The Bright Side, 1865 by Winslow Homer

The Bright Side, shows four fully-clothed African-American men resting on a Union soldier's tent. At the same time, the soldier in question is staring at the viewer by peeking out the tent. In the background are horses and Conestoga wagons. Captured in a fleeting moment inspired by ukiyo-e "floating world" prints from Japan, the camp appears to be resting, as the horses do not seem to be tied to the carriages. The title of this work is somewhat ironic, as the African-American men are former slaves that were freed as the Union army advanced south. The former slaves are effectively property of the Union army, but the "bright side" that the title mentions is that they are now no longer in the position of servitude that the Civil War was ultimately fought over, which begins bringing to light the more political side of the war.

If The Bright Side discusses the political side of the war as seen from the slaves' point of view, then another of Homer's works, Prisoners From the Front, captures the political side of the war as seen from the point of view of the soldiers of both the Union and Confederate armies.