FANTASTIC FRAMED DRAWING OF THE BATTLE OF DRAINSVILLE DONE BY GETTYSBURG CARTOGRAPHER EMMOR B. COPE

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Item Code: 1054-2733

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This wonderful and detailed drawing shows the meeting engagement on December 20, 1861 between a brigade of Pennsylvania Reserve regiments under Brig. Gen. E. O. C. Ord and a mixed Confederate force led by Gen. J. E. B. Stuart. The scene was drawn by Emmor B. Cope who was serving in Company A, 30th Pennsylvania Infantry (1st Pennsylvania Reserves) at the time and who later was very much involved in the mapping and preservation of the Gettysburg battlefield.

Drawing shows the Union forces in the foreground at the intersection of the Leesburg Turnpike and the Centreville Road. The Thorton house dominates the right foreground. Union cavalry is lined up along the picket fence in front of the house while to the right Union infantry, wearing greatcoats and standing in line of battle, fire a volley into the distant Confederates. In the immediate middle foreground is a three-gun battery firing up the Centreville Road at Confederates who are in a wood line far in the background. The bursting shells can be seen in the distance with figures of scattering and dead Confederates amongst the trees. Several mounted Union officers are in the left immediate foreground.

In the intervening fields between the Thorton house and the Confederate line in the distant woods are three separate lines of Union soldiers advancing under artillery fire and delivering volleys to their Southern antagonists. Off to the left, in the middle distance, is another house with Confederates visible in a distant woodlot.

The attention paid to each building, fences and soldiers is wonderful and very accomplished. The bare trees, the grayness of the scene and the soldiers dressed in overcoats perfectly relate the cold in which the battle took place.

For a period drawing it is quite large. Framed the piece meas. approx. 21.50 x 18.00 inches. The drawing is double matted with an off white over a gold mat with the actual drawing size meas. 14.50 x 10.00 inches. Bottom center has “BATTLE OF DRAINESVILLE” while lower right corner is signed “E.B. COPE.”

The drawing is in museum quality condition. The only blemish are two ink streaks in the sky area which look to have been done by accident by Cope at the time the drawing was done. The wooden frame is from the 1980’s and is in good condition. A typed label on the back reads “BATTLE OF DRAINSVILLE DRAWN BY F. (should be E) B. COPE- A DOCUMENTARY DRAWING OF A CIVIL WAR BATTLE, DRAWN ON THE SPOT. ORIGINAL DRAWINGS SUCH AS THIS ARE QUITE RARE. THOSE THAT WERE DONE WERE COMMISSIONED BY ‘LESLIE’S’ AND ‘HARPER’S’ WEEKLIES. PEN & INK AND WATERCOLOR.” “BURGER & EVANS.”

The artist, Emmor Bradley Cope was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania on July 23, 1834. He served as both an enlisted man and officer in the Union Army and is noted for the "Map of the Battlefield of Gettysburg from the original survey made August to October, 1863", which he researched by horseback as a sergeant after being ordered back to Gettysburg by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade. Cope is also noted for commemorative era battlefield administration and designs, including the layout of the 1913 Gettysburg reunion. Cope had enlisted as a Private of Company A, First Pennsylvania Reserves and was temporarily detached to Battery C, 5th U.S. Artillery. He mustered out as a 5th Corps aide-de-camp of Maj Gen Gouverneur K. Warren.

On July 17, 1893, Cope was appointed the Topographical Engineer of the Gettysburg National Park Commission and oversaw the 1893-95 battlefield survey with benchmark at the Gettysburg center square. By 1904, Cope was the first park superintendent, and, after the commission became defunct in March 1922 when the last commissioner died, became the battlefield head through the remainder of the commemorative era of the Gettysburg National Military Park.

Cope's designs include structures (e.g., the original park "gateway"), markers (1908 GNMP bronze tablet/granite monolith), buildings (the 1903 Roller and Storage Building), roads (Cross, Brooke, and De Trobriand avenues), and the observation tower at Gettysburg and Valley Forge. He oversaw the development of post-war maps drawn by GNPC cartographer Schuyler A. Hammond, as well as a 14 ft wooden relief map of the battlefield by J. C. Wierman for the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (on display at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center).

Emmor Cope died on May 28, 1927 in Gettysburg. He is buried with his wife along the outside of the Gettysburg National Cemetery fence near the New York State Memorial.  [ad]

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