Part of the USA Today Network

Nationally known artists tackle York County subjects

Dale Gallon is among my favorite Civil War artists. One of the most prolific of the modern generation of ACW artists, Gallon maintains an impressive gallery and retail store in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Steinwehr Avenue. Limited edition art prints of the painting shown above may be purchased there either framed or unframed. Gallon’s visually interesting work shows newly appointed Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer in his first battle action after being promoted from captain. His Wolverines of Company E, 6th Michigan Cavalry are armed with 7-shot Spencer Repeating Rifles and are deployed as skirmishers in a lush field near Hanover, in southwestern York County, Pennsylvania. The action depicted is from the afternoon fighting at the June 30, 1863, Battle of Hanover.
Gallon is not the only famous painter to depict York County Civil War subjects.

Bradley Schmehl, a former resident of Columbia, Pennsylvania, painted this impressive (and historically accurate) view of the 27th Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia marching across the burning Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge, which had been set on fire minutes earlier by the orders of Colonel Jacob G. Frick, a future Medal of Honor winner for his actions earlier in the war at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. Brad’s “Columbia Bridge Burning” is used under license on the cover of my recently released Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Gordon Expedition, June 1863.
Schmehl has painted several other Civil War topics that I like, including the brickyard fight at Kuhn’s Brickyard in Gettysburg (near today’s Coster Avenue). A few years ago, I modeled a miniature brickyard for my wargaming based upon Brad’s painting.

My model brickyard is shown in the lower right. While Brad’s painting specifically shows one of the two leading brickyards in Gettysburg, similar kilns were present here in York County during the Confederate occupation. I am not aware of any remaining in this area, although some locals have told me they remember seeing these in disrepair as children.

Brad’s paintings are available in Gettysburg from a number of retailers, as well as on the Internet from Cumberland House and other dealers. The 2004 painting of the bridge burning is also available from Rivertownes here in York County, the organization that promotes Wrightsville, Columbia, and Marietta.