Special Artist for the Confederacy
Born in London to a newspaper family,at age 30,when he arrived in the United States to cover the Civil War,Vizetelly had already gernered much experience,illustrating combat in various European conflicts.He started drawing for The London Illustrated News,a paper co-founded by his older brother,Henry Vizetelly.
Frank got to Washington in time for the first great battle fought on the banks of Bull Run.Thinking the victory secure ,he hurried to Centerville to file and dispatch his report.He learned of the Federal route and hurried a sketch of the retreat.It was published,and the War Department in Washington was so angry over it,that the revoked all his passes to travel and move freely with the army.Disgusted with what he thought to be blatant cencorship,Frank and his younger brother commandeered a barely floating raft and stole out of Washington,across the Potomac river,in the dead of night.Frank had decided to try his journalistic luck with the Southern armies.
He was well received,and quickly became much sought after company with the Confederate high command.His portraits of Lee,Jackson,and Longstreet made Frank Leslies Illustrated Times and were loved by the British people,hungry for news of the great war in the “colonies”.
Frank became an obvious match for the raucous headquarters of the cavalry leader,Jeb Stuart,and the two hit it of immediatlyIt is rumored the in a pinch,Vizitelly played the part of courier for laughing cavalier,making him a sure candidate for a Yankee noose.
Sometime after the battle of Fredericksburg,Frank headed west to see what war in that theatre was like.He was present for the siege and battles around Vicksburg,and later, was witness to the bloody affair on Chickamauga creek in September.He sketched,here,his famous picture of the serious wounding of General John Bell Hood.
In late 1864,early1865 Frank was on his way back east when he learned of the fall of Richmond.Altering his plans he hooked up with the then fleeing party of the Confederate president,even personally loaning Jefferson Davis more much needed travelling money.Two hours after leaving the President,Davis' party was Capyured by Federal cavalry.Frank however did manage one last sketch of the War Between the States.It was of the fleeing confederate presidetial party.So it was,that Frank Vizetellys career as a correspondent on the Civil War began and ended with published drawings of retreat.
Vizetelly journed back to London afterwards,and after a semi- retirement,got the combat journalists bug again.This time accepting assignment to the conflicts in theSudan,in Africa.
At Kashgil,Frank was never heard from again,following the annhilation of a company of British and Egyptian troops.His brother made inquiries,but nothing was heard from him again. In a final war related note,many of Frank Vizitellys original drawings were destroyed in the Nazi blitz over London,in 1940-41.