The Eagle Balloon and Flag, 1862, Drawn by John Johnston at "Winder Hospittle", Virginia

Regular price $135.00

This drawing makes my heart melt, and even though it shows a lot of toning, it's quite special, and I feel as if my task in life may be to steward into the future drawings like this!  A wonderfully hand-written title at bottom describes it for just what it is: The Eagle Balloon and Flags, carrying a tiny figure with hat and scope through the air. And what a balloon, every inch decorated in patterns and with a flower blooming across the arching top, flags to either side and tassels dangling from the basket below. On then on reverse: Winder Hospittle [sic], Virginia,  Oct. 3, 1862, and the name of its maker, John S. Johnston.

With some quick research I've learned that Winder Hospital  in Richmond, VA was constructed just after the beginning of the Civil War, in 1861, and soon came to be referred to as "The largest hospital in the Confederacy." I have also learned that hot air balloons played a significant role in the Civil War, giving military leaders a platform that allowed them to see for miles around. This was true especially during the "Seven Days Campaign" in 1862, when Union balloons were used to observe movement within downtown Richmond--right where this was drawn. And so one has to think our John Johnston, perhaps an injured soldier at the hospital, observed such balloons in flight! Pretty great to have all of those specifics packed in here, making this quite a piece of Civil War era Americana.

6 1/4 x 4". Darkened from toning to the paper as evident. Paper in in overall good antique condition, with a few scattered tiny holes. This one is all about viewing close up and deserves a good frame to honor it.