"Frayed" 48x48, Oil on Canvas
I finished this painting after reading Sam Watkins account of the civil war. His book is called, Co. Aytch. Phil Leigh writes this about Sam:
"Of the 120 men enlisting in his company in 1861, Watkins was one of only seven remaining upon its surrender two weeks after Appomattox. Such endurance speaks volumes about the young man’s chronicle. During the war he was falsely arrested once, suffered three gunshot wounds and captured – and escaped – three times." (Article, Private Watkins War).
I am also reading Elisha Hunt Rhodes' account of the war, All for the Union. I am struck by the juxtaposition of these two men. Sam is a rascal but survives by his wits and cunning. Elisha is faithful to goodness throughout the war. He is a man you would remember because of that goodness. Both men came to faith. Sam, later in life after the war's end and Elisha already a follower of God as he went into service. Both men enter the gaping maw of the bloodiest war that was ever fought by an American and both lived through some of the worst battles of that war. Both were forever changed.
Perhaps this painting is also about a frayed South. And today, I feel a frayed country.