Captain Adolph G. Metzner's stunning visual diary of sketches, > drawings, and watercolors depict his world during three years of > service with the First German, Thirty-second Regiment Indiana > Volunteer Infantry campaigning in the Western Theater during the Civil > War. Metzner chronicled the day-to-day life of a soldier's world, at > first with humor, and later, with a stark reality of life and death on the battlefield. > Metzner was born on August 16, 1834, in a village in the southwestern > corner of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. In 1856 he immigrated to the > United States, establishing himself as a druggist in Louisville, > Kentucky. Four months after the start of the Civil War, the young > druggist traveled to Indianapolis to assist in organizing a German regiment. > > Once encamped with the Thirty-second, Metzner immediately began to set > his impressions down on paper, recording the regiment's activity with > details as vividly descriptive as any written word and creating a > series of caricatures of his associates with a tinge of comical > exaggeration likely influenced by the subject. With the initial loss > of comrades at the battle of Rowlett's Station, Kentucky, on December > 17, 1861, Metzner's art changed. From that point on his work showed > the turmoil and struggle the men experienced through Shiloh and > General Braxton Bragg's invasion of Kentucky to Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and culminating with the move on Atlanta. > > After being wounded at Chickamauga, Metzner returned to Indianapolis, > and his artwork went into storage with the remainder of his war gear. > He did, however, create one postwar oil painting, a beautiful 18 ½ x > 23 ¼ oil on canvas that appears to be a culmination of his study of > man, horse, and motion. The end result shows the depth of one who has > witnessed war, or who has "seen the elephant," as Civil War veterans called it. >
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Michael A. Peake, a resident of Corydon, Indiana, is an author and historian specializing in Indiana German genealogy and history as related to the American Civil War. Since retiring from federal service in 1996, Peake has devoted his time to researching Union and Confederate German-American military organizations.
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Book Description Indiana Historical Society. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0871952696 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1404479
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