11 posts in this topic

Since my main mode of sharing my work has been blocked by the Chinese government, I'm going to start a thread here to showcase one of my hobby jobs I do while living in China.  I color black and white photos.  Most all of them are of American Civil War personalities, but I hope to branch out and do some other ones when they come along.  So here is my most recent one that I finished yesterday.


Major General Gordon Granger (USV)

Gordon Granger was born in Joy, Wayne County, New York, on 6 November 1821.  He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1845, thirty-fifth in the class of forty-one.  Commissioned a brevet second lieutenant, he was assigned to the Second Infantry Regiment stationed in Detroit, Michigan.  In 1846, he transferred to the newly constituted Regiment of Mounted Riflemen at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.

During the Mexican-American War, Granger fought in Winfield Scott’s army.  He took part in the Siege of Veracruz, the Battle of Cerro Gordo, the Battle of Contreras, the Battle of Churubusco, and the Battle for Mexico City.  Granger received two citations for gallantry and in May 1847 received a regular commission as a second lieutenant.  After the war, he served on the western frontier in Oregon and Texas.  In 1853, he became a first lieutenant.

When the Civil War started, Granger was on sick leave and was temporarily assigned to George B. McClellan’s staff in Ohio.  After recovering, he returned to the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen and was promoted to captain.  As an adjutant for Samuel D. Sturgis, he saw action at the Battle of Dug Springs and observed the Union defeat at Wilson’s Creek in August 1861 while serving on Nathaniel Lyon’s staff.  He was cited for gallantry at Wilson’s Creek, became a brevet major, and was made commander of the St. Louis Arsenal.

In November 1861, Granger assumed command of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry at Benton Barracks in St. Louis.  Colonel Granger shaped the unit into a fighting force.  In February 1862, the 2nd Michigan massed with 20,000 Union troops under Brig. Gen. John Pope at Commerce, Missouri for an advance on New Madrid.  Granger assumed command over the Third Cavalry Brigade consisting of the 2nd and 3rd Michigan cavalry.  When the 7th Illinois joined, it was reorganized into a cavalry division.

On 26 March, he was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers and commanded the Cavalry Division, Army of the Mississippi during the Battle of New Madrid and the Siege of Corinth.  He was promoted to major general of volunteers on 17 September 1862, and took command of the Army of Kentucky.  He conducted cavalry operations in central Tennessee before his command was merged into the Army of the Cumberland becoming the Reserve Corps.

Granger distinguished himself at the Battle of Chickamauga.  On 20 September 1863, the second day of the battle, he reinforced, without orders, Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas’ XIV Corps on Snodgrass Hill by ordering James B. Steedman to send two brigades to help Thomas.  This action staved off Confederate attackers until dark, permitting Federal forces to retreat in good order and helping Thomas earn the sobriquet “Rock of Chickamauga”.

His effective leadership earned him command of the new IV Corps in the Army of the Cumberland, now commanded by Thomas, and he was promoted brevet lieutenant colonel in the Regular U.S. Army.  IV Corps distinguished itself at the Battle of Chattanooga.  Thomas J. Wood’s and Philip Sheridan’s divisions assaulted the reinforced center of the Confederate line on top of Missionary Ridge breaking through and forcing General Braxton Bragg to retreat.  Granger then took part in lifting the siege at Knoxville, Tennessee.

However, despite these successes, his outspokenness and bluntness with superiors including Ulysses S. Grant, who disliked Granger, prevented him from gaining more prominent commands in the Eastern Theater in the final years of the war.  He was sent to the Department of the Gulf under Maj. Gen. E.R.S. Canby and commanded a division that provided land support to the naval operations conducted by Admiral David Farragut in the Gulf of Mexico.  He captured Forts Gaines and Morgan during the Battle of Mobile Bay.  He commanded the XIII Corps during the Battle of Fort Blakely, which led to the fall of the city of Mobile, Alabama.

Following the war, Granger commanded the District of Texas.  He remained in the Army after mustering out from volunteer service.  In July 1866, he was assigned colonel of the reconstituted 25th Infantry Regiment.  He then served as colonel of the 15th Infantry.  During the 1870s, he commanded the District of New Mexico in two stints.  Granger died in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on 10 January 1876.


170919 Gordon Granger comparison.jpg


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114th Pennsylvania (Collies Zouaves), Company F, around Petersburg, Virginia 1864/1865.  This took about 2 weeks to do and was an early one I did when I first started coloring in August 2016.

114th PA Co. F Petersburg, Va 160916.jpg



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Just finished this one.

Brigadier General John Wilson Sprague (USV)

John Wilson Sprague was born in White Creek, New York, on 4 April 1817.  At the age of thirteen, he entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, New York.  He left school before graduation to engage in the grocery business, and in 1845 removed to Milan, Ohio, where he continued the business of a merchant in the shipping and commission sales businesses.  He served one term (1851-1852) as the treasurer of Erie County, Ohio.  In the late 1850s, he organized and equipped a line of sailboats and steamers for traffic on Lake Erie and was engaged in that business when war erupted.

With the outbreak of the Civil War and President Abraham Lincoln’s call for 100,000 volunteers to put down the rebellion, Sprague raised a company of infantry and was sent to Camp Dennison near Cincinnati.  He became the captain of Company E of the 7th Ohio Infantry.  While returning home on furlough in August 1861, he and a small party of fellow Buckeyes were captured in western Virginia and held as prisoners of war.  Sprague was exchanged in January 1862.

He was appointed colonel of the newly designated 63rd Ohio Infantry and joined Maj. Gen. John Pope in Missouri.  Sprague led the regiment at the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi, and then was in charge of the Ohio Brigade during the Battle of Iuka in 1862.  For the next several months, Sprague took part in the army’s general operations in northern Alabama and Mississippi, extending sometimes into Tennessee.  He participated in the Vicksburg Campaign in early and mid-1863.  In the fall of 1863, under Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, he moved with his regiment eastward toward Chattanooga, Tennessee.  His regiment was part of the force under Grenville M. Dodge detached to secure the railroad to Decatur, Alabama.

During the 1864 Atlanta Campaign, Sprague was in command of the 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, XVI Corps.  During the Battle of Atlanta on 22 July 1864, near Decatur, Georgia, he masterfully conducted a delaying action under heavy enemy fire and received praise from his superiors.  With only a small command, he defeated an overwhelming Confederate force and saved the entire ordnance and supply trains of the XV, XVI, XVII, and XX Corps.

He was promoted to brigadier general on 30 July 1864.  He moved with Sherman on the March to the Sea and then northward during the Carolinas Campaign.  He commanded the brigade on its march from Raleigh, North Carolina, through Richmond to Washington, D.C., and participated in the Grand Review of the Armies in May.  He received the brevet rank of major general at the end of the war.

From April 1865 until September 1866, Sprague was the assistant commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau for the district of Arkansas, serving under Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard.  He was in charge of operations in Missouri, Kansas, and the Indian Territory.  In September 1865, he declined a lieutenant-colonelcy in the Regular Army and mustered out of service.

He managed the Winona & St. Paul Railway.  In 1870, he became the general manager of the Western Division of the Northern Pacific Railway and co-established the city of Tacoma, Washington.  He was instrumental in selecting the route for the railroad’s Pacific Division, and in 1883 had the honor of driving the golden spike on completion of his division.

He served as Tacoma’s first mayor and was president of the board of trade and of various banks and corporations.  The town of Spraque, Washington, founded in 1880, was named for him.  After suffering for several years from heart disease and chronic cystitis, Sprague died in Tacoma on 27 December 1893.  In 1894, the United States Congress awarded the Medal of Honor to Brig. Gen. John W. Sprague for his distinguished gallantry during the Battle of Decatur.

170925 John W Sprague comparison.jpg

170925 John W Sprague.jpg


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Brigadier General Henry Hopkins Sibley (CSA)

Henry Hopkins Sibley was born in Natchitoches, Louisiana on 25 May 1816.  He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1838 and was commissioned second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Dragoons.

He fought Seminole Indians in Florida, 1840 – 1841; participated in the Military Occupation of Texas, 1845 – 1846; and fought in the Mexican-American War, 1847 – 1848.  While on frontier duty in Texas in the 1850s, he invented the “Sibley tent”, which was widely used by the Union Army during the American Civil War.  He also invented the “Sibley stove” to heat the tent.  The Army used this design into the early years of World War II.

From 1855 – 1857, Sibley was part of the forces trying to control conflict in Bleeding Kansas.  He took part in the Utah War, 1857 – 1860, and was in active service in New Mexico, 1860 – 1861.  After the outbreak of the American Civil War, Sibley resigned on 13 May 1861, the day of his promotion to major in the 1st Dragoons, and he joined the Confederate States Army.

Placed in command of a brigade of volunteer cavalry in West Texas, Sibley dubbed his small force the Army of New Mexico and began planning a New Mexico Campaign to capture the cities of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Fort Union on the Santa Fe Trail to establish a forward base of supply.  He then intended to continue north to Colorado to capture the numerous gold and silver mines in the area.  From there Sibley planned to join forces with Lieutenant John R. Baylor, already in control of much of southern New Mexico and Arizona territories.  Their ultimate strategy was to gain access to the ports of California and establish a badly needed supply line to the South.  Opposing him was Union Colonel Edward Canby.

Sibley was initially successful at the Battle of Valverde on 20 – 21 February 1862 and pressed on to capture Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  Although the Battle of Glorieta Pass on March 28 ended in Confederate victory on the field, Sibley had to retreat because his supply train was destroyed.  At the same time, the Union California Column was approaching from the west.  Sibley retreated to the campaign’s starting point at Fort Bliss in April ending the hopes of a Confederate nation stretching to the Pacific Ocean.

After the failure of the New Mexico Campaign, Sibley was given minor commands under Richard Taylor around Bayou Teche in south Louisiana, commanding the “Arizona Brigade” at the battles of Irish Bend and Fort Bisland.  He blundered on several occasions and struggling with alcoholism, he was court martialed in Louisiana in 1863.  Although not convicted, he was censured.

After the war, Sibley was recruited to serve in the Egyptian Army and served from 1870 to 1873 as a military adviser with the rank of brigadier general of artillery, overseeing the construction of coastal fortifications.  However, he fell back into problems with alcohol, and he was dismissed due to illness and disability.  He lived from 1874 with his daughter in Fredericksburg, Virginia, writing articles and working on military inventions.  He died on 23 August 1886.

Coloring Henry H. Sibley Sped Up 2600%

170911 Henry H Sibley comparison.jpg

170911 Henry H Sibley.jpg


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Nice bit of talent you've got there... but any chance you can show things that aren't all American Civil war, so the rest of the world can find some appreciation???


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I mostly do American Civil War.  Haven't branched into anything else yet.  But here's one that is completely different.


161008 Ava Gardner bathing suit on slide comparison.jpg



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It is my favorite subject and it is what I started coloring to mod a game originally.  I do want to get into different subjects, but I have such a backlog of Civil War photos I want to color!


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