General Kirby Smith

Acrylic on wood
11 x 7 3/8 inches
Credit Line:
Collection of Lysiane Luong Grooms and the artist

Grooms transforms a studio portrait of Smith into a commander silhouetted above his field of battle. After Lee surrendered to Grant on April 9, 1865, he instructed his troops to go peacefully home, but Kirby Smith, commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, refused to admit defeat for six more weeks. The Union had controlled the Mississippi River since 1863, and the Confederate armies in the west were completely cut off from the main action of the war. In Galveston, Texas, Smith became the last Confederate general to surrender his army.