Best Friends

A Child Finds Solace in the Company of the Cherished Doll
Sent by a Beloved Brother Gone to War

Created to represent a situation quite common throughout the course of the war, this image depicts a child left at home to try and cope with the day-to-day reality of life without the presence of someone very important to her. The separation created by war is difficult enough for adults to comprehend; for a child, it must have seemed inexplicable that someone who had always been part of their life was suddenly gone, leaving an enormous void in his or her young life. Often a keepsake or remembrance of some kind was all they had to give them solace and the hope that this absent loved one would soon return.

The inspiration for this image is the true story of twenty-year-old Billy Voice, the oldest of five children. Much to the sorrow of his youngest sister Abbie, he enlisted with a company of the 26th Michigan Infantry. As she wept inconsolably on the eve of his departure, Billy promised Abbie that if she would not cry, he would buy her a real china doll when he reached a city large enough to have such a treasure. Sadly, Billy did not survive the war, but true to his promise, he had purchased the china doll for his cherished younger sister prior to his death; the doll was sent home to the family along with Billy's body. Through her grief, Abbie proclaimed the memento the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen.


Original Artwork
Framed Dimensions:  28 1/2 x 24 1/2
Image:  23 3/4  x  17 3/4
~~Sold 2004~~

Offset Lithograph Reproductions
60 Artist's Proofs
600 Signed & Numbered Limited Editions
Image Size: 19 x 14 1/4
Overall Size: 20 x 16
Price:  Artist's Proofs $115.00
Limited Editions $75.00

Small Framed Open Edition Reproductions


View the next painting in the series:
  No Idle Hands

Direct Links to All Civil War Artwork:
Beyond the Battlefield - The Battle of Gettysburg - More Civil War Drawings - Gettysburg Civilians During the War
Christmas During the Civil War -
Gettysburg Today - Plein Air Drawings of Gettysburg

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 August 22, 2009