Skip to main content

As a public health precaution, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will temporarily close to the public starting Saturday, March 14 until further notice. Please continue to check back frequently at or for updates. In the meantime, please explore our website, resource materials and online exhibitions. 

William Starke Rosecrans

William Starke Rosecrans
Samuel Woodson Price, 1828 - 1918
William Starke Rosecrans, 6 Sep 1819 - 11 Mar 1898
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 76.8 × 64.1 × 3.2cm (30 1/4 × 25 1/4 × 1 1/4")
Frame: 92.7 x 80 x 7.6cm (36 1/2 x 31 1/2 x 3")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the National Museum of American History; transfer from the Veterans Administration Center, Dayton, OH, 1957
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Delaware County, Ohio
Affectionately called Old Rosy by his troops, William S. Rosecrans proved to be one of the North's best strategists early in the war. In July 1861, Rosecrans's brigade won the Battle of Rich Mountain, Virginia, thus securing a Union foothold in territory that would ultimately become the state of West Virginia. His ability to maneuver the enemy was especially evident in the western theater, where he commanded the Army of the Cumberland in the Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro, Tennessee). At Chickamauga, Georgia, in September 1863, however, his army suffered disaster when one of his orders was misconstrued. This allowed the enemy to attack through a wide gap in the federal line. The mistake cost Rosecrans his command and virtually ended his active service in the war.
Veterans’ Administration, Dayton, Ohio; transferred 1956 to Smithsonian, division of Military History as part of collection of military artifacts; accessioned 1957 Armed Forces History; transferred to NPG 1971.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
American Origins
On View
NPG, East Gallery 112