Assault by the Press Gang

Assault by the Press Gang


Title: Assault by the Press Gang

Year: 1862

Creator: Henry Louis Stephens, Vanity Fair

Description: A man in a vested suit, top hat, glasses, and beard (Stanton) stands arm-in-arm with a Union general (McClellan), while members of the press surround them, trying to obtain quotes to publish in their newspapers, provoking them with comments like, “Give ’em mud and discipline! Heh!” and “Say Nigger! If yer don’t say Nigger out loud, we’ll punch yer.”

By early 1862, newspapers were pushing for a military operation in Virginia. The Army of the Potomac remained idle provoking these admonitions of the newspapers. Horace Greeley of the Tribune was especially insistent using “On to Richmond” as his cry for action.