Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper was a news magazine founded in 1852 with continued publication well into the 20th century. Born in England, Frank Leslie was at age twenty-two head engraver for the English Illustrated London News. He came to New York in 1848. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (1855-1922) was the first successful American venture to bring pictures and news together in a weekly.
The magazine illustrations were done by hand. Leslie’s breakthrough was in dividing the engraving into many sections for individual engravers and then fitting the woodblocks together. He could therefore accomplish in a day what a single engraver had taken weeks to produce and publish pictures of events only a week or two old, a speed new to popular journalism. At the start of the Civil War, its circulation had reached 164,000. It was also published in German.
During the Civil War, an oversized bi-monthly paper (23 inches by 16 inches) was published which was devoted entirely to the conflict.
The illustrated papers include:
These steel engravings are from the History of the War for the Union. One of them is hand-colored. They depict the attack on Fort Wagner, located on Morris Island, South Carolina. The fort covered the approach to Charleston’s harbor. The first assault occurred on July 11, 1863. Only 12 Confederate soldiers were killed, as opposed to the Union’s 330 losses.
The Second Battle took place a week later, July 18, 1863. It was led by the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, one of the first major military units made up of black soldiers. Their colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, was killed in the assault and the fort was not taken. Although a tactical defeat, the battle proved a political victory since the valor of the 54th against hopeless odds proved the worth of black soldiers. This is the subject of the movie Glory.
These steel engravings are from the History of the War for the Union. One of them is hand-colored. They depict the attack at Rocky Face Ridge, Georgia. The Battle of Rocky Face Ridge began on May 7, 1864, in Whitfield County, during the Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War. The Union army was led by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, the Confederate army of Tennessee by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. Steep cliffs give way to a high gap called Mill Creek which locals refer to as "Buzzards Roost" and Sherman as "The doors of death." This was the site chosen by the Confederates to stop the Union army. The battle lasted 7 days. The Union victory resulted in the Confederates being forced off of the ridge.
This famous book is Lee and His Lieutenants, by E. A. Pollard. Published in 1867, it contains steel engravings. This copy has two hand-colored engravings, including a portrait of General R. E. Lee.
E. A. Pollard was the editor of the Daily Richmond Examiner during the war and wrote several brilliant books on the South&srquo;s cause. They include: The Lost Cause in 1866, The Southern Spy, The Southern History of the Civil War, Confederate General Ewell.