"A council of war was held at the General's headquarters that afternoon. It was a curious scene. A table was placed almost in the middle of a field, with not even a tree within hearing. General Lee sat at the table on which was spread a map. General Longstreet sat on his right, General Stuart on his left, and General Jackson stood opposite him; these four and no more... The consultation was a brief one. As it closed I was called by General Jackson and I heard the only sentence of that consultation that I ever heard reported. It was uttered by the secretive Jackson, and it was, "I will be moving within the hour." The painting depicts this important event. Lee, Jackson, Longstreet, and Stuart are seen at the little table in the middle of the grassy field, surrounded by terrain typical of the Manassas region. Nearby, above General lee's headquarters tent, the first national flag of the Confederacy is ruffled by a breeze, alongside the Confederate battle flag. The elevated viewpoint provides the opportunity to depict Lee's great Army of Northern Virginia - troops, tents, wagons, etc. - sprawled across the scenic Virginia countryside.
By: Mort Kunstler
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