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    Dramatic Oil on Canvas Rendering of a Cavalry Saber Duel During"Stuart's Ride" by William B. T. Trego. One of the more controversial of Stuart's forays, the Confederate "Cavalier" undertook a three day ride (June 12-15, 1862) around McClellan's right flank to glean intelligence of his movements in preparation for what would be know as the "Seven Days Campaign." Stuart's 1200 men covered over 100 miles during which they captured and sank two schooners, destroyed Tunstall's Station of the York River railroad, and engaged in several skirmishes, one of which is depicted here by Trego.

    The 18" x 15.5" monochromatic work features a Union and a Confederate cavalryman engaged in a desperate hand to hand duel with drawn sabers. Both cavalrymen are depicted with their full complement of equipment including carbines. The Confederate trooper at the right wears a plumed slouch while the Federal cavalryman at the left is bare headed in his regulation shell jacket, The stark terror and determination engendered by mano a mano combat is etched on their faces. A complement of mounted troopers is depicted in the background awaiting the outcome of the fight. The musculature and fluidity of movement of the horses is beautifully rendered. Trego's signature is at the lower right.

    William B. T. Trego was the son of portrait painter Johnathan Trego and was stricken by paralysis at the age of two, probably the result of polio. Despite this handicap he went on to become a noted painter of military subjects. His public career was launched when he exhibited and sold his painting "The Charge of Custer at Winchester" at the Michigan State Fair in 1880. the proceeds from this sale financed a move to Philadelphia where he attended the Pennsylvania Academy, studying under Thomas Eakins. He won the first Toppan Prize in 1882 at the Academy and in 1887 Trego set sail for Paris. At the Academy Julian, he studied under Tony Robert-Fleury and William Adolphe Bouguereau, exhibiting battle subjects at the Paris Salon in 1889 and 1890. Upon his return to Philadelphia in 1890, Trego was hailed as the "American Detaille" for his dramatic military paintings. Published as part of the magnificent "Century Collection", the caption identifies the federal trooper as a German member of the 5th US cavalry, who was finally shot and killed by the Confederates. Housed in a period frame the overall measurements of which are 26" x 23.25", the painting is in pristine condition. Trego's spectacular representation of Civil War mounted combat would be the center piece of any cavalry collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    29th-30th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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