I thought the most dramatic moment of the story was when he is captured and interrogated at bayonet point. Since the moment in question takes place in the late evening, I wanted to focus on making strong silhouettes of the figures. I proposed two options of this idea to the art director. One had a low angle and the other was slightly from above looking down. After some discussion, I was given the go ahead with the top option.
The second spot illustration depicts the young man as an eavesdropping on the moment when U.S. Grant accepts the Confederate surrender from General Lee. I wanted the composition to reflect that Lee was backed into a corner.
By placing him behind the doorway, cropping him on the left and placing a picture frame and shadow above him, he is effectively trapped within the composition as he signs the surrender papers. Grant on the other hand is seen full figure and leans forward expectantly but respectfully. Period pieces are always a challenge, mostly on the research and costuming end of things.
I spent some time finding pictures of Lee and Grant and I also found a great Union Soldier costume I was able to rent for a few days for the reference photos on the first spread. I combined details from all of these sources to arrive at the finished piece. Unlimited time and budget would have been nice, but given the deadline and resources, I am pretty pleased with the results.