Finishing up a couple takes on The Great Western for the splash page opening that will run in the next issue of True West.
The problem with the above version is that she is too thin. Full disclosure, I modeled her after the photo of an actress in the Broadway play "Hamilton." I liked the costume, but I didn't put enough extra pounds on her and she is too svelte. Sarah Bowman was a big boned girl. More like this:
One of the most enjoyable aspects of being in the history biz is knowing the right people to contact in order to get to the bottom of things. Yesterday I found some great reference on the style of various campaign hats that the Great Western might have worn, but one detail eluded me. I sent this inquiry to The Top Secret Writer:
Hey, I'm trying to portray Sarah's headgear from the Mexican War era, and that quote from a soldier who saw her, has her wearing a "a gold laced cap of the Second Artillery."
The Distinguished professor had a three word response:
"Langellier will know."
So I emailed the U.S. Army historian, John Langellier, and thanks to him, this morning I got the specifics I needed on the insignia.