Rarely-displayed paintings of Charleston during the Civil War by a Confederate soldier, including an iconic rendering of the submarine H.L. Hunley, are being made available this week on the Internet by The Museum of the Confederacy.
The museum in Richmond, Va., on Tuesday goes live on its Web site with all 31 paintings by Conrad Wise Chapman, an American artist who grew up in Italy and later served with the Confederate Army.
Launching the site culminates a decade-long, $25,000 effort to conserve the paintings and make them available to a wider audience of Civil War buffs and scholars.
Chapman was stationed in Charleston in 1863 and early 1864. He sketched Fort Sumter, where the war began in 1861, as well as batteries around the city held by the South until just before the war ended in 1865.
Perhaps the most famous painting is of the submarine H.L. Hunley. The Chapman rendering was done in December, 1863, about two months before the hand-cranked sub sank the Union blockade ship Housatonic to become the first sub in history to sink an enemy warship.