Overall: 5 7/8 x 8 in. (14.9 x 20.3 cm)
mat: 11 x 14 in. ( 27.9 x 35.6 cm )
Inscribed along lower edge in brown ink: "A detachment of the New York Rifles commanded by Lieu. Georges / firing upon Company B of the same regiment, under Cap. Cresto / while on its way to join Col. Fadella's Reg.t Monday, 9"; continued on verso in graphite: "The guard numbered about 22 The deserters / were about 30."
Civil War Drawings Collection. See also 1945.580.12 and 1945.580.90. Reproduced in Frank Leslie's The Soldier in Our Civil War, (New York : S. Bradley, 1893), Volume 1, 132; with more soldiers in a somewhat modified composition.
The incident occured at Willett's Point, Monday December 9, 1862, near the encampment of the New York Rifles. Captain Cresto, of Company B, had a dispute with a lieutenant of his company and was about to leave the regiment with his men to join Colonel Fadella's regiment. Col. Legendre stationed a guard of twenty-five or thirty men, with loaded arms, to prevent the desertion. Intercepted, Captain Cresto demanded the privilege of passing, which the guard would not permit. The antagonistic parties were drawn up across the road when a pistol belonging to Sergeant Thompson, one of Captain Cresto's party, went off, as the Sergeant said, by accident. The guard returned fire and two of the deserters were killed and four wounded. Captain Cresto fled but was captured, eventually convicted with most of his men, and sent to a military prison on Hilton Head Island.
Reproduced in Phillip Van Doren Stern, They were There: The Civil War in Action as Seen by its Combat Artists (New York: Crown, 1959), pg. 134, pl. 160.
John T. Kavanaugh Collection, Rutherford, New Jersey, 1945
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.