Tim Desmond is a retired high school science teacher who resides in Fresno, California. He has had a lifelong interest in painting, which he has pursued in different ways since high school. Throughout his career as a teacher, he regularly entered his paintings in local art fairs.
Desmond’s relatives fought on the Southern side in the Civil War. Interested in what life must have been like for them, Desmond studied the specific battles in which his ancestors might have fought and even participated in several battle reenactments. In 2002, he discovered that one of his relatives — his great-grandfather’s brother — had enlisted in Atlanta in 1864 in a unit that could have participated in the Atlanta Campaign.
The painting that is at the center of Desmond’s case depicts a scene from the Atlanta Campaign, specifically, the 1864 Siege of Atlanta that occurred all around Atlanta, including the area west of Atlanta where his relatives farmed.
In the painting, one of the Confederate standard bearers holds the Second National Flag of the Confederacy consisting of a white flag with a small St. Andrews Cross pattern in the upper left corner. The Second National Flag was used by the Confederacy from 1863 to 1865, putting the flag depicted in The Attack squarely within the time frame of its use.
Desmond included the painting in a later blog post commemorating the 151st anniversary of another Civil War battle, the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee along with a poem about the battle.