Sunday, June 8, 2014

Henry Mosler, born June 6, 1841

Henry Mosler, 1860, Cincinnati
Henry Mosler was born in Tropplowitz, Prussian Silesia (now in Poland), the first son of Gustavus and Sophia Weiner Mosler.  The family would eventually grow to eight children: five sons and three daughters.
Tropplowitz

Henry's father, like many others in Europe during the 1840s, left their homes because of their political opinions and activism.  Henry moved with his family to New York in 1849, when he was 8 years old. His father had worked as a lithographer in Europe, but in New York he found work as a cigar maker and tobacconist.  Henry  sold cigars and newspapers in the streets of the city. 


Cincinnati, 1850
In 1851, the family relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, the site of a substantial German-Jewish community. Gustave Mosler, in addition to working as a cigar maker, worked as a bookkeeper for a safe company.  At the age of 10, Henry was apprenticed to a wood engraver, Horace C. Grosvenor.  He also studied with a landscape painter, George Kerr.  He briefly lived and worked in Nashville, Tennessee in the mid-1850s.  In 1855 he became a draughtsman for a comic paper in Cincinnati, the Omnibus. In 1858 the family moved to Richmond, Indiana, where Gustave Mosler opened a cigar shop, while Henry worked as a sign painter.  From 1859 to 1861 he studied underJames Henry Beard, a painter in New York City. 

Henry Mosler was 20 years old when the Civil War began in 1861. 


"DIVINE SERVICE AT CAMP DENNISON, OHIO.—SKETCHED BY HENRY MOSLER"
Mosler's first illustration in Harper's Weekly, June 22, 1861
By June of 1861, Mosler had published his first illustration in Harper's Weekly, and continued to work as an artist/correspondent for more than a year.  He published 34 drawings in Harper's Weekly, 18 of them depicting the Kentucky and Ohio Campaign in 1862. He also did portraits of several generals.
Alfred Waud at Gettysburg
During the war, newspaper publishers hired amateur and professional illustrators to sketch the action for readers at home and abroad. Embedded with troops on both sides of the conflict, these “special artists,” or “specials,” were America’s first pictorial war correspondents. They were young men from diverse backgrounds—soldiers, engineers, lithographers and engravers, fine artists, and a few veteran illustrators—seeking income, experience, and adventure.  Some illustrators were captured, wounded, or killed.  Alfred Waud, while documenting the exploits of the Union Army in the summer of 1862, wrote to a friend: “No amount of money can pay a man for going through what we have had to suffer lately.”

The English-born Waud and Theodore Davis were the only specials who remained on assignment without respite, covering the war from the opening salvos in April 1861 through the fall of the Confederacy four years later. Davis later described what it took to be a war artist: 
Total disregard for personal safety and comfort; an owl-like propensity to sit up all night and a hawky style of vigilance during the day; capacity for going on short food; willingness to ride any number of miles horseback for just one sketch, which might have to be finished at night by no better light than that of a fire.
Civil War Artists James Walker and Theodore Davis 
The artists sent their sketches from the battlefield by horse courier, train, or ship to the publisher’s office, where a home artist copied the image onto blocks of wood. Engravers then carved different sections of the drawing, the most experienced of them working on detailed figures and complex compositions, and the apprentices taking on the simpler background tasks. Once the engraving was completed, it was electrotyped—copied onto metal plates in preparation for printing. The engravings could also be copied and sent overseas to foreign publishers for added revenue. Usually it took two to three weeks for the drawn image to appear in print, although important events or battles could be rushed into print in a matter of days.  

Fletcher Harper, the publisher of Harper’s Weekly, stood firmly with the Republican Party,
Fletcher Harper
President Lincoln, the abolitionists, and the Union. His pictorial weekly had started in 1857; initially it was more literary than journalistic. The war changed that: Harper hired top talent—including Alfred Waud, Winslow Homer, and Thomas Nast—giving the artists the resources to fill the journal’s pages with compelling images.

Mosler's first illustration for Harper's Weekly was made at Camp Dennison near his hometown of Cincinnati.  In September 1861, Mosler received a letter of introduction from his editor, John Bonner, which identified Mosler as an artist-contributor.  Mosler was issued a railroad pass to travel from Cincinnati to East St. Louis.


“Departure of the First Ohio Zouave Regiment from Cincinnati for Western Virginia”
Mosler's illustration in the October 5th issue of Harper's Weekly
“Camp of General Rosseau’s Brigade, near Muldraugh’s Hill, Kentucky”
Published October 12, 1861 in Harper's Weekly

Lebanon Junction, 29 Miles from Louisville and Nashville Railroad, Present Headquarters of General Sherman’s Brigade of the Union Troops”
Robert Anderson
A reporter for The Cincinnati Commercial Gazette later published this interview with Henry Mosler:
Major Anderson had just returned on his triumphant tour from Fort Sumter, and it occurred to me, looking at the crowd which had gathered at the Little Miami depot in Cincinnati, that I would send a sketch of it to Harper's. I did so, and in a few days I got a letter accepting the sketch and asking me if I would serve as their correspondent in the West. It happened that General Rousseau had just begun his movements at Louisville, and I concluded to join him. I went to Mr. W. W. Fosdick, the poet, and told him what I was going to do, and he at once wrote me a letter of introduction to George D. Prentice, editor of The Louisville Courier. I reached Louisville within a few days and found Mr. Prentice, who told me that there was no use in going to see Rousseau, as he was in retreat at Muldraugh Hill. I did not take this advice, however, but started for the scene of hostilities.  I had not gone very far when I was overtaken by a peculiarly dried-up specimen of a man, his blue uniform covered with dust, and his raw-boned horse looking more like a plaster cast than a Kentucky thoroughbred, commanding a regiment of soldiers who were going to the line of battle.
"What are you doing here ?" yelled the musty-looking soldier. "I am an artist for Harper's Weekly," was the reply. "Well, go home. We don't want any artists sketching around here."  I made no reply, and he galloped on. When I got to Rousseau's headquarters I found him bowing and saluting my crusty acquaintance. "Hello, you have got here, have you?" he exclaimed, and I found he was General Sherman. . .  I soon got better acquainted with General Sherman and, although General Sherman never became a lover of newspaper people, I was indebted to him for many favors.
William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman had been assigned to serve under Robert Anderson in the Department of the Cumberland in Louisville, Kentucky. In October 1861, Sherman succeeded Anderson in command of the department; Sherman had principal military responsibility for Kentucky, a border state in which Confederate troops held Columbus and Bowling Green and were present near the Cumberland Gap.  He became exceedingly pessimistic about the outlook for his command and he complained frequently to Washington, D.C. about shortages. Critical press reports appeared about him after an October visit to Louisville by the Secretary of War, Simon Cameron, and in early November, Sherman insisted that he be relieved.  He was replaced by Don Carlos Buell and transferred
Don Carlos Buell
 to St. Louis, Missouri. Five weeks later, the wire services, including the Cincinnati Commercial newspaper, proclaimed to the nation: GENERAL WILLIAM T. SHERMAN INSANE.  Some scholars believe that, in Kentucky and Missouri, Sherman was in the midst of a "nervous breakdown."  While he was at home, his wife Ellen wrote to his brother, Senator John Sherman, seeking advice; she complained of "that melancholy insanity to which your family is subject."  Sherman later wrote that the concerns of command "broke me down," and he admitted contemplating suicide. 

In December 1861, Brigadier General R. W. Johnson formally offered Mosler the position of volunteer (unpaid) aide-de-camp on his staff.

In the January 11th, 1862 issue of Harper's Weekly, Mosler published several illustrations: "Landing of Ohio Troops at Louisville, Kentucky;" General Buell’s Body-Guard," and a set of composite images. The composite illustrations included: "The Battle at Green River, Kentucky;" "Headquarters of General Buell," "General Buell," and "Munfordsville."
The following month, in the February 1st issue, he published several war scenes of troops in Green River, Kentucky.  These included “Hauling Wood,” “Gen McCook's Headquarters,” “Outpost on Green River,” “Pontoon Bridge over Green River,” “Guarding Fords,” “Evacuated of Entrenchment of Buckner," and “Hauling Water.”
Mosler's "War Scenes"
In the May 8th issue, Harper's Weekly published Mosler's illustrations of the Tennessee landscape in the aftermath of the bloody Battle of Shiloh, also known as Battle of Pittsburgh Landing. Mosler's full page of images included: “General Buell’s Army Crossing Duck River at Columbia, to Reinforce General Grant” with "Shiloh Meeting House" and "Pittsburgh Landing."
Mosler's Shiloh Illustrations
That same month, he wrote to his parents describing the skirmishes he experienced. He told them that 
Deserters from the C Army are coming in daily in numbers, tired of the war, tired of the management, and tired of the cause they are fighting for also giving us some valuable information.









Handwritten pass from General William Nelson
Charles Cruft
At the end of May, Mosler received a permit to pass from Cincinnati and back from Brigadier General William  "Bull" Nelson.   Later in the summer, he received a pass to travel through the camp lines from Brigadier General Charles Cruft. Cruft issued the letter from the Headquarters of the Union army in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.



At the end of August, Harper's Weekly published Mosler's illustrations drawn in Alabama: “The Town of Stevenson Alabama, Held by the Union Forces,” and “Negroes Building Stockades under the Recent Act of Congress.”

Mosler returned to his hometown in September for the Defense of Cincinnati.

Harper's Weekly, September 20, 1862

PREPARATIONS FOR DEFENSE AT CINCINNATI—CITIZENS IN THE TRENCHES.—SKETCHED BY MR. H. MOSLER.—

The Defense of Cincinnati occurred from September 1 through September 13, 1862, when Cincinnati, Ohio was threatened by Confederate forces.  The "Queen City" would have been a prize of incalculable value to the Confederacy: although they would not have been able to stay long, they could have captured or destroyed huge stocks of war material stored in the city warehouses (particularly shoes, overcoats, and blankets, all badly needed in the Southern armies). 

Confederate General Henry Heth had been sent north to threaten Cincinnati, then the sixth largest city in the United States.  
Heth was under orders from his superior, General Edmund Kirby Smith, not to attack the city, but to make a "demonstration".  Cincinnati's mayor, George Hatch, ordered all business closed, and Union General  Lew Wallace declared martial law, seized sixteen steamboats and had them armed, and organized the citizens of Cincinnati, as well as the riverfront cities of Covington and Newport, Kentucky, for defense. 

On the 1st of September, Wallace set up headquarters in the Burnet House hotel, where he met late into the night with the mayors of Cincinnati, Newport and Covington.  By the next morning, 15,000 volunteers were drilling in the streets.
"Volunteers Drilling Outside Market House", Sketch by Mosler
On September 2, Kirby Smith took Lexington, Kentucky, and on the 3rd, Confederate cavalry took Frankfort.  General Heth, with four brigades, fanned north to cover the approaches to Cincinnati.  Confederate infantry was moving to take Falmouth and Williamstown, the two major approaches to Cincinnati. Farmers were hurrying livestock north towards the Ohio River.

In its lead editorial, The Cincinnati Gazette declared: 
TO ARMS! TO ARMS! The time for playing war has passed. The enemy is fast approaching our city. Kentucky has already been invaded and our cities for the first time since the rebellion are seriously threatened . . . Let us prepare to resist an army of 100,000 men bent on our destruction.
Horatio Wright
General Ormsby Mitchel (a former professor of astronomy at the University of Cincinnati) soon joined generals Lew Wallace and Horatio Wright, and Colonel Charles Wittlesey of the Engineering Corps: they set out to install a series of forts, gun emplacements, and rifle pits in the hills of Northern Kentucky. 
Ormsby Mitchel











After the declaration of martial law on September 2, 1862, Cincinnati Mayor George Hatch ordered the police department to gather any and all able-bodied African American males for work on fatigue duty on the fortifications in Northern Kentucky. Men were driven from their homes and businesses by bayonet point to a mule pen on Plum Street in downtown Cincinnati. After being held overnight, with no way of contacting their families, on September 3rd the men were taken as a group across the Ohio River to begin work on the earthwork fortifications.
The Cincinnati Gazette published the following protest:
Let our colored fellow-soldiers be treated civilly, and not exposed to any unnecessary tyranny, nor to the insults a race which they profess to regard as inferior. It would have been decent to have invited the colored inhabitants to turn out in defense of the city. Then there would have been an opportunity to compare their patriotism with that of those who were recently trying to drive them from the city. Since the services of men are required from our colored brethren, let them be treated like men.
William Martin Dickson
Wallace learned about the poor treatment of the men. On September 4, 1862, he commissioned William Martin Dickson, a family friend of Abraham Lincoln (his wife was a cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln), as commander of "The Black Brigade."  After receiving his appointment, Colonel Dickson changed the brigade into a working regiment. On the evening of September 4, 1862, Dickson dismissed the men to tend to their families as well as gather personal supplies for the days of work ahead. He promised them that he was forming the brigade for fatigue duty and they "should be kept together as a distinct body,... that they should receive protection and the same treatment as white men,... and that their sense of duty and honor would cause them to obey all orders given, and thus prevent the necessity of any compulsion."  In return for these promises, Dickson expected the men to meet the next morning for work on the defensive fortifications. In his official report, Dickson stated that around 400 men were present when he dismissed the brigade on September 4, 1862. The next day over 700 men reported ready for duty.

The Black Brigade labored on the earthwork fortifications and military roads for more than two weeks. Their commanders and army engineers recognized their efficiency. The main tasks they were in charge of were making military roads, digging trenches and riffle-pits, felling forests, and building forts and magazines. During their first week of service, The Black Brigade received no compensation for their labor. The second week they were given $1.00 per day, and the third week they received $1.50 per day.  During a speech, General Wallace declared, "When the history of Cincinnati during the past two weeks comes to be written up, it will be said that it was the spades and not the guns that saved the city from attack by the Rebels."
Memorial to Black Brigade, Cincinnati, Ohio
Upon completing their work, Judge Dickson said,


You have labored faithfully; you have made miles of military roads, miles of rifle pits, felled hundreds of acres of the largest and loftiest forest trees, built magazines and forts. The hills across yonder river will be a perpetual monument of your labors... Go to your homes with the consciousness of having performed your duty - of deserving, if you do not receive, the protection of the law, and bearing with you the gratitude and respect of all honorable men.
Ohio Governor David Tod left Columbus, the state capital, and came to Cincinnati to assist Wallace. Tod immediately ordered Ohio’s adjutant-general to send any available troops other than those guarding Ohio’s southern border to Cincinnati. Tod also ordered the state quartermaster to send five thousand guns to equip Cincinnati’s militia. A number of Ohio counties offered to dispatch men to Cincinnati as well. Tod immediately accepted the offers on Lew Wallace’s behalf. He stated that only armed men should report and that railroad companies should transport the men for free and then later send a bill to the State of Ohio. Civilians from sixty-five counties numbering 15,766 men reported for duty at Cincinnati. These men became known as the “Squirrel Hunters.”  Many of the Squirrel Hunters had no military training and carried antiquated weapons. Despite these shortcomings, they still rallied together to help defend Ohio from Confederate invasion. City officials commandeered Cincinnati’s Fifth Street Markethouse to serve as a dining hall for the volunteers. Churches, meeting halls, and warehouses served as barracks. One day after he called for the volunteers, Governor Todd requested Ohioans to stop sending men for duty.

By September 5th,  General Wallace ordered the "resumption of all lawful business in this city except the sale of liquor . . ."  At 4:00 p.m., however, military organizations were still required to assemble for drill.  General Wallace was disturbed at the length of time it was taking for the ferrying of troops across the river. No bridges existed at the time.  Wallace consulted with Cincinnati architect Wesley Cameron regarding the feasibility of placing a pontoon bridge across the Ohio River. Cameron immediately fashioned a bridge that was made of empty coal barges lashed side-by-side, and anchored securely to both shores. In the space of two days, Cameron had the pontoon bridge in place.

The Pontoon Bridge
By this time, Wallace had a staff of about 150 members, many of them volunteers from the professional, artistic, and intellectual elite of the 'Queen City' of the Ohio. Several became his friends and admirers. At night, in his headquarters at the Burnet House, they put on impromptu entertainments of song, story, and recitation. Wallace contributed a 15-stanza doggerel poem, 'The Stolen Stars: an Hysterical Ballad,' which tells how dying Father Washington bequeathed the American flag to Uncle Samuel, only to have a conflict develop between Puritans and Cavaliers, the latter seceding and stealing eleven stars with them, which the Puritans vowed to bring home. The ballad was later published in Harper's Weekly and issued with music as a broadside.

Kirby Smith had General Henry Heth push forward from Georgetown towards Cincinnati on September 6 with 6,000 troops. One of the hoped-for aspects of Braxton Bragg's invasion of Kentucky was that the predominantly pro-Southern Bluegrass Region would come forth and help fill thinning Confederate ranks. For this purpose, Bragg brought some 20,000 additional rifles with which to equip these volunteers. Regretfully for Bragg, very few volunteers came forward.

Along eight miles of hilltops from Ludlow to present-day Fort Thomas, Kentucky, volunteers and soldiers constructed rifle pits and earthwork fortifications, which were defended by 25,000 Union Army soldiers and the local militia volunteers. On September 6, Heth camped the majority of his force at Florence, eight miles southwest of Covington, and sent advanced parties to reconnoiter the Federal position. These scouts penetrated as far as the outer works of Fort Mitchel, where they skirmished with the Federal pickets on September 10.  After reconnoitering the defenses at various points, he determined that an attack was pointless. Under orders from Kirby Smith, Heth withdrew his force on the night of September 11, and rejoined Smith’s command.
Henry Heth
Finally, on September 12th, the crisis was over. Wallace telegraphed General Horatio Wright, commander of the Department of the Ohio: "The skedaddle is complete; every sign of a rout. If you say so I will organize a column of 20,000 men to pursue to-night." The large pursuit was never ordered as most of the military forces were sent via steamboats to Louisville, Kentucky to prevent capture of that city by General Braxton Bragg.  However, small scouting forces were sent southward to harass the rear-guard of Heth's forces. A skirmish occurred at Florence, Kentucky on September 17.  Another skirmish occurred near Walton, on September 25 when Colonel Basil Duke attacked a Union camp of approximately 500 men near Snow's Pond. Public activities were restored.  Circulars were issued in Cincinnati to the press regarding the printing of articles "of a seditious and treasonable character", and the city's journalists were requested "to exercise great caution in the publication of articles calculated unnecessarily to disturb the public mind."
"Fort Mitchell", sketched by Mosler
In Cincinnati, The Cincinnati Gazette summed up the situation on September 14:
"Thanks to the promptitude of Generals Wright and Wallace, and the patriotism, courage and valor of the people, the Rebel movement toward Cincinnati has been frustrated and rolled back. In a remarkably brief space of time our cities, which were practically defenseless, became bastions of military might as our whole male population arose en masse. The patience that they endured, the severe labor of trenches and tented fields for many days in succession presented a remarkable instance of how quickly a citizen can be converted into a soldier. Assisted by loyalists from other areas, we had an army in less than a week that was a proud example of what the West can do to meet invasion. Cincinnati is a large and wealthy city, attractive as a prize to the enemy. Hereafter, it must not be undefended as hitherto; we must have troops for home defense."
Wallace received the nickname "Savior of Cincinnati" for his actions in September 1862.  Before leaving, Wallace issued the following proclamation:
For the present, at least, the enemy have fallen back and your cities are safe….When I assumed command there was nothing to defend you with, except a few half-finished works and some dismounted guns; yet I was confident. the energies of a great city are boundless; they have only to be aroused, united and directed. You were appealed to. The answer will never be forgotten.
Paris may have seen something like it in her revolutionary days, but the cities of America never did. Be proud that you have given them an example so splendid. The most commercial of people, you submitted to a total suspension of business, and without a murmur adopted my principle–'Citizens for labor, soldiers for battle.'
In coming time, strangers, viewing the works on the hills of Newport and Covington, will ask, 'Who built these intrenchments?' You will answer, 'We built them.' If they ask, 'Who guarded them?' you can reply, 'We helped in thousands.' If they inquire the result, your answer will be, 'The enemy came and looked at them, and stole away in the night.'
You have won much honor; keep your organizations ready to win more. Hereafter be always prepared to defend yourselves.
"Return of the Cincinnati Militia After the Retreat of the Rebels", Sketched by Mosler
Three of Mosler's images--“Preparations for Defense at Cincinnati – Citizens in the Trenches” with “Enrolling the Citizens” and “Troops Crossing to Covington”--appeared in the September 20th issue of Harper's Weekly.  In the October 4th issue, Harper's Weekly published two illustrations of Mosler's; an article noted, "Thousands of thousands of soldiers have been fed in this building daily since the rebels first menaced Cincinnati. The other sketch represents the Return of the Cincinnati Militia after the retreat of the rebels."

At the end of September, Mosler traveled from Cincinnati to Louisville to report and
William "Bull" Nelson
illustrate the events there - and also ended up investigating the murder of General William "Bull" Nelson in Louisville. Nelson was killed after a heated exchange with another Union officer in Galt House, a luxury hotel in Louisville on September 29, 1862. The murderer was Union General Jefferson C. Davis  (not to be confused with Confederate President Jefferson Davis).  The assassination was sensational, published in many of the national papers.  Mosler visited the hotel for Harper's Weekly shortly after the episode. 


Jefferson C. Davis
Jefferson Davis, who could not reach his command under General Buell, met earlier in the month with Nelson to offer his services. Nelson gave him the command of the Louisville city militia. Davis opened an office and assisted organizing the militia. On Wednesday, September 17, Davis visited Nelson in his room at the Galt House hotel; an argument developed, in which Nelson threatened Davis with arrest. Davis left the room, and, in order to avoid arrest, crossed over the Ohio River to Jeffersonville, Indiana, where he remained until the next day. 

Galt House, Louisville
With the Confederate army under Bragg preparing to attack Louisville, the citizens of Louisville panicked. On September 22, 1862 General Nelson issued an evacuation order: "The women and children of this city will prepare to leave the city without delay." He ordered the Jeffersonville ferry to be used for military purposes only. Private vehicles were not allowed to go aboard the ferry boats without a special permit. Hundreds of Louisville residents gathered at the wharf for boats to New Albany or Jeffersonville.  Since Frankfort, the Kentucky state capital, was in Confederate hands for about a month, Governor Magoffin maintained his office in Louisville, and the state legislature held their sessions in the Jefferson County Courthouse. 
Mosler's illustration of "The Evacuation of Louisville"
Troops, volunteers and impressed labor worked around the clock to build a ring of breastworks and entrenchments around the city. New Union regiments flowed into the city.  The Union Army arrived in time to prevent the Confederate seizure of the city. On September 25, Buell's tired and hungry men arrived in the city.  
Mosler's illustration of "Arrival of Buell's Troops in Louisville"
Meanwhile, Jefferson Davis appealed to Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton, and together they traveled to Louisville, where Davis reported to General Buell.  About 8:00 a.m. on Monday, September 29, Davis saw the 6-foot, 4-inch, 300-pound Nelson in the main hall of the Galt House. He asked Governor Morton to witness the conversation between him and Nelson. The governor agreed, and the two walked up to Nelson. Davis confronted Nelson and told him that he took advantage of his authority.

“Go away, you damned puppy,” snapped Nelson. Davis crumpled up a calling card and threw it at Nelson’s face.  A backhanded slap to the face of Davis was Nelson’s reply.  Nelson turned to Morton: “Did you come here to see me insulted?” Nelson spun around and began to walk upstairs to his room, snapping at a nearby reporter, “Did you hear that insolent scoundrel insult me, sir? I suppose he didn’t know me, sir. I’ll teach him a lesson, sir.”


Davis borrowed a revolver from an Indiana attorney, Thomas Gibson.  Seeing Nelson, only three feet away, near a stairway, Davis fired one shot from the Tranter pistol.  The bullet tore into Nelson’s chest. Nelson staggered back and then somehow managed to climb up the stairs, collapsing in the hallway of the second floor.

General Thomas Crittenden, who had been eating his breakfast in the hotel, rushed up the stairs to Nelson’s side. “Are you seriously hurt?” 

“Tom, I am murdered, ” Nelson whispered, "It's all over."  According to newspaper reports, Nelson requested to see his friend Rev. Mr. Talbot, rector of Calvary Episcopal Church, who was then in the hotel.  Talbot administered the sacraments. Nelson died about 20 minutes after being shot, at the age of 38, two days after his birthday.  Davis was placed under military arrest.

Mosler drew an illustration of the incident for Harper's Weekly.  Ten days later, on October 18, the paper published an engraving based on Mosler's drawings and account.

Henry Mosler's illustration of the Murder for Harper's Weekly
From Harper's Weekly, October 18, 1862:
Our picture is from a sketch by our artist, Mr. Mosler, who visited the spot immediately after the affair. 
. . . General Nelson threw up both hands and caught a gentleman near by around the neck, and exclaimed, "I am shot!" He then walked up the flight of stairs toward General Buell's room, but sank at the top of the stairs, and was unable to proceed further. He was then conveyed to his room, and when laid on his bed requested that the Rev. Mr. Talbott, an Episcopal clergyman stopping in the house, might be sent to him at once. The reverend gentleman arrived in about five minutes.
Mr. Talbott found General Nelson extremely anxious as to his future welfare, and deeply penitent about the many sins he had committed. He knew that he must die immediately, and requested the ordinance of baptism might be administered, which was done. The General then whispered, "It's all over," and died in fifteen minutes after he was conveyed to his room. His death was easy, the passing away of his spirit as though the General had fallen into a quiet sleep.
The New York Herald wrote:
Major-General Nelson was a Kentuckian, and was formerly a Lieutenant in the navy. He was one of the officers of the Mississippi, which conveyed the suite of Kossuth to our shores. Upon the breaking out of the rebellion he espoused the cause of the Union. Brigadier-General Jefferson C. Davis hails from Indiana, and was a Lieutenant at Fort Sumter when it was bombarded and captured, and from his talents and gallantry was assigned a higher position in the army. His conduct in the Missouri Campaign was brilliant, particularly at Pea Ridge. General Nelson also distinguished himself on many a hard-fought field, but more particularly at Shiloh, where he fought with great heroism. He was recently wounded at the battle of Richmond, Ky, and had not wholly recovered when he was killed. Both officers were admirable fighters and high-strung gentlemen.
Buell wired Halleck in Washington:
FLOYD’S FORK, KY.,Via Louisville, October 3, 1862. (Received 6.20 p.m.) 
General H. W. HALLECK:
Brigadier-General Davis is under arrest at Louisville for the killing of General Nelson. His trial by a court-martial or military commission should take place immediately, but I can’t spare officers from the army now in motion to compose a court. It can perhaps better be done from Washington.
The circumstances are that on a previous occasion Nelson censured Davis for what he considered neglect of duty, ordered him to report to general Wright at Cincinnati, Ohio. Davis said will reference to that matter that if he could not get satisfaction or justice would take the law into his own hands. On the occasion of the killing he approached Nelson in a large company and introduced the subject. Harsh or violent words ensued, and Nelson slapped Davis in the face and walked off. Davis followed him, having procured a pistol from some person in the party, and met Nelson in the hall of the hotel. Davis fired. The ball entered the right breast, inflicting a mortal wound and causing death in a few minutes.
D. C. BUELL,Major-General.
Halleck referred the matter of a court-martial to General Wright in Cincinnati, who made the observation that since Buell had never proffered any charges to his attention, Davis should be returned to duty and the matter dropped. Though Davis should have been court-martialed, his case was instead handled by Jefferson County court. 

With Nelson dead, the command went to General Buell.  The largest battle in Kentucky, the Battle of Perryville, was fought just nine days after Nelson's shooting.  On October 1, the Union army marched out of Louisville with sixty thousand men. At the beginning of October, Mosler began to keep a brief account of his travels in a diary as he rode with with the Ninth Indiana Volunteer Regiment, noting their movements and encampments. In addition to working for Harper's Weekly, he was an aide-de-camp to General R. W. Johnson of the Ninth Indiana. 


The 9th Indiana Voluneteer Regiment

Mosler's diary begins: 
Started from Louisville the 1st of October after living in the street nearly all day waiting while the other divisions with their immense number of trains had passed on to so that we could march on without obstruction. In the evening commenced the march passing along Broadway into the Bardstown Pike. In the rear, the city of Louisville fading from our sight and before the as yet we get a glimpse of the Body of troops (moving up a little elevation [illegible] near Cave Hill Cemetary).  
Enveloped in the dust of the Limestone Pike and the orange light of Sun set
Thomas Wood
reflecting on the glittery Bayonnettes rifles the Spear [illegible] of the flag did not remaining dull also no + after forgetting the Ladies Waving Handkerchiefs and Flags making in all most glorious Sight‒We made till about 11 O'clock PM about 10 miles where we encamped till morning when Revelee was beaten and we again marched onward the weather being very hot and a great deal of dust, but the monoty of the march was at once broken the distant report of a cannon screaming only a mile or two ahead (The train of soldiers I moving along with being the 9th Inda) [illegible] broke out in a cheer broke out in a cheer which extended the whole line, resembling the savage when he starts with a yell upon his prey The cannons booming still in the distance The sky becoming very cloudy at last received a coat of Dark grey when a rain & Storm followed some merely having Oil cloths to cover them In the evening we camped in an open field after passing Gen Woods Division encamped at 3 o’clock in the morning we where awakened layed on our arms until morning when we after taking our frugal meal on an Oil Cloth resumed our march moving slow because our advanced skirmished the 6th Ky Reg being sent in advance as skirmishers at last we crossed Salt River the river being so low that our troops forded nearly without wetting themselves The Pike Bridge  over Salt river had been burnt only a short time ago by the rebels‒Through the day we passed Mt Vernon On this side of Salt River we took possession of the Hills and encamped for the night moved on again without anything of great interest occurring. [illegible] The wells & Cisterns as usual suffered greatly by the number of Cantines that where as usual in a hot day like this filled 
This evening we encamped about sun down on the same Camp Ground that the  Rebels occupied only this morning ll miles from Bardstown. The Rebels who had possession of this ground where all Cavalary and a great force which we could tell by the ground being covered with husks of Corn and stakes that when left standing besides passes that we found from Forrest's Cavalry Texan Rangers and can also not forgetting a letter that I also found from a young lady to her knight, speaking of some of her friends as being a little weak in the knees. also telling him she would write oftener but does not know where to direct them too. next morning we again started early in the morning marched within one mile of Bardstown where we halted for rest.
Meanwhile for curiosity I traveled down this lane which wound its way into more and more picturesque scenery untill we beheld rising above the beautifull foliage a Castle (so it appeared I could hardly believe my eyes that realy it existed or weather I was dreaming. The major & myself rode on) towards this sight, when we where surprised to find ourselves in the Court entering a beautifull Broad Gate passing closer we found it to be a nunery. we watered our horses in the tank that appeared was placed there for that purpose dismounted and surveyed the nuns church in the rear which represented more when we found nons strolling in their white Caps and pale faces and And then further and we saw a group of soldiers who had gone for water looking in the high and gothic shaped windows giggling and laughing and enjoying themselves highly which immediately drew our attention and the first thing I knew I found myself also staring in the large window Into the large school room where about a hundred of beautifull girls now promenading up down joking & laughing at the soldiers as they, but to tell the truth I never beheld more beautifull girls than I saw there 
Nazareth Academy
Anna Blanche McGill wrote in Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, published in 1917:
Within Nazareth’s secluded precincts one day appeared a foraging corps. Mother 
Mother Columba
Columba consented to share her stores, provided the no annoyance was given by the soldiers. The captain gave his promise, which some of his men disrespectfully broke; a group of them crowded toward the windows of the recreation hall, endeavoring to engage the attention of the schoolgirls who were already in a condition of excitement and anxiety. Immediately, Mother Columba with her marvelous dignity passed into the yard; one of the officers stepped up and asked if she wished anything. ‘I am looking for a gentleman,’ said she, and the words proved sufficient to disperse the offenders.
Mosler continued his diary:
In the evening we encamped about 2 miles this side of Bardstown Camped all night marched all day to day about 16 miles.  Camped again 7th Oct Today again we marched all day having a mighty mean  road appeared like walking in the bed of a stream. Water was scarce all day at 10 o'clock at night we camped sleeping with only an Oil cloth over us. Today the 9th we started at 7 o'clock taking the road towards Perryville within 5 miles of the place we heard the that Bragg had made a stand we heard Cannonading occasionaly moved up in double quick and where placed in line of Battle about 4 miles from P. in a little woods about where Cpt. Carter also was Company was pushed forward as Skirmishers.
The scene was a glorious one our army laying in line of Battle playing cards
Alexander McCook
reading papers & Books joking laughing and cursing now and then awhile bursting above us or passing over. Water on this march from Bardstown was hardly to be gotten all springs where nearly dry. We heard very heavy firing on our left but afterwards found that McCooks & Gilberts forces had attaked the enemy and drove them. Slept again without disturbance under open heaven with an oil Cloth Cover all night and not forgetting to say no blanket and Corn Shoks below us. Today we skirmished and advanced in line of Battle to Perryville and found it evacuated.
In the evening Col Blake Cotton and myself went out to view the Battlefield which was a sight that I have not the power to express we where also at the Hospital where about 200 wounded where lying suffering some crying Oh Mother Oh! Doctor Oh! give me some water, enough to make any one feel the terror of this war 
we encamped again under a large tree with but a Blanket over us In the morning I made a sketch of the Battle at Perryville & the town of Perryville in about 3 hours & sent them to be mailed at Louisville by our sutler of the 9th Indiana about noon it commenced raining as we where on the march to Salt River being only a distance of 3 miles from Perryville arriving at our camp we where at once ordered out as pickets we stationed our pickets, had quite a [illegible] skirmish with the Rebels and they being in sight our pickets where in sight of them all night Still it was raining the sky was black only at the Horizon was a light Bloody streak of light to be seen we built with rails in the corner of a [illegible]fence near a large hay stak a little den which we covered with straw and crawled into our horses we had tied close by saddled and bridled. Slept very comfortable although it rained all night and was cold. To day we namely the 9th Indiana Ky were ordered to advance as skirmishers to Bardstown We advanced only a short distance when  the Rebel opened a brisk fire our skirmishers returned the fire bravely we drove them untill fighting through Danville The citizens not at all frightened waved the Union Flags & Handkerchiefs while the Bullets were flying [illegible] The reception was grand People where so overjoyed that they stopped our horses and force forced us shake hands before we passed in the evening we returned to our old Camp where we rested well all night being rather cold. To day we where on the march all day towards Dick Robinson where the Enemy were in force camped near our old camp all night To day we rested all morning in the afternoon we advanced our Camp within 2 miles of Danville about 4 o'clock Col. Blake & Capt. Carter Mann & Risley & myself went rode to Danville where we purchased different things visited (Hospitals of secessionists) & returned In the evening after supper I rode with the Col to his Brothers Reg In Woods Div
Harper's Weekly published a brief note of explanation from Mosler as a companion piece to the image:
Danville, October 14, 1862.

To the Editor of Harper's Weekly:

Inclosed please find a sketch of the reception of the Ninth Indiana Regiment at Danville, Kentucky, after driving the rebels nearly five miles, fighting their way through town,which was held by the rebel John Morgan and his force of cavalry. The Ninth fought gallantly, commanded by the brave Colonel W. H. Blake. We captured, including prisoners in hospitals, about 500, who were all paroled. The Union feeling and exhibition of joy when we entered was never equaled. This is also the residence of General Fry and General Boyle. The town contains about 3000 inhabitants. The Ninth Indiana was greatly complimented by their General, W. L. Smith Commanding, General Nelson's Division.

Yours respectfully, Henry Mosler
"Reception at Danville", published in Harper's Weekly, November 8, 1862
Slept all night without disturbance Today we passed through Danville on our
way toward which we marched camped on the outskirts of town all night(as
Reserve Pikets) To day we marched towards Crab Orchard we where wakened at 10 O clock in the morning marched till 4 took Breakfast on the Road reached our destiny about 18 miles, heard cannonading all day‒To day we had the advance position next to the 6th Ky when out as skirmishers. In the morning I saw the Rebels in the distance in line of Battle that is in the valey below the Scenery here was beautiful and mountainous, the Roads winding The 6th Ky as I said before skirmished when Seeing the enemy drawn up in line, halted we placed our Cannons in position and, threw a few shell amongst them which scattered them immediately the skirmishers advanced in cautiosly when they where received by a volley of the enemys Lead The 6th Brave as Lyons returned the reception sent [illegible] altogether with rifles but with a mixture of a shell or canister The skirmish became fierce The Rebels at last gave way one on our side was killed some prisoners where taken at noon the ninth Indiana skirmished they doing the work neater Col Turman with a few men flanked them and came upon them before they expected it He captured a Captain and some other Secessionist Cavalry [illegible] We pursued them till evening their force was about 2000 Cavalry & one Battery we campped in Rock Castle River to night To day 17th Oct we only advanced a short distance where we halted and encamped at Wild Cat the same place known where Shift Fought. 
The scenery here is so beautiful and picturesque that my feeble thoughts and language cannot express. Lofty & high Hills with beautifull Cliffs, nearly upright now and then sprinkled with a spot of Beautifull foliage. There also remain the fortification some of earth and others of timber of felled trees also immense [illegible] I must by no means to mention the great distance that you can see by ascending the main Hill commanding all surrounding fortifications they being over 150 foot High‒ 
Here we halted and rested all night, the night being very cold and consequently did not sleep very sound (Col Blake Capt. Carter and myself slept together we slept on the side of the hill and I crowded Capt Carter badly as he slept at the lower end of the hill) 18th To day we where ordered (9th Ind) to reconnoiter the enemys position in advance some 4 miles which we did skirmishing with the Rebel pikets all day  
2 shots where fired at me one while I was standing with Capt. Risley and the other while I went in open view to see them they being hid on behind felled trees across the road on a promenance our skirmishers shot a Lieut Napier in the eye of the 3rd Georgia Cavalry he was taken in a Blanket to a log house where his wounds was dressed by Dr Gillmon. his note Book was given in my possesion and I examined it finding his will and $6.75 in Confederate Scrip which I delivered in Hed. Qrs. Slept well all night Today we where again on the march stopping often occassioned by the trees felled on the road by the rebels 
In the afternoon we stopped in the road as usual by delay when In the distance I perceived a log House and a crowd of the 9th standing and encircling the front of the House I for curiosity dismounted and advanced also gazing, was surprised to find a Beautifull Blue eyed girl staring at me now and then also laughing turning around to the other girls talking——(I judged they that thought they knew me) but our pleasure of asking them questions about the rebels was soon disturbed by the Bugle sound of ‘forward’ 
The soldiers fell in the ranks and marched I lingered behind but moved ahead slowly when one of the men still standing called to me I advanced A women standing there said (In the language of the mountain regions) "Thems girls thunk they knew you" They then asked whether I had been down this way before I told them no They thought I was a Telegraph Operator and invited me to come and see them to night if convenient that is if we did not camp far, which I was perfect willing In the evening I had no time as the rebels remained within a short distance from Our camp we where allowed to build fires when about 8 P.M. a rebell cannon ball was fired came wizing into our camp passed only a few feet above Hed. Qrs. A log house (deserted) we stayed in fires where immediately distingtushed so that they could not get range of the camp‒
To day I had my horse saddled and started back to see those girls with whom I had a pleasant time and will a lot time [illegible] For fear of the Rebels they hid their furniture in the woods I politely offered my assistance to bring forward those things I was received we marched through the yard over the fence in a winding path Crowded by Underbrush of Pine so that you could not see 10 steps ahead then passed into a road also in the depth of the forest. I always keeping a sharp lookout with Carbine in hand. While moving cautiously along I noticed some secession Biscuits on the ground. I halted and said I to her I suppose you are not leading me into a trap. There were secession troops here says I. Yes. says she only yesterday their pikets where here before you came we took a rest on my shawl packed the horse with flour Blankets & &c I returned where I left for camp found camp had been moved about 2 miles ahead to the Cross Roads
the rest of this day I drew pictures for Harpers Weekly called Buells army on the march slept well all night—-

The Battle of Perryville was featured in the November 1st issue of Harpers Weekly:
THE BATTLE OF PERRYVILLE
. . . We give a picture of the little town of PERRYVILLE, KENTUCKY, where McCook fought the rebel army on 8th; and a picture of THE BATTLE; both from sketches by our special artist, Mr. H. Mosler. 
Perryville is a small place of about 500 inhabitants. It is now entirely
Lovell Rousseau
evacuated by the residents, and several of the houses have been destroyed by the shells. Of the battle a Times correspondent gives the following account:
When McCook and Rousseau appeared before the town they found the immense forces of the enemy most advantageously posted to meet them. The rebels were posted on a long range of hills, extending in a crescent form from north to west, the termini of the crescent being almost due north and due west, with its inner centre precisely northwest. This semicircular range of hills formed their advance, and on these hills the rebel generals exhorted their soldiers to dye their colors deep in the blood of the enemy rather than surrender them. These hills are about a mile and a half from Perryville. Behind this range of hills, and between them and the Big Spring, there are two other high hills, along the left base of which is a cornfield. . . 
 Mosler's diary continues:
To day we moved back to Rock Castle River some 12 miles Here we stayed one day In the morning soldiers where washing their clothes & themselves. To day we marched back to Mt. Vernon & stayed the rest of the day within 3 miles this side of Mt. Vernon on the way to Sommerset. 25 To day‒About noon I rode ahead to get an interview with Genl Smith followd him about 8 miles when I found him stopping at a log house I presented my letters from Col. Blake, made a sketch of the General, he handing me his Biography so we parted he treating me with the greatest respect  
The sky was dark casting a gloomy look over the country The weather becoming perceptible colder. I met the 9th a short time I left Gen Smith we [illegible] marched some 3 miles further camped in the woods when it began to Hail and then change into a sleety snow & rain and wound up by a good snow Col. Blake Capt Carter & myself stopped at a house all night & slept in a bed. The only jealousy I felt was that the owner of this house an old mean looking "cuss" had a young good looking wife 26 
To day or this morning we found everything coated in a white sheet of snow 8 inches deep The trees and limbs where bending towards the ground from the weight of the snow The leaves still where still green some red as you are used to see them in fall. The effect was beautifull but very cold‒To day we marched 15 miles to wards Sommerset Ky which I troop made without a halt the march was a trying thing mud up to the knee and freezing, forward we marched through a kind of stew (compared only by a brown Ice cream), we at last reached Sommerset about evening nearly froze to death where we went to camp South of S. we cleared the snow had our darkies bring wood and started in a short time a krakling fire spread our Blankets and pushed our feet towards the fire & [illegible] rested here for the night
Oliver P. Morton
To day the Col. Blake furnished me with sufficient papers to see Gov O. P. Morton of Indiana and other persons of note I had my horse saddled and so had Capt. Carter & his boy Davy after diner giving Col Blake farewell we started on our journey towards Lebanon a distance over 60 miles but before leaving I made a sketch of Sommerset
We passed through S. and trotted leasurely away on our journey the roads where not very good being mostly cordouroyed evening shortly overtook us the evening began to get cold we left S. 10 miles in our rear halted before a farm house and inquired for lodging. The dogs barked furiously and at last a man was seen at the gate He had no place to accomodate us but directed us to his neighbours Yong. which place we soon found and gained admittance (I must surely not forgett [illegible] a ridiculous thing that occured in the afternoon and which cost me a great deal of physical pain. In short we got [illegible] Davy to climb a psimon tree that stood in our way and ate a few of [illegible] them to many I slept well all night except throwing up occasionally caused by Psimons‒ 
This morning we got Breakfast very early where I could not help noticing a beautifull blond girl we payed our Bill 3.00 and started upon our journey cutting across through a byroad to B[illegible] and thrice taking a mud road to Liberty at which place we took dinner had our horses fed started over a high knob and then having a ridge road for 10 miles and no town to be found and so we had to push our way onward through the gloomy woods now & then a little moonshine forcing its way through the thiket as I said before we could find no house at last we again descendet another steep knob and a distance of about 9 miles from Liberty we found a house. I dismounted let Davy hold my horse and knoked for admittance which was soon given to me I stood in the doorway as I saw a lady sitting at a large hearth and asked for permission for me and my friends to stay When the a voice I could not see from which exclaimed‒Come in and lets see who you are I advanced. When I beheld saw and old red faced Grey Headed man. he said what are you I spoke boldly a Union man Sir! who are those with you. I said also men belonging to the U.S. army who‒when he immediately gave us shelter. for he would not have a secessionist stay near him we stayed rested in a good feather bead and a good fire near us all night This being a great luxury after a short campaign
This morning after we and our horses had been fed we started on having a distance of about 20 miles to go, mostly Pike. We also on the road met Union house guards occosinally who where very happy to see us, one I will especially mention he was an odd looking character dressed in our old (grey) uniform We asked him quite a number of questions in regard to Guerillas, one being whether he had any fear if they would come. No said he speaking in a musical tone changing from base to treble I've got‒a mighty good musket and 40 rounds for them And many more things he mentioned which I consider to vulgar to state for I dont know in whose hands this book may yet fall. 
Mosler submitted several sketches of everyday life among the troops as they marched through Kentucky. Harper's Weekly published a full-page composite of them on November 22, 1862. Mosler wrote of  the images:
On 26th October we started from Mount Vernon toward Somerset on our way to Bowling Green. It had snowed all the day before, and the mountain road had become one mass of mud, in some places knee-deep. The scene, however, was very imposing. The foliage was still green; autumn had not yet tinged the leaves with its gaudy colors, and it contrasted finely with the white sheet of snow which covered the ground. The trees and branches, heavily snow-laded, drooped gracefully toward the earth. . . 
The November issue was the last time his illustrations were published in Harper's Weekly.  At some point he became ill with "camp fever" and went home to recuperate.  In addition to his diary, Mosler kept a notebook in which he recorded a few of his dreams. One featured President Abraham Lincoln: Mosler's mother, Sophia, asked the president about the length of the war.  Mosler wrote:
19th Dec something bad
1 Dec. 1862 I dreamed that Old "Abe" was sitting in our room talking with my mother Mothr asked him how soon he thought the war would be over. he answered—not before I’m out.—meaning the Presidency —Also dreamed about J.L. (I afterwards found that she the same night dreamed of me
2 I dreamed my brother had come home but was very sick—but not dangerous He also told us that the Doctor had given 52 kinds of Medicines—I also dreamed some fellows where going to knock down my father when I immediately started in the store room in which my father was rushed for a hatchet and was ready to defend him but he as it appears heard them talk what they where going to do and when I entered he asked me what those fellows had said, and I told him, he answered bold, let them come
Early in 1863, Mosler applied for a U.S. passport, and in June he travled to Europe. He arrived in Dusseldorf, Germany with $700, and studied at the Royal Academy under Heinrich Mücke and Albert Kindler.  He later went to Paris, where he studied for six months under Ernest Hébert, who he considered his most important teacher. 
"Portrait of a Rabbi" by Mosler
When he returned to Cincinnati in 1866, Mosler became a successful portrait painter.  
1869 portrait of Elizabeth Moerlain
Mosler also created the first painting for which he received a significant degree of recognition, "The Lost Cause," which he exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1868. "The Lost Cause" featured a rebel soldier who has just returned, exhausted, to his deserted and war-torn farmhouse after the war. It was a popular image, copied into print form and sold throughout the country.
 "The Lost Cause"

Mosler's father and brothers went into the safe manufacturing business together. Gustave Mosler joined the safe manufacturing firm Diebold, Bahmann and Company in 1859; in the early 1860s, Henry had painted the doors of some of the safes.  In 1869, Gustave Mosler formed Mosler, Bahmann and Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company, which was run primarily by four of his sons - Moses, William, Max, and Julius- was renamed Mosler Safe Company in 1876.  The first factory was located on Pearl Street in downtown Cincinnati, but it soon expanded to the limits of the site; the second location was on Elm Street, and the third on Fourth Street.  

"Plum Street Temple",
painted in 1866 by Henry Mosler
In July 1869, at the age of 28, Henry Mosler married Sarah Cahn of Cincinnati.  They spent much of 1870 in New York before returning to Cincinnati. Mosler was enumerated in the 1870 census in the 14th Ward of Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio. TheMosler household, according to the census, included: Gustav (54) manufacturer of safes, Sophia (50) keeping house, Henry (29) artist - paintings, Max (27) Travelling Agt, Julius (22) cigar maker, Moses (19) Bookeeper, Charlotte (17) at school, William (13) at school, Dora (9) at school, Mary Schlesinger (15) servant, and Julia (16) at home. Gustav Mosler listed the value of his personal estate as $10,000 and Julius listed his at $5,000. The Mosler adults and Mary, the servant, listed their birthplace as Prussia; the children and teens were born in Ohio.  
"Just Moved", 1870 Painting by Mosler
In 1874, Gustave Mosler died suddenly at the age of 58 of a heart attack.  He was buried in Judah Touro cemetery in Cincinnati.

Grave of Gustave Mosler


"Dear Gustave" in 1876
In 1874, Henry Mosler returned to Europe with his wife, Sarah.  Their first child, a son, Gustave Henry, was born in 1875 in Munich.  In 1877, the Mosler family moved to France; their first daughter, Agnes, was born in Paris.  For most of the next twenty years, the family lived in Brittany, where Henry and Sarah had three additional children: Frederick, Arthur and Edith.


1883 Mosler drawing of his daughter, Edith

Sarah Cahn Mosler with two of the Mosler children

Cincinnati Art Museum, "The Quadroon Girl"
While living in Brittany, Mosler painted "The Quadroon Girl" and "Early Cares," both of which were accepted by the Salon of 1879.  "The Quadroon Girl," which now hangs in the Cincinnati Art Museum, was inspired by a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
"The Quadroon Girl"

His heart within him was at strife
With such accurséd gains:
For he knew whose passions gave her life,
Whose blood ran in her veins.
But the voice of nature was too weak;
He took the glittering gold!
Then pale as death grew the maiden's cheek,
Her hands as icy cold.
The Slaver led her from the door,
He led her by the hand,
To be his slave and paramour
In a strange and distant land!



The 1842 poem has a planter knowingly selling his quadroon daughter to a slaver to be his sexual slave.
"Le Retour"













Mosler won honorable mention in the Salon of 1879, when his painting Le Retour, became the first work by an American artist to be purchased by the French government.
Mosler in his Paris studio
During his expatriate years, Mosler traveled widely in Europe and the Near East, returning
to the United States for extended stays. In 1885–1886, he toured the American Southwest to collect material for several paintings of Native American life, commissioned by the millionaire, H.H. Warner.
Mosler's family in Europe

In 1890 the Mosler brothers - Max, Julius, Moses and William -  decided to move the Mosler Safe manufacturing plant out of Cincinnati to a location that had room for a larger factory with space for expansion.  In 1891, the Mosler Safe Company moved its operations from Cincinnati to Hamilton, Ohio.
Advertisement for the Mosler Safe Company


 Mosler settled in New York in 1894 and 
Brochure for a Mosler exhibition
became a prominent member of the city’s art scene and a popular teacher. Mosler received recognition for his art, including election as an associate member of the prestigious National Academy of Design. Summering in the Catskill Mountains of New York State, Mosler took up landscape painting.  He also painted patriotic American themes. 


Portrait of Cincinnati Mayor George "Boss" Cox
1900 Painting by Henry Mosler

Mosler with grandchild and son

Euclid Hall Apartment Building in New York City
Henry Mosler and his son, Gustave Henry Mosler, who was also an artist, maintained studios in Euclid Hall, an apartment building in New York City where the family also lived. Euclid Hall, covering the west block of Broadway from 85th to 86th Streets, was among the most ambitious apartment houses of its time. Designed by Hill & Turner and completed in 1903, its deep red brick, ironwork and other elements were typical of the French style that was then sweeping New York. Period advertisements called it ''New York's Finest Family Apartment.'' Apartments were arranged around narrow light courts. They typically had four to five bedrooms, with a parlor-library-dining room arranged ensuite. The rooms were small, but a main selling point was an outsized central gallery up to 10 feet wide by 30 feet long.


Mosler, center, with students 
Sarah Mosler died at Euclid Hall in 1905; they had been married for 35 years.  Their oldest
Sarah and Henry Mosler
son, Gustave Henry, died in 1906 at the age of 31 years.

Henry Mosler died on April 21, 1920, of heart failure at the home of his son, Dr. Fred H. Mosler in New York City.  He was 78 years old.  He was buried with Masonic rites.

The digitization of the Henry Mosler papers, and a website focusing on Henry Mosler's diary, were  funded by the Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation. Joseph F. McCrindle (1923-2008) was an art collector, literary agent, publisher, and philanthropist. He was the great-grandson of Henry Mosler.

"The Spirit of the Rainbow"

“I am an eternal worshipper of the Creator.
When I transfer a beautiful model to the canvas, I am engaged in an act of divine worship. . . When at night I see the stars, I am worshipping again.”
~ Henry Mosler

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