Freeman Colby Vol. 2 Poster Gallery

Sample full-color artwork from the 1863 adventures of Colby & Co. …

(Plus some of the primary source images that inspired ’em!)

All Vol. 2 poster artwork is drawn in ink + colored pencils + crayons, on cardstock at 8.5″x11″ (portraits) or 17″x11″ (landscapes).


Winslow Homer’s”Life in Camp”

In his collectible “Life in Camp” cards, Winslow Homer captured humorous & serious experiences that might not have made it into the soldiers’ letters home…

Freeman Colby Fording (Cover)

The 39th Massachusetts fords a stream on their way through Northern Virginia, intent on coming out the other side with dry shoes & pants!


Another image inspired by Winslow Homer ~ Fannie Dawson stands in her dooryard, watching Confederate troops march past. Dawson’s account in Vol. 2 challenges Colby’s simple story of North & South; She calls Southern soldiers “our soldiers,” & cares fiercely for the children of her enslavers — the children she has raised! At the same time, she doesn’t hesitate to help Union men in search of food, or champion the cause of the Union armies…


Nurse Sarah Low

While Colby lies critically ill in the hospital at Washington, our Vol. 2 storyline follows the letters of Nurse Sarah Low (from Dover, NH). This crayon image was inspired by a photograph in the collection at NH Historical Society.

How to Draw Sarah Low | Sarah Low 8-Page Bio

ALSO: Nurse Sarah Low’s Hospital Cat

I don’t have any visual sources for Sarah Low’s Hospital Cat — I just like drawing her (the cat) into the corners of the hospital scenes.


Freeman Colby & Jonas Bacon Digging

Late summer, 1863: Hot weather for digging earthworks!

This is the very first poster artwork I did for Vol. 2; I was just playing around with crayons to see how the colors would blend.

For a very different view of Union soldiers digging in (without spades, & under fire), see Alfred Waud’s “On Hancocks front– the soldiers ha[ving] no picks and shovels used bayonets, tin pans, old canteens, and even their hands in throwing up breastworks” (1864).


Jonas Bacon & Lt. Col. Peirson, Fireside

Lt. Col. Peirson is about to lead his men into Mine Run; He’s just received a note of some sort, & now sits gazing into the fire beside a very cold, miserable, & lonely Jonas…

I don’t have a primary visual source for this one either, other than a vague respect for Winslow Homer’s campfire scenes.


That poster on the hospital wall is based on dramatic text found in several different recruitment posters of 1863. Since the Emancipation Proclamation took effect in January 1863, the US Army has been recruiting USCT soldiers from all around the North & from the Freedmen community at the south… Abraham Tuckson (shown here as an orderly @ a DC hospital) is getting ready to enlist!

I drew Abraham Tuckson’s narrative from his widow Hester’s pension application; Lacking any photographic reference for Tuckson himself, I based his character on this photograph of Hospital Steward Thomas H.S. Pennington (20th USCT).


MORE ARTWORK TO COME…

This work is PATRON-POWERED!

Published by Marek

Cartoonist, musician, teacher.

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