A symbolic vision of the North's defeat of the Confederacy. "Young America" or the Union is shown as the infant Hercules strangling two serpents representing rebellion and sedition. According to Greek mythology the serpents were sent by the goddess Hera, who was jealous because during one of his many liaisons her husband Zeus had fathered Hercules. The snakes portrayed here probably also allude to antiwar Democrats, perjoratively called "Copperheads."
The infant reclines on his customary lion's skin on a large rock. Above him perches an eagle, symbol of both Zeus and American might.