A Pack Of Rebels

June 2017

A Charleston artist and mapmaker put together a deck of playing cards honoring the heroes of the Confederacy.

As he shuffled through life, Charleston artist William Aiken Walker must have been inspired by card games, for he not only painted Poker Game Aboard a Mississippi Riverboat (1880), but during the Civil War he even made his own deck of cards. A Confederate map maker at the time, Walker painted miniature of four Southern heroes as kings in his patriotic pack. Three aces depict war scenes: diamonds, the firing on Fort Sumter; clubs, a Merrimac victory; hearts, the Merrimac versus the Monitor. Queens and jacks are anonymous contributors to the war effort. Walker’s quaint work is in the collection of Jay P. Altmayer of Mobile, Alabama.