Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Painting
Catalog Number 1949.44.3
Creator Gray, George
Date 1933-1941
Material(s) Oil on canvas adhered to plywood
Dimensions H-82.25 W-149.25 D-3 inches
Description This is an oil on canvas painting of John Hunt Morgan's raid on Cynthiana in July of 1862. At the very bottom is an inset that reads: "Colonel John Hunt Morgan "Thunderbolt of the Confederacy" seized Cynthiana July 18, 1862, the Northernmost point reached in his first spectacular raid into Kentucky when with a command of 900, he captured 17 towns, destroying all military stores; Dispersing 1500 Home guards; Paroled nearly 1200 Federal troops, sustaining only 90 casualties in his 24 days March-spreading terror throughout the state by his bold, swift operations." To the right of that is the seal of the United States and the seal of the Confederacy is to the left. Above that inset to the left is an inset image of John Hunt Morgan. He is on his horse in his Confederate uniform with "Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan Confederate States of America" above him. Also above the large inset is another inset image of a map of his raid in Kentucky on the right. The main feature, above the insets, in the foreground is six Union soldiers firing at John Hunt Morgan and his men. The Union troops have on blue uniforms and are firing muskets. One of the troops is dead, laying on the ground holding a broken sword in his hand. Below three of the Union troops, two standing and one kneeling, is a mess of gear like canteens, a saddle, cartridges, and revolvers. To the left of the map inset is a Billinghurst Requa and below that is a revolver and cartridges laying on the ground. At the left in the background is a group of Confederate cavalry and infantry attempting to cross a river and get on a covered bridge. The covered bridge is over a little river with stone supports and covered with planks of wood. To the right of the covered bridge is John Hunt Morgan and his Confederate cavalry coming out of the bridge. Morgan is in the front on his horse holding his pistol in the air. To the left of him is a man dead, still on his horse and a Confederate flag laying on the ground to the left of him. There is a man to Morgans right, behind him on a horse pointing his pistol at the Union soldiers in front of him. To the right of that soldier and behind him is another soldier laying on the ground with his horse looking onward. There is a heavy amount of smoke by the covered bridge behind Morgan with two men on horses, both very hard to see, riding out from the bridge. There are trees all a long the back at the top with two shell explosions right above the covered bridge. The artist signed his name right above the large inset at the right and under the inset of the map; "George Gray."
Notes Commissioned by American Hotel Corporation, probably as WPA artwork. A very large, very bulky, very fragile, very heavy painting. Copy on painting reads: "Colonel John Hunt Morgan 'Thunderbolt of the Confederacy' siezed Cynthiana July 18, 1862 the Northernmost/point reached in his first spectacular raid into Kentucky when, with a command of 900 he captured 17 towns/destroying all military stores; dispersing 1500 home guards; paroled nearly 1200 Federal troops, sustaining/only 90 casualties in his 24 days march-spreading terror throughout the state by hid bold swift operation."
Collection American Hotel Corporation Collection
People American Hotel Corporation
Gray, George
Morgan, John Hunt
Subjects Civil War
Horses:Union
Confederacy
Cynthiana
Painting
Search Terms John Hunt Morgan
Confederate Army
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS