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After the Norwegian artist Ole Peter Hansen Balling had sketched President Lincoln at the White House in the fall of 1864, he obtained permission to paint life portraits of leading Union generals. Balling joined General Grant at City Point, Virginia, during the campaign against Richmond and spent five weeks there sketching officers in the field. Philip H. Sheridan was painted while in the Shenandoah Valley; the portraits of William T. Sherman and George H. Thomas were done in Washington after the end of the war. The image of George A. Custer, second from the left, is thought to be the only life portrait painted of him.

Left to right: Thomas C. Devin (1822-1878), George A. Custer (1839-1876), Hugh J. Kilpatrick (1836-1881), William H. Emory (1811-1887), Philip H. Sheridan (1831-1888), James B. McPherson (1828-1864), George Crook (1830-1890), Wesley Merritt (1834-1910), George H. Thomas (1816-1870), Gouverneur Kemble Warren (1830-1882), George G. Meade (1815-1872), John G. Parke (1827-1900), William T. Sherman (1820-1891), John A. Logan (1826-1886), Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), Ambrose E. Burnside (1824-1881), Joseph Hooker (1814-1879), Winfield Scott Hancock (1824-1886), John A. Rawlins (1831-1869), Edward O. C. Ord (1818-1883), Francis Preston Blair (1821-1875), Alfred H. Terry (1827-1890), Henry W. Slocum (1827-1894), Jefferson C. Davis (1828-1879), Oliver O. Howard (1830-1909), John M. Schofield (1831-1906), Joseph A. Mower (1827-1870)

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