A Bit of War History: The Contraband

At the close of the Civil War, Vermont-born artist Thomas Waterman Wood painted a narrative triptych of Black Americans' military service during the conflict. The three works of art - The Contraband, The Recruit, and The Veteran - create a storyline encapsulated in the title A Bit of War History.

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art catalog: "In The Contraband (a term that referred to enslaved people who fled to Union lines at the beginning of the conflict) the self-emancipated man appears in a U.S. Army Provost Marshall General office, eager to enlist."

Artist: Thomas Waterman Wood
Date: 1865
Original medium: Oil on Canvas
Orientation: Vertical/Portrait
Image restored & enhanced by Rebel Seed Studio