Ormsby’s George B. McClellan


Waterman Lily Ormsby. “Maj. Gen. Geo. B. M’Clellan, Late Commanding United States Army.” Second state. New York: [Joseph Lang], ca. 1862-63. 22 1/4 x 16 7/8. Steel engraving by W.L. Ormsby. Very good condition.


A handsome, full length portrait of George McClellan mounted on a horse in full uniform. The image was drawn and engraved by W.L. Ormsby, who issued a number of historical images around the middle of the century. This is a second state of this print, which has “Late” added to the title. This shows that the print was original issued when McClellan was commanding the army, but was reissued, with the addition, even after he had been dismissed in late 1862. A fort and some troops can be seen in the background. Both states of this portrait were engraved so that the head of McClellan was transferred onto an 1852 portrait of Gen. Franklin Pierce done during the Mexican War. See Milton Kaplan, “Heads of State” in Winterthur Portfolio 6: 1970: 135-44.