Civil War Era

 “The Tribune”
  Source:  New York Illustrated News
  Date:   August 5, 1861, p. 210

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
In the summer of 1861, Nast was providing the New York Illustrated News with combat sketches based on eyewitness material and patriotic images in support of the Union war effort.  On June 26, 1861, the New York Tribune began running a prominent editorial-page slogan urging Union troops “Forward to Richmond!” (the Confederate capital).  With Greeley at home recuperating from a knee injury, this saber-rattling phrase was initially approved by managing editor Charles Dana.  It expressed a widely-held belief in the possibility of a swift end to the war.  However, the Union debacle at the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) on July 21 undermined that hope, and scorn was heaped upon Greeley and other proponents of the Richmond campaign.  Nast and his newspaper, though, wholeheartedly endorsed the spirit of the Tribune battle cry.  On August 5, 1861, the New York Illustrated News published an editorial defending Greeley and his newspaper’s “On to Richmond!” campaign (as the Illustrated News called it).  Even so, as the war dragged on for over three more years, Nast would find occasion to invest the now legendary Tribune battle cry with overtones of sarcasm.



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