Ten weeks after “April Fool’s Day,” Nast echoed the notoriously unrealized
Tribune slogan of June 1861 in a grim double-page illustration, “The
Campaign in Virginia—‘On to Richmond!’” for the postdated Harper’s Weekly
issue of June 18, 1864 (published June 8). It appeared near the end of Union
General Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign (May 4-June 12) against Confederate
General Robert E. Lee in Virginia. Although the illustration shows the Union
advancing, in reality the Confederates halted their momentum at the Battle of
Cold Harbor (May 31-June 3). A disastrous Union assault on the last day claimed
half of the Union’s 13,000 total casualties for the battle. Confederate
casualties numbered only 2500, and the battle was Lee’s last major victory.
Grant later wrote, “I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor
was ever made.” In this illustration, Grant is on horseback in the left
background, while General William “Baldy” Smith charges forward with his sword
drawn in the center foreground.