General Irvin McDowell and Staff, after Mathew Brady

Oil on wood
10 ½ x 13 ¼ inches
Credit Line:
Collection of Lysiane Luong Grooms and the artist

Grooms brings to life a striking scene of Union soldiers standing on the steps of Robert E. Lee's residence, Arlington House, built in 1802 by the adopted grandson of President George Washington, and, soon after the Civil War broke out, commandeered by the Federal government because it commanded a critical view of Washington, D.C. McDowell led Union troops into the first major battle of the Civil War, Bull Run, in Northern Virginia. Their defeat so close to the Capitol shook the confidence of Northerners who had thought the war might end quickly, and that of President Lincoln in his general. Fairly early in the war, he transferred McDowell away from active fronts.