Image Size: 17-3/4” x 25-1/4”
Signed Martinsburg Edition • Edition Size: 350
Mort Künstler's Comments
Before I ever completed the painting, Jackson Commandeers the Railroad in 1999, I knew I wanted to do a sequel showing another part of the operation. This great event of moving locomotives and railroad equipment overland and through towns had never been depicted and would be a natural follow-up to the scene showing the disassembling of the locomotives in the Martinsburg railroad yards.
In my research for the previous painting, I learned about the taking apart of locomotives and how to move them. Winchester was the natural choice for me as the setting for this new painting since it was the largest town between Martinsburg and Strasburg, where the locomotives were reassembled and put back on the tracks. Since Loudoun Street has been featured in my paintings Jackson Enters Winchester and After the Snow, I wanted to portray this new scene in a completely different way that would not be reminiscent of the other two. I finally came up with the idea of using a high perspective which enables the viewer to see down the entire street. This presented a whole new set of problems, which, in the beginning, seemed almost insurmountable. Using a different perspective meant that I had to find out additional information on what buildings were in Winchester during the Civil War, what they looked like and who occupied them. Added to this was the magnitude of the event that required me to portray crowds of people that would have turned out to witness the spectacle.
The forty-horse team used to pull the stripped-down boiler was rigged four abreast and driven, artillery style, by a rider who controlled his four horses. Since thoroughbreds, quarter horses, mules, etc. were conscripted for the arduous movement, some owners refused to part with their mounts, unless they drove them personally. The result was a joint military-civilian operation. Artillery riders with their distinctive red markings are in key positions in the lineup as outriders are available for troubleshooting. The rest of the equipment - cowcatchers, lights, cabs, stacks - were transported by wagons and oxcarts.
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