Boy dressed as soldier rocking horse behind.
After Thomas Nast American 1840 – 1902 Families suffered through the Civil War and it was especially difficult for children, who missed their fathers who went off to battle. Currier & Ives, however, did not picture the negative aspects of the war. Instead, the firm capitalized on sentimental images of families and little boys. In this print, a boy pretends to be a heroic and proud soldier. Dressed in a Union uniform, including a sword, a paper hat and a hairbrush as an epaulet, he is ready for war. His rocking horse promises to carry him triumphantly through the battlefields. The fort is constructed from the boy’s books, and the protective canons are made from bottles. Thomas Nast was the foremost political cartoonist of the late 19th century. He worked as an illustrator for several magazines and created three lasting symbols: the Republican elephant, the Democrat donkey and Santa Claus. Light Artillery is one of four images by Nast that were reproduced as lithographs by Currier & Ives.