How many of the generals in this painting can you name, without using references?*
The painting hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. The photo does not do the work justice. But the location, hanging over one of the stairways, allows visitors perspective from several good angles. Artist Ole Peter Hansen Balling put motion in this painting, implying if not imparting progress towards the end of a long, bloody war.
When I view the painting, an observation offered by a former commander comes to mind. “Battles, campaigns, and wars,” he would say, “are not won by a single man, even he be a commander. Rather they are won by a team unified by a leader.”
* According to the interpretation offered with the painting, the generals are, from left to right: Thomas C. Devin, George A. Custer, Hugh J. Kilpatrick, William H. Emory, Philip H. Sheridan, James B. McPherson, George Crook, Wesley Merritt, George H. Thomas, Gouverneur K. Warren, George G. Meade, John G. Parke, William T. Sherman, John A. Logan, Ulysses S. Grant, Ambrose E. Burnside, Joseph Hooker, Winfield Scott Hancock, John A. Rawlins, Edward O.C. Ord, Francis Preston Blair, Alfred H. Terry, Henry W. Slocum, Jefferson C. Davis, Oliver O. Howard, John M. Schofield, Joseph A. Mower.