COLOR CHROMOLITHOGRAPH OF 14TH BROOKLYN AMPUTEE PRIVATE LOUIS FRANCIS BY WELL-KNOWN ARTIST

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Item Code: 668-313

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This full color chromolithograph shows Private Louis Francis of Company I, 14th New York State Militia, aka the 14th Brooklyn, aka 84th New York Infantry. He leans against a balustrade and steady’s himself with one of his crutches while the other rests behind him. Francis wears a blue kepi with the regimental number “14” on the front, just above the black visor. He also wears a dark blue shell jacket and a vest with white sides and a blue front. His left leg is in a pair of light blue trousers while his right leg is missing. His trousers are open to expose his pelvis and stump of his right leg.

Print meas. approx. 8.50 x 11.00 inches and is titled “MOTT’S SUCCESSFUL RE-AMPUTATION AT THE HIP-JOINT” Colors are very strong. The paper has heavy foxing throughout but none appears on the actual color print.

The print was made from an original watercolor painting done by Hermann Faber. Born in Germany, Faber came to the United States in 1854 and worked for the Surgeon General during the Civil War as a medical illustrator. He also did etchings and before the room was cleared, he was allowed to make two drawings of Abraham Lincoln on his deathbed.

Faber settled in Philadelphia where he died in 1913. He exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy in the late 19th century and was a member of the Philadelphia Sketch Club from 1870 to 1874 and studied with Thomas Eakins in 1876. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Society of Etchers and served as Secretary for two years.

The subject of the print, Louis Francis, was born in Portugal about 1818. When he came to the United States is not known. He gave his age as 40 years old when he enlisted as a private in Company I, of the 14th New York State Militia on July 1, 1861. He was severely wounded in the right leg and captured at Bull Run on July 21, 1861. He was confined in Richmond until his exchange and was not discharged until July 12, 1864.

Francis died on May 30, 1874. His obituary tells of him attending the Memorial Day parade where he caused a stir by crossing through the line of marchers to approach the grandstand where he saluted the Governor which salute was returned.  The obituary then states “FRANCIS SERVED THROUGH THE WHOLE OF THE WAR WITH THE FAMOUS FOURTEENTH OF BROOKLYN  AND BESIDES LOSING A LEG, RECEIVED FOURTEEN BAYONET WOUNDS, AND WAS LITERALLY RIDDLED WITH BULLETS. THE DAY FOLLOWING THE PARADE FRANCIS WENT TO GREEN-WOOD, AND DECORATED THE GRAVES OF HIS COMRADES, AND AFTER RETURNING DIED AS HE WAS IN THE ACT OF SITTING DOWN TO SUPPER.”  [ad] [ph:L]

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