The Army in the Advance

Arthur Lumley, a newspaper illustrator during the Civil War was able to capture an iconic scene of the 25th New York regiment conducting their "Evening Parade" at Camp Bliss on Upton's Hill. The image entitled "The Army in the Advance" serves as a reminder of the first year of the war when Union and Confederate forces were locked in a stalemate near the nation's Capital.


The American Civil War (1861-1865) was a major military conflict that impacted a broad swath of the United States. As a theater of war, it touched a significant number of both northern and southern states. As the war unfolded the terrible ferocity of the military engagements resulted in horrific casualties. These large battles soon eclipsed the significance of the early military engagements that took place in Arlington and Northern Virginia.


The exhibit "Army in the Advance" provides a glimpse of the early war when both sides of the conflict were tentative in their ability to wage war. President Abraham Lincoln was under great political pressure to demonstrate his administration’s ability to put down the rebellion. Northern newspapers followed the early military engagements and battles and wondered outloud when Union forces were going to attack Richmond.


During the first year of the war Upton's Hill represented the Union Army's forward advance into Virginia. The hill was fortified, and its camps became a military logistical center, including a supply depot, commissary, and photography studio. Dozens of Union regiments rotated through the area.