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Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
(CIVIL WAR--TENNESSEE.) Francis A. Thuis. View of Cumberland Gap and the encampment of the 91st Indiana Infantry. Ink and watercolor, 8 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches, on an opened sheet of faintly lined stationery; tack holes in corners, slight wear at intersection of folds, 3/4-inch closed tear, foxing. Cumberland Gap, TN, early 1864
This view depicts Cumberland Gap at the junction of the Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee borders, a heavily traveled thoroughfare for western migration and a strategic objective during the war. The Union finally gained control in September 1863. This view was drawn from the southeast on the Tennessee side, with the sprawling encampment of the 91st Indiana Infantry in the foreground, with its commissary, tents, and dress parade in progress; as well as the headquarters of General Kenner Garrard, a cavalry commander in the Army of the Cumberland, and the post's hospital, commissary, and guard house. Commanding the heights in the background are batteries of artillery regiments from Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee. Framed at center is the gap, with the American flag flying high, captioned "Long may she wave, we'll keep her there or die." A small marker at the crossroads is captioned: "That blue stone in the Gap is the corner stone of Virginia, Ky and Tenn." The sun sinking to the left helps to establish the orientation.
The 91st Indiana was stationed at Cumberland Gap from January to May 1864. The artist was Francis Adolph Thuis (1837-1898), who was raised in the Netherlands and came to Vincennes, IN as a young man in 1857. He enlisted in Company A of the 91st Indiana Infantry but was detailed as a musician. After the war he was a harness-maker in Vincennes, and remained active in music with his church chorus. He made at least one other nearly identical version of this view, which is held by the Indiana Historical Society.
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