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Gathering of the Eagles by Clyde Heron. Historical American Civil art print of General Lee shown with confederate General Joseph E Johnson, Stonewall Jackson before Fredericksburg.

Gathering of Eagles by Clyde Heron.  

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Text for the above print as shown on the certificate:

Mr. Lincoln's "Prince of Procrastination," General George McClellan, had finally been prodded into action. On March 17th, 1862, one day ahead of the deadline imposed by the President, the first of McClellan's divisions embarked at Alexandria. "The worst is over," the general assured his superiors by letter. "Rely upon it that I will carry this thing through handsomely."

His optimism was short-lived. McClellan's peninsula campaign did not go nearly as smoothly as he had anticipated. It was May 24th before his forces occupied the village of Mechanicsville, still some five miles from Richmond. Here his progress was stalled because the Chickahominy River was on the rise and he had to put his men to work building no fewer than eleven bridges across the river in a twelve mile stretch south to Bottom's bridge. Then to add to his problems, he received word that General McDowell's 40,000 men would not be at his disposal as had been the plan.

Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston learned that McDowell was returning to Fredericksburg on the night of May 23rd, a move he knew he had precipitated by an event at Front Royal on May 23rd. A surprise attack by Stonewall Jackson upon General Nathanial Banks had set his main army to flight, half destroyed his wagon train, and in a full scale battle at Winchester, put the Federals into panic.

Now that Johnston did not have to worry about McDowell, he would attack the Federals south of the Chickahominy and overwhelm their left wing before it could be reinforced from across the river. The battle of Seven Pines began at 1.00pm on May 31st, when D. H. Hills division launched a massive attack, overrunning Casey's Federal troops. The battle raged on until dusk and Johnston concluded that the battle would have to continue the next day.

At about 7.00pm he rode toward the front with his young orderly and a staff colonel, seeing to the disposition of his troops. As he neared the edge of the battlefield, Johnston saw the officer duck his head as an enemy shell whistled by, Johnston smiled and said, "Colonel there is no use of dodging, when you hear them they have passed." Just then a Federal musket ball struck Johnston in the right shoulder. A moment later a heavy fragment of shell slammed into the general's chest, knocking him to the ground unconscious.

President Jefferson Davis and General Robert E. Lee greeted Johnston as he was moved to the rear. The severely wounded general had regained consciousness but was growing weaker and was taken from the field.

Davis pressed General Gustavus Smith, the ranking officer, for his plans since he would logically inherit command. Smith's hesitant replies did not suit Davis, and his mention of pulling back even closer to Richmond was unacceptable.

No one was near Lee and Davis as they rode slowly through the swarm of vehicles carrying the wounded into Richmond - not close enough to hear Davis' words which placed Lee in command; however, his most devoted biographer was to render them: "General Lee, I shall assign you to the command of this army. Make your preparations as soon as you reach your quarters. I shall send you the order when you get to Richmond."

Major Generals James Longstreet, A.P. Hill and D.H. Hill were already engaged in the theatre of operations, but before calling these commanders to council, Lee would add one more name to the list. He sent insistent dispatches to Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson urging him to hurry to Richmond. Lee put the order gently, "If you agree," but the compelling haste was clear in every line. Jackson was to conceal his movements and come as swiftly as possible to the capital. It was an order to delight Jackson; he might have written it himself.

At almost the same moment Jackson read Lee's order, General Banks was telegraphing Washington that Old Jack was advancing on him in overwhelming force. Jackson's answer to Lee's summons was not to be an easy task, a fifty-two mile ride in fourteen hours.

It was Sunday, June 27th, and Jackson chose to delay the start of his journey until 1.00am so that he would not break the Sabbath. It would be mid-afternoon before he arrived at Lee's headquarters in the Dabb's farmhouse near Richmond. He found Lee at work and waited for him in the yard, D.H. Hill arrived and was most surprised to find his newly-famous brother-in-law present for the meeting, since he had only yesterday been far down the valley confronting Banks. Yet there he was.

Things were bad, the barbed-tongued Hill told Jackson. His forces were being crushed by McClellan's huge army. There was little food, scarce supplies, and even their cannon were untrustworthy.

Jackson made little reply to his outspoken friend as they went inside. They were soon joined by Longstreet and H.P. Hill. Longstreet, a Union captain when the war came, was squat, stubborn, and becoming deaf at the age of 41. Red-haired A.P. Hill was hot-tempered, but brilliant and had yet to be tested in the field.

Lee began to explain the plan of assault on the Yankees. It was a bold plan, born of desperation in an effort to stave off a siege of Richmond. Lee was but 55. He had held command for just three weeks and had fought no battle beyond giving direction in the final hours of the inconclusive action at Seven Pines. Although there was a gentle authority in his voice, his manner of offering his plan bordered on humility. He spoke as became the man who had lately written on taken command from the wounded Johnston, "I wish his mantle had fallen on an abler man, or that I were able to drive our enemies back to their homes. I have no ambition and no desire to but the attainment of this object, and therefore only wish for its accomplishment by him that can do it most speedily and thoroughly."

Within the next four days, 85,000 Confederates faced 105,000 Bluecoats and emerged triumphant. Union General George McClellan not only lost men and supplies, he lost the initiative. Lee had his first victory. 

 

 

AVIATION PRINTS

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 On 24th January 1945, whilst taking part in Operation Meridian, S/Lt Arthur Page's Grumman Avenger JZ469 of 849 NAS suffered an electrical fire whilst climbing toward the target in formation and the decision was made to abort the mission and make an emergency landing back on HMS Victorious. Page's aircraft is shown here moments before touchdown under the watchful eye of the Landing Signals Officer.

Avenger's Return by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 On 31st August 1944, 6 Mosquitoes of 305 Polish Squadron, Lasham, 2nd TAF were led by Wing Commander Orlinski to attack oil refineries at Nomexy, south of Nancy, France. Diving down and releasing their bombs before escaping at tree top height they destroyed 4 large containers and several smaller ones. All aircraft safely returned after their four and a half hour sortie. Fl Lt Eric Atkins DFC(bar) KW(bar) and his navigator Fl Lt Majer can be seen exiting the area to reform on the other 3 Mosquitoes who have already finished their bombing run. This was Atkins 61st operation, finishing the war with 78 ops over 3 tours.

Mosquito Attack by Graeme Lothian. (YB)
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Shortly after 2.00pm on Friday 24th October 2003, supersonic commercial aviation was brought to a close as three British Airways Concordes touched down within minutes of each other at Londons Heathrow Airport for the last time.  Here, BA Captain Mike Bannister bring G-BOAG  home for the final touchdown.

Concorde - The Final Touchdown by Ivan Berryman.
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 The Short Stirling was the RAFs first four-engined bomber to enter service and it served throughout WWII in many roles including bomber, minelayer, troop carrier and glider-tug. The lack of power produced by its engines severely limited the loads carried by Stirlings. On long-range trips such as Italy, even with a greatly reduced bomb load the aircraft could barely clear the Alps. Despite very large losses due to its operational limitations, those that flew this big, agile aircraft, came to respect and look upon it with it with affection.

The Night Shift by Philip West. (Y)
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 Focke-Wulf FW.190A-5/U8 of 1 Gruppe, Schnellkampfgeschwader 10 in 1943. All national markings were painted out, except for the call sign C on the fuselage and repeated, crudely sprayed, on the engine cowling.

Focke-Wulf Fw190A-5/U8 by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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 No one will ever know exactly what caused Max Immelmanns demise, but what is known is that his propeller was seen to disintegrate, which caused a series violent oscillations that ripped the Fokker E.III apart, the tail breaking away before the wings folded back, trapping the young German ace in his cockpit. The popular belief is that his interrupter gear malfunctioned, causing him to shoot away part of his own propeller, but British reports attribute Immelmanns loss to the gunnery of Cpl J H Waller from the nose of FE.2b 6346 flown by 2Lt G R McCubbin on Sunday, 18th June 1916. Immelmann was flying the spare E.III 246/16 as his own E.IV had been badly shot up earlier that day.

Immelmanns Last Flight by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 Over three years of continuous air combat the 91st Bombardment Group The Ragged Irregulars were based at Bassingbourn in England. They flew 340 missions with honor and bravery, over occupied Europe and bore such B-17 legends as Memphis Belle, Shoo Shoo Baby, General Ike and Nine O Nine. On this day, however, the Memphis Belle is going to have to wait for the snow to be cleared before it can depart on yet another dangerous mission over enemy territory. In the meantime, to enable the Memphis Belle to leave at the earliest opportunity when the weather clears, ground crew carry on with their maintenance work in support of a crew and aircraft they all look upon with affection and admiration.
The Memphis Belle by Philip West. (Y)
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 Wing Commander J R Baldwin is depicted flying Typhoon MN934 whilst commanding 146 Wing, 84 Group operating from Needs Oar Point in 1944, en route to a bombing raid on 20th June with other Typhoons of 257 Sqn in which both ends of a railway tunnel full of German supplies were successfully sealed.

Typhoons Over Normandy by Ivan Berryman.
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NAVAL PRINTS

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 Spearheading the Falklands Task Force as it heads south in 1982, the carrier HMS Hermes is shown in company with two Type 21 frigates, HMS Arrow on the left and HMS Ardent in the near foreground. In the far distance, HMS Glamorgan glints in the sun as Type 42 HMS Sheffield cuts across behind Hermes. All pennant numbers were painted out and a vertical black identification stripe applied to all the Type 42s to distinguish them from their Argentine counterparts.

Falklands Task Force by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 Sunset over Aboukir Bay on 1st August 1798 as ships of the Royal Navy, led by Nelson, conduct their ruthless destruction of the anchored French fleet. Ships shown from left to right. HMS Orion, Spartiate, Aquilon, Peuple Souvrain, HMS Defence, HMS Minotaur and HMS Swiftsure.

Battle of the Nile by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 A pair of 272 Squadron Bristol Beaufighters roar over the extensively rebuilt battleship HMS Valiant as she lies at anchor at Alexandria late in 1941, accompanied by the cruiser HMS Phoebe and Valiants sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth (in the extreme distance)

HMS Valiant and HMS Phoebe at Alexandria, 1941 by Ivan Berryman (Y)
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 Having departed the Namsen Fjord in Norway, on a course home to England across the North Sea, HMS Arab was intercepted by a Heinkel He.115 and ordered to sail due east or be attacked.  His orders ignored, the German pilot began a series of passes over the trawler, raking the small vessel with continuous fire from both of its guns.  The gallant crew of the Arab returned fire with all Lewis and Oerlikon guns blazing, the Heinkel being mortally wounded as it made a low pass across the bow of Arab, finally plunging into the sea some two miles astern of the trawler who continued, without further incident, to her destination at Scapa.

Tribute to the Royal Navy Trawler Crews - HMS Arab by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 Admiral von Spees Flagship SMS Scharnhorst leads SMS Gneisenau in the opening stages of engaging the Royal Naval ships east of the Falklands, 8th December 1914.

Battle of the Falkland Islands by Randall Wilson. (Y)
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The Atlantic ocean was the lifeline between Britain and America, as well as millions of tons of raw materials, GIs were also transported over in all manor of hastily converted liners.  Protecting the troops from marauding u-boats and German surface ships was of paramount importance to the allied fleets.  Although USS New York spent a good deal of the war in the Atlantic, she also participated in the Torch landings off North Africa and took part in the Pacific campaign, seeing action at both Iwo Jima and Okinowa.

Escort for the Troops - USS New York by Anthony Saunders
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B114AP. HMS Carmania sinking the German armed liner SS Cap Trafalgar off Ilha da Trindade, South Atlantic. 14th September 1914.  By Ivan Berryman.
HMS Carmania sinking the German armed liner SS Cap Trafalgar off Ilha da Trindade, South Atlantic. 14th September 1914. By Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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B0344P. Bismarck Leaving Port by Jason Askew.
Bismarck Leaving Port by Jason Askew. (P)
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WORLD WAR TWO MILITARY PRINTS

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 Churchill MkIV tank of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade (comprised of 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards, 4th Battalion Coldstream Guards and 3rd Battalion Scots Guards), pass infantry of the 2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during the Battle for Caumont.

Operation Bluecoat, normandy, 30th July 1944 by David Pentland. (GS)
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 Sturmgeschutz IIIg and Paratroops of the 4th Fallschirmjager Division, driving to the front line, pass one of the two giant 28cm K5 (Eisenbaum) railway guns responsible for the shelling the Allied beacheads at Anzio and Nettuno.

Anzio Annie, Italy, 29th January 1944 by David Pentland. (GS)
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 Bastogne, Ardennes, Belgium, 20th December 1944.  Newly arrived 81mm Mortars of 2nd Battalion, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division, fire in support of U.S. Paratroopers defending against German probes to the north of Bastogne.

Fire for Effect by David Pentland. (AP)
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A Tiger I and PAK 40 anti tank gun of the Müncheberg Division, field a final defence of the capital in front of the Brandenburg Gate under the shattered remains of the famous Linden trees. The under-strength division had just been formed the previous month from a mixture of ad hoc units and various marks of tank. Despite this it put up a spirited fight until its final destruction in early May.

Tiger at the Gate, Berlin, 30th April 1945 by David Pentland. (GL)
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 OT34 Flamethrower tank and men of Col. Krickmans 6th Guards Tank Brigade take part in the Soviet counter attacks of 13th-27th September in defence of the southern factory district of Stalingrad before the final offensive in October.

Motherland, The Battle of Stalingrad, September 1942 by David Pentland.
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 Panzer IVF2 tanks of 6th Panzer Division, Panzer Armee Hoth, attempt to fight their way through to the beleaguered Sixth Army at Stalingrad, 12th December 1942.  On the 21st the operation was abandoned when the expected breakout from Stalingrad failed to materialise, the relief column was only 25 miles from the city.

Operation Winter Tempest by David Pentland.
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 Replacements from 1st Battalion Irish Guards and Sherman tanks of the 46th Royal Tank Regiment move through the debris of Anzio town towards their jump-off positions for the Battle of Campoleone Station.

Anzio, Italy, February 1944 by David Pentland. (Y)
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 Jagdpanthers of 654 heavy Tank Battalion engage 6th Guards Tank Brigade Churchills.
Debut at Caumont, Normandy, 30th July 1944 by David Pentland. (D)
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