Eventually, I intend to include profiles of the personalities central to the early Civil War in Virginia in this encyclopedia. Unfortunately, more than a handful didn’t go on to win much fame, so finding quality contemporary photos or illustrations of them is difficult.
I decided to hire an artist to create illustrations of these individuals for the encyclopedia, and the first was of Col. George A. Porterfield, who commanded Confederate forces at Philippi. Porterfield was something of a tragic figure. He was assigned an impossible task (to hold northwestern Virginia with a few hundred poorly-equipped recruits), then blamed for losing the first land engagement of the war.
He was captured and paroled by Union forces in the summer of 1862 and never returned to military duty.
I was able to find a post-war illustration of Porterfield, then asked the artist, Riza Budiarto, to draw him in a colonel’s uniform. Here is the result:
The illustration is based on this:
What do you think? Do you like this style of illustration? Would you like to see more military portraits like this? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.