Main Content

The Peacemakers

This painting by George Peter Alexander Healy depicts four significant Union figures toward the end of the Civil War. In the cabin of the steamer River Queen are seated (from left to right) Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, President Abraham Lincoln, and Rear Admiral David D. Porter. The meeting took place in March 1865 on the James River in City Point, Virginia, less than a week before the fall of Petersburg, Virginia. According to Porter, the discussion flowed mostly between Lincoln and Sherman, which is reflected in all four subjects' body language. Sherman had previously sat for a portrait by Healy and commissioned the artist to paint the meeting, providing him with first-hand accounts by himself and Porter and even a diagram of the cabin. Born in Boston, Healy was a popular portrait painter who had sketched and painted Lincoln multiple times during his presidency.
G. P. A. Healy
Date of Work
oil paint
White House Collection/White House Historical Association