George Healy, The Peacemakers, 1868

On March 27, 1865, four leaders in the American Civil War met on board the steamer River Queen at City Point, Virginia; they were (from left to right) Union Army General Sherman, Union Army General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant, President Abraham Lincoln, and US Navy Admiral David Porter. The painting depicts a strategy session in which the four men engaged; Porter later wrote in his journal about the importance of the meeting, saying it “was an occasion upon which depended whether or not the war would be continued a year longer. A single false step might have prolonged it indefinitely.”

Healy accurately depicted the River Queen and the four men, however, the rainbow (signifying peace) was pure invention.

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