Gettysburg Memorial to the Michigan Cavalry Brigade, by Jessie C. Zinn, circa 1890

Summary

The soldier figure on this Michigan Cavalry Brigade Monument looks out over the Gettysburg battlefield where this brigade fought fiercely on July 3, 1863, helping assure Union victory. A number of the surviving veterans attended the monument's dedication in June 1889. Did one of them ask Gettysburg artist Jessie Zinn to paint it? Coincidentally--Zinn had been born on farm outside town the day after the battle.

The soldier figure on this Michigan Cavalry Brigade Monument looks out over the Gettysburg battlefield where this brigade fought fiercely on July 3, 1863, helping assure Union victory. A number of the surviving veterans attended the monument's dedication in June 1889. Did one of them ask Gettysburg artist Jessie Zinn to paint it? Coincidentally--Zinn had been born on farm outside town the day after the battle.

The Gettysburg battlefield monument depicted in this painting honors the Michigan Cavalry Brigade. The figure of the soldier looks out over the field where this famed unit fought fiercely on July 3, 1863 to help assure Union victory on the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Their commander was 23-year-old Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer, promoted only three days before. Gettysburg was the Michigan Brigade's first major engagement.

This "Wolverine Brigade" fought in every major campaign of the Army of the Potomac, from Gettysburg to the Confederate surrender at Appomattox Court House in April 1865. A number of the surviving veterans were present at the monument's dedication in Gettysburg on June 13, 1889.

Jessie Zinn created this painting of the monument soon after. Did a proud Michigan Brigade veteran ask the 26-year-old Gettysburg artist to paint it? Did Michigan veterans commission the artwork to hang in their local Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R) Hall? We don't yet know.

But we do know that Jessie Zinn had a very personal connection to the Battle of Gettysburg--she was born on a farm outside the town the day after the battle.

Detailed Description
Artifact

Oil painting (Visual work)

Date Made

circa 1890

Creators

Zimm, Jessie C. 

Place of Creation

United States, Pennsylvania, Gettysburg 

Creator Notes

Jessie Cora Zinn

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

00.3.4351

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Oil paint (Paint)
Canvas

Technique

Oil painting (Technique)

Dimensions

Height: 34 in  (Canvas)

Width: 49 in  (Canvas)

Height: 42.75 in  (Overall (with frame))

Width: 56.75 in  (Overall (with frame))

Depth: 4.25 in  (Overall (with frame))

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