Rare Eyewitness Sketch From the Revolutionary War Gets Donated to the Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, recently received a donation of a rare eyewitness sketch from the Revolutionary War.

There are only a dozen remaining eyewitness sketches depicting the Continental Army still in existence. This particular one is drawn by Swiss artist Pierre Eugène du Simitiére and shows the North Carolina Brigade marching through Philadelphia on August 25, 1777. These troops would later join George Washington’s army and take part in battles of Brandywine and Germantown.

A notable detail in the sketch is the depiction of female camp followers, who played a crucial role in supporting the army. There is only one other known sketch that includes the camp followers.

“The inclusion of two female camp followers, including one holding an infant, shown riding in a wagon exemplifies a direct defiance of known regulations at the time about how women following the army could use wagons,” the museum explains.

The eyewitness sketch used to belong to collector Judith Hernstad. According to Hernstad, she owned the sketch in the mid-1970s, and it hung in her bedroom. After museum curator Matthew Skic noticed the sketch and revealed its true importance, Hernstadt decided to donate it to the Museum of the American Revolution.

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