Oct. 2, 1828 London City of London Greater London, England
Apr. 6, 1891 Marietta Cobb County Georgia, USA
Civil War Illustrator. The most prolific "special" artist of the Civil War, he was born in London, England, and was educated at the Royal Academy's School of Design. He migrated to the United States in 1850, worked as an illustrator of periodicals and books until, at the outbreak of the war, he joined the staff of the New York Illustrated News as a field artist, or "special." With pencil and sketchbook he reported the opening months of the war and was present at First Bull Run, where, though caught up in the headlong Union rout, he was able to bring back his first battle sketches for reproduction as woodcuts in the News. In October 1861 he accompanied the Union fleet in its attack on Hatteras Inlet. Early in 1862 he joined the staff of Harper's Weekly and remained throughout the war its most popular "special," especially among the field soldiers, the sharpest critics of the art. He followed the Army of the Potomac on all its major campaigns. He was on the field at Antietam, sketched Major General Ambrose E. Burnside's debacle at Fredericksburg, and was present at Chancellorsville, Second Bull Run, and Gettysburg. As the war ground on, he continued to be in the thick of the battle, in the Wilderness with Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant's army and, with his brother, William, who was a highly distinguished field artist in his own right, at the Siege of Petersburg, where he dodged snipers' bullets. This was no ordeal for him as he was noted for going under fire to obtain better views of the action, for his personal safety he was usually armed. At Appomattox in 1865 he sketched General Robert E. Lee leaving the McLean house after having surrendered his army, and just days later, the presidential box at Ford's Theatre the day after Lincoln was assassinated. He continued with Harper's as an artist-reporter during the latter 1860's, producing an historic series of drawings of the postwar South on a trip down the Mississippi to New Orleans. Many of his works appeared with the Century Magazine's extensive series of articles on the war. They were later included in the book version, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Though he traveled West and sketched, it was the old landmarks of the war that still caught his eye. While sketching the battlefields of Georgia in 1891 he was stricken by a heart attack and died in Marietta. The editors of Harper's at the close of the war summed up his and every field artist's life when they wrote, "They have shared the soldiers' fare; they have ridden and waded, and climbed and floundered, always trusting in lead pencils and keeping their paper dry." Today, the Library of Congress maintains a priceless collection of 2,300 original sketches by he and his brother. They are still sought after for use in books and films. (bio by: Ugaalltheway)
Photos may be scaled. Click on image for full size.
Mr. Waud thank you for all the talented sketches you provided your newspaper and for all of posterity. May you rest in peace, sir. -
Daniel Moran Added: Apr. 6, 2016
Thank you for your drawings in the heat of battle during the Civil War. Your sketches deftly capture the expanse of the landscape, smoke, and the action that you witnessed under dire conditions... RIP, Mr. Waud. -
PPalaciosJr. Added: Feb. 20, 2016