched on any material available, drawing everything from portraits of his comrades to scenes of battle and death.
Captain Adolph Metzner, Lieutenant Louis von Trebra and Jacob Labinsky, Huntsville, Alabama, July 1862. Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1862. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51211
Captain Adolph Metzner, Lieutenant Louis von Trebra and Jacob Labinsky, Huntsville, Alabama, July 1862. Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1862. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51211

Lost on the field of Chickamauga. Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1863. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51225
Lost on the field of Chickamauga. Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1863. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51225
One of the reasons I enjoy Civil War drawings is they can be a better medium for capturing movement, action, or emotion as opposed to the photographs of the era. As an example, for me, the drawing below really gives the viewer a sense of the misery of marching in the mud and rain and how inglorious war can be.
Green River. Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1861. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51236
Green River. Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1861. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51236
Another aspect of these drawings that I find intriguing is how they complement the photograph album of Adolph Metzner that Helen Metzner gave to the Library of Congress 60 years before it acquired the drawings. The album consists photographic portraits of the 32nd Indiana Regiment collected by Metzner. With both the photo album and the drawings, the observer can get different perspectives of the men in the regiment. For example, I am tickled by the contrast between the formal photographic portrait of Lieutenant Colonel Karl Friedrich Heinrich von Trebra and the caricature drawn by Metzner.
Lieutenant Colonel Karl Friedrich Heinrich von Trebra, Union officer in the 32nd Indiana Regiment, half-length portrait, facing front. Photograph by Wilhelm Grundner, ca. 1850. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c23946
Lieutenant Colonel Karl Friedrich Heinrich von Trebra, Union officer in the 32nd Indiana Regiment, half-length portrait, facing front. Photograph by Wilhelm Grundner, ca. 1850. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c23946
Attention! Lieutenant Colonel Henry von Trebra August 26, 1861. Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1861 Aug 26. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51267
Attention! Lieutenant Colonel Henry von Trebra August 26, 1861. Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1861 Aug 26. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51267
As another example, the drawings give us a glimpse into the personalities of otherwise unknown people such as Private Jacob Labinsky who he labels in the drawing as “The Camp Comedian.”
Jacob Labinsky, Union private in the 32nd Indiana Regiment, full-length portrait, seated, facing front. Photograph, between 1861 and 1865. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c29036
Jacob Labinsky, Union private in the 32nd Indiana Regiment, full-length portrait, seated, facing front. Photograph, between 1861 and 1865. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c29036
Jacob Labinsky, Company A, 32nd Regiment, Indiana Volunteers "The Camp Comedian". Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1861. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51173
Jacob Labinsky, Company A, 32nd Regiment, Indiana Volunteers “The Camp Comedian”. Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1861. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51173
Metzner’s 137 drawings constitute the largest collection of drawings from the Civil War’s western front campaigns so far in the Library of Congress collections. You can enjoy all 137 Adolph Metzner drawings with me as they are now digitized and currently available for viewing or downloading in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.
Chicken thieves being disciplined by General Alexander McDowell McCook, Camp Nevin, Kentucky, November 1861. Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1861 Nov. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51208
Chicken thieves being disciplined by General Alexander McDowell McCook, Camp Nevin, Kentucky, November 1861. Drawing by Adolph Metzner, 1861 Nov. hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.51208
Learn More:
  • Enjoy all of the Adolph Metzner Civil War Collection drawings. (There are 120 scans of the 137 drawings as in some cases, there is more than one drawing on the same surface.)
  • View all of the photographs from the Metzner photograph album.
  • Explore other Civil War drawings in the Prints and Photographs Division by different artists.
  • For more information about Metzner and his work, grab a copy of the book Blood Shed in this War: Civil War Illustrations by Captain Adolph Metzner (Indianapolis : Indiana Historical Society Press, 2010) [catalog record].

One Comment

  1. Anne Kenny
    July 5, 2017 at 11:11 am
    These are marvelous.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Maritime Monday for July 3rd, 2017: Y is for Yachting

Smithsonian – Boaty McBoatface Completes Its First Mission The little submarine named by the Internet investigated the icy deep waters of Antarctica's Orkney Channel
Poster advertising release of the new book Sailing Alone Around the World by Captain Joshua Slocum, c 1900. The book was an immediate success and highly influential in inspiring later travelers. Captain Slocum was a highly experienced navigator and ship owner. He rebuilt and refitted the derelict sloop Spray in a seaside pasture at Fairhaven, Massachusetts over 13 months between early 1893 and 1894. Between 24 April 1895 and 27 June 1898, Slocum, aboard the Spray, crossed the Atlantic twice (to Gibraltar and back to South America), negotiated the Strait of Magellan, and crossed the Pacific. He also visited Australia and South Africa before crossing the Atlantic (for the third time) to return to Massachusetts after a journey of 46,000 miles. more
Cris Shapan via Facebook

Lizzie Borden & The Old Fall River Line

Everyone from presidents to swindlers sailed the Sound on "Mammoth Palace Steamers" in the heyday of the side wheelers and night boats. The Fall River Line was a combination steamboat and railroad connection between New York City and Boston that operated between 1847 and 1937. For many years, it was the preferred route to take for travel between the two major cities. The line was extremely popular, and its steamboats were some of the most advanced and luxurious of their day.

The Fall River operation, then called the Bay State Steamboat Company, was launched in 1847, backed, among others, by members of the famous Borden family (otherwise celebrated for their sinewy if ill-tempered connection. Lizzie, of ax-wielding parenticide-fame).

keep reading on Cruising the Past

Guido De Craene (Actor; Born: June 2, 1955, Antwerp, Belgium) On the set of 'Kursk', April 2017 in France

Kursk is an upcoming English-language French-Belgian drama film directed by Thomas Vinterberg based on Robert Moore's book A Time to Die, about the true story of the 2000 Kursk (K-141) submarine disaster, in which 118 Russian sailors died. It stars Matthias Schoenaerts, Colin Firth, Léa Seydoux, Peter Simonischek, Max Von Sydow, Matthias Schweighöfer and Michael Nyqvist, (who died this week). wikipedia

Colin Firth Kursk Disaster Movie Delayed by Russian Defence Ministry

Wreck of Russian submarine Kursk (K-141) in a floating dock at Roslyakovo

Vladimir Putin Character Cut From Luc Besson's Russian Thriller

With most of the wreckage recycled, only the deck cabin of the Kursk submarine remained whole. Its was preserved as a monument, having been erected in Russia's northern port of Murmansk. The monument to submarine sailors who died in peacetime, featuring the control room of the Kursk submarine. © Alexey Kudenko / RIA Novosti

The Day the Kursk Sank: 15 Years On, Russia remembers one of worst-ever submarine tragedies

the Adidas "Zissou"

Adidas has finally released 'The Life Aquatic'-inspired Zissou sneakers

For years fans have been begging Adidas to release a version of the customized Roms Steve Zissou (played by Bill Murray) wears in Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic. Well, the company quietly fulfilled our dreams last weekend — releasing 100 limited-edition pairs…  keep reading

The great '80s Anglesey fish surname gathering mystery

Sometime in the 1980s, Caspar Salmon's grandmother was invited to a gathering on the Welsh island of Anglesey, attended exclusively by people with fish surnames. Or so he says. Thirty years later, film-maker Charlie Lyne attempts to sort myth from reality as he searches for the truth behind this fishy tale

Posted by The Guardian on Friday, June 30, 2017

Sometime in the 1980s, Caspar Salmon's grandmother was invited to a gathering on the Welsh island of Anglesey, attended exclusively by people with fish surnames. Or so he says. Thirty years later, film-maker Charlie Lyne attempts to sort myth from reality as he searches for the truth behind this fishy tale. from The Guardian (via Facebook)

Arents Cigarette Cards; Arctic Sites on NYPL Digitized Collections (see full set)
Samuel Pepys – (February 1633 – May 1703) was an administrator of the navy of England and Member of Parliament who is most famous for the diary that he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man. Pepys had no maritime experience, but he rose to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and King James II through patronage, hard work, and his talent for administration. Samuel Pepys Memoirs on Royal Museums Greenwich

The Medway Raid and 17th century maritime warfare

The National Archives blog (UK) – In June 1667, the Dutch fleet forced its way up the river Medway to the main naval base at Chatham. There the Dutch destroyed a number of the most powerful and valuable British warships and captured the fleet flagship, Royal Charles, named after the reigning monarch, Charles II. This was a great blow to the king's image – the warships were powerful symbols of national prestige.

At this time, the Dutch Republic (the United Provinces of the Netherlands) was the leading seaborne trading nation. Intense British-Dutch maritime rivalry led to three wars within less than 25 years (1652-1674).

The Medway Raid is one of the greatest humiliations in British naval/military history, and as a defeat, is little-remembered today. It is, though, a central episode in the diary of Samuel Pepys and is seen as the last of a 'triple whammy' of disasters, following the Great Plague (1665) and the Great Fire of London (1666).

keep reading

see also: A Life Laid Bare; Samuel Pepys, Writer & Diarist on The Guardian's Review of Books

Students from the Kennebunk High School Alternative Education program built "The Little Boat That Could" and launched it on Dec. 29 near Georges Bank. It washed up and was found in Scotland on Friday by John and Angelika Dawson while they were walking their dog. Courtesy of John and Angelika Dawson

Little boat built by students in Kennebunk completes Atlantic crossing

After 168 days and 12 hours at sea, a small sailboat built by high school students in Kennebunk washed ashore in Scotland after traveling thousands of miles. 

The 5-foot boat washed up on Balivanich Airport Beach on the island of Benbecula, where it was found Friday by John and Angelika Dawson, tourists from British Columbia, as they were walking their dog. The couple notified local police, who called the Scottish coast guard.  keep reading

Y is for YACHTING, and Z is the ZEST; The A B C of Sports : a series of 25 cigarette trading cards issued by Ogden's in the later 1920's.
"Lost" posted by Derk Remmers – "Avantis III" was a cargo ship with a length of 80 meters and a total capacity of 2.362 tones. It was constructed in 1977 in Norway and its first name was "Akershus". It sank on 19 November 2004 in the morning, in 20 minutes, after crashing into the rocks of "Doroussa" islet… more
Option 2: Island hopping. According to these plans, the Nazis would launch an assault on Norfolk, Virginia. First, the Germans would rendezvous with the 'Jap fleet' via the Azores, Madeira and Canaries

What if the Nazis had invaded America? Maps reveal how Hitler could have attacked the U.S. (as imagined by 1942 issue of Life magazine)

www.rivet-head.com
A German postcard of Captain August Carl Thiele handing over the German Ultimatum on 6 December 1897 during the Luders Affair; a legal and diplomatic embarrassment to the Haitian government

Imperial German plans for the invasion of the United States

Germany's Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II

Imperial German plans for the invasion of the United States were ordered by Germany's Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II from 1897 to 1903. Wilhelm II did not intend to conquer the US; he wanted only to reduce the country's influence.

His planned invasion was supposed to force the US to bargain from a weak position; to sever its growing economic and political connections in the Pacific, the Caribbean and South America; and to increase Germany's influence in those places.

The first plan, made in the winter of 1897–1898, mainly targeted American naval bases in Hampton Roads (in an attempt) to reduce and constrain the US Navy and threaten Washington, D.C…  keep reading

"I saw three ships"(detail) posted by John Cox

"The Mariner's Revenge Song" is a song by The Decemberists from their 2005 album Picaresque. The story begins as the narrator, one of two survivors stranded in the belly of a whale, explains to his companion how (previously unknown) how their lives came to be interwoven.

Mariner's Revenge has been one of the Decemberists' most popular live performances, and has been played at virtually every live show as an encore since its release. more

Maine Lobstahmen Drink Beer, Wave Ol' Glory & Blast Off Fireworks While Tubing for the 4th of July!

Weird History – Macabre Mermaid Tales Pulled From The Darkest Depths Of The Sea

Maritime Monday Archives



Original Page: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Gcaptain/~3/fMiKo40SZhI/



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Sunday, July 2, 2017

The German Village That Changed The War - WWII

Like many people, I initially visited the German island of Usedom for its sandy beaches, fischbrotchen (a local fish sandwich) and quaint seaside towns, such as Heringsdorf. The small, remote resort was popular with the Prussian royalty, and later, East Germans. But between 1936 and 1945, the Nazis occupied one village for a darker purpose.

Usedom draws visitors with its white sandy beaches and quaint seaside towns (Credit: Credit: Ullstein Bild/Getty Images)

Usedom draws visitors with its white sandy beaches and quaint seaside towns (Credit: Ullstein Bild/Getty Images)

Peenemünde looks out across the mouth of the River Peene where it drifts into the Baltic Sea. In 1935, engineer Wernher von Braun pinpointed the village, which offered a 400km testing range off the German coast, as the perfect, secret place to develop and test rockets.

Frantic building work began on the world’s largest and most modern rearmament centre. About 12,000 people worked on the first-ever cruise missiles and fully functioning large-scale rockets at the site, which spanned an area of 25 sq km. The research and development carried out in Peenemünde was not only crucial to the course of the biggest war in history, but impacted the future of weapons of mass destruction, as well as space travel.

Today, all that remains of the complex is an old red-brick power station that houses the Peenemünde Historical Technical Museum. When I visited, the solid, rectangular building with looming rusty chimneys and the model rockets scattered across the museum grounds created a chilling impression. But inside, the exhibits ‒ from old documents to hunks of broken and bent metal rudders, rocket tails and turbo pumps ‒ filled me with awe.

Twelve thousand people once worked on large-scale rockets and the first ever cruise missiles at Peenemünde (Credit: Credit: robertharding/Alamy)

Twelve thousand people once worked on large-scale rockets and the first ever cruise missiles at Peenemünde (Credit: robertharding/Alamy)

The ominous coupling of scientific enlightenment with dark intent was captured by the military leader of the rocket programme, Walter Dornberger. In a speech manuscript from 1942, Dornberger wrote that the recent successful launch of the Aggregat 4 (A-4) ‒ the world’s first long-range rocket, otherwise known as the V2, or ‘Vengeance weapon’ ‒ was “The engineer’s dream: to have developed a device which, as one of the most revolutionary inventions of recent ages, will give one’s own state military, economic and therefore political superiority.”

The world’s first long-range rocket, otherwise known as the ‘Vengeance weapon’ was the engineer’s dream

But while the programme’s leaders, such as Dornberger and von Braun, as well as key figures from the Nazi regime, such as Albert Speer, who was responsible for the military buildings at Peenemünde, believed that rockets would be vital to winning the war, one person remained sceptical: Hitler.

Peenemünde was not completely finished when Hitler declared war in 1939. Thus began a struggle for priority, personnel and materials, following the rocket programme’s initial unlimited funding. It was only after Dornberger and von Braun presented a film of the successful A-4 launch to Hitler that he finally granted the weapon full approval.

By then the situation was desperate, and a new layer of history disturbed the site. In June 1943, 2,500 concentration camp prisoners were forced to help with the planned series production of the rocket. Preserved name lists show that these slave labourers mainly came from occupied France, Belgium and Netherlands. They worked under terrible conditions on weapons that would wreak terror and devastation on their homelands.

Around 2,500 concentration camp prisoners were forced to build rockets that would devastate their homelands (Credit: Credit: alex havret/Alamy)

Around 2,500 concentration camp prisoners were forced to build rockets that would devastate their homelands (Credit: alex havret/Alamy)

Around the same time, in summer 1943, British Intelligence realised the importance of Peenemünde. Reconnaissance flights and aerial photographs pointed to the development and production of German long-range weapons ‒ something that had to be stopped. On the night of 17 August, the Royal Airforce carried out Operation Hydra, the largest British action against a single target during WWII. Although the bombing was largely unsuccessful, it did delay production and force it to move underground to Mittelwerk in central Germany.

In 1944, Hitler realised his miscalculation and expressed his regret at not having approved the project sooner to Dornberger: “I have had to apologise only to two men in my whole life. The first was Field Marshal von Brauchitsch. I did not listen to him when he told me again and again how important your research was. The second man is yourself.”

In 1944, Hitler expressed regret at having miscalculated the importance of using rockets to win the war (Credit: Credit: Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

In 1944, Hitler expressed regret at having miscalculated the importance of using rockets to win the war (Credit: Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

But the end of the war did not spell the end of the work carried out at Peenemünde. After the war, the Allies sought to acquire the technology contained within the A-4/V-2, the first missile to launch a large warhead along a predetermined territory. German rocket scientists and engineers who worked for the Nazi regime were offered citizenship and jobs in the USSR, Great Britain, France and the US. Most famously, von Braun went on to live in the US and work for Nasa, where he developed the rockets that launched the Apollo-manned lunar landings. In addition to impacting the space race and guided missiles of the Cold War, the research and development performed at Peenemünde informed all later developments in rocket engineering.

Perhaps, however, the most important legacy of Peenemünde is the reflections it raises about the impact of technology, and the role of scientists and engineers within a wider context. Museum curator Dr Philipp Aumann told me, “Progress and innovation are a key aspect of modern societies, and we as a society have an influence on what gets researched and developed.”

Peenemünde reflects the darkest and most illuminating aspects of humanity

As I moved through the site, with its multiple layers of history and complexities, I found myself becoming more enmeshed in its contradictions and questions. Peenemünde reflects the darkest and most illuminating aspects of humanity, making it relevant for all of us today.

Peenemünde’s continued relevance has inspired international artists such as Catalonian painter Gregorio Iglesias Mayo and Mexican-American print artist Miguel A Aragón to interact with the site. Mayo, who painted a 121ft x 40ft canvas in the museum’s courtyard, which captures the human dimension in relation to technical apparatus on a grand scale, has stated that Peenemünde is a “place where once there had also been a concentration camp, a place of research, creation, intelligence, weakness, contrasts, frustration, helplessness and the fight for the most rudimentary things.”

The research conducted at Peenemünde impacted the future of weapons of mass destruction and space travel (Credit: Credit: Madhvi Ramani)

The research conducted at Peenemünde impacted the future of weapons of mass destruction and space travel (Credit: Madhvi Ramani)

As well as using visual art as a way to process history, the museum hosts concerts by The Baltic Sea Philharmonic in the former turbine hall of the power station. The site, which once threatened to tear Europe apart, now brings together leading musicians from the region’s 10 countries. In 2002, the museum was awarded the Coventry Cross of Nails for its efforts towards reconciliation and peace.

Now, every time I visit sunny Usedom, Peenemünde attracts me to its many shades of light and grey.

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