General Grant has appeared with his moustache and beard trimmed close, giving him a very mild air–and indeed he is a mild man, really. He is an odd combination; there is one good thing, at any rate–he is the concentration of all that is American.
The general was getting ready to have his picture taken.
The above image of Grant, taken by Matthew Brady, is iconic. Yet it was not the only picture taken during Brady’s visit to army headquarters, a visit made just as the army prepared to commence to cross the James River.
Grant with John A. Rawlins and Theodore S. Bowers. Note … no Horace Porter. Grant would be the only man in this picture alive in 1870.
There’s a rumor that this fellow was once kind of a big deal.
He must have been, judging from the size of his staff. Look how Andrew Humphreys poses in 3/4 profile. Same with Theodore Lyman, who can be seen over Rufus Ingalls’s left shoulder (Ingalls stands to Meade’s left in the front row).
You might think that Winfield Scott Hancock’s sitting just to enhance the composition of the image (with Frank Barlow, David Birney, and John Gibbon standing around him). In truth, he was days away from having to step aside due to the pain of his wound from Gettysburg.
And there’s Hancock with his staff and subordinates.
Here’s Horatio Wright and his staff.
Ambrose Burnside and his staff … no sign of Cyrus B. Comstock, who was often sent by Grant to keep an eye on Burnside, irritating Burnside to no end.
Ah, yes … Burnside reads the paper. In about seven weeks, he could read it at home. Matthew Brady inserts himself in the image. By the way, Burnside was not pleased to be captured in this fashion.
Why, there’s Baldy Smith and his staff. He’ll be gone before Burnside.
Gouverneur Warren was not available at this time …because the Fifth Corps was already on the move. Brady would catch up with Warren shortly, and this was the result:
The Grant leaning against the tree look is so iconic that it’s appeared in many places. Here’s one place where it would have appeared had it not been for the author’s intervention (note the title change as well):