Feb 10

The right side of Timothy O’Sullivan’s stereograph view of Civil War sketch artist Alfred Rudolph Waud. Waud is posed here in Devil’s Den with his sketchbook. This view was taken circa July of 1863. It is courtesy of the Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress (LC-DIG-cwpb-00074).

Alfred Rudolph Waud emigrated to the United States from England as an illustrator in 1850. Waud was one of a number of sketch artists working during the Civil War, providing depictions of battles and scenes that photographic equipment was still too new to capture.

Waud was with the Army of the Potomac for the duration of the Battle of Gettysburg, and a number of his sketches survive. Most of a sketch artist’s work would not make it to publication. The sketch usually provided the basis for a more elaborate engraving that would appear in print. Waud’s “Death of Reynolds” sketch is depicted here, with Reynold’s falling backwards off his horse, hat coming off his head. As always, please click on the image above to enlarge it. It is courtesy of the Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress (LC-DIG-ppmsca-21109).

Sketch artists would often keep logs or make maps of the terrain and area where their photos were taken, doing their best to provide caption material and information that would accompany their photographs by courier back to their publisher. Page one of Waud’s “Legend” to his Reynold’s sketch. It is courtesy of the Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress (LC-DIG-ppmsca-21791).

Page two of Waud’s Reynold’s sketch, showing a few landmarks and troop positions south of the Railroad Cut. It is courtesy of the Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress LC-DIG-ppmsca-21792).

Waud’s sketch was used as the basis for this final engraving. It is courtesy of the Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress (LC-DIG-ppmsca-20161).

Harper’s Weekly was published each Saturday. It was not until July 25, 1863, that any of Waud’s drawings would make print. “The Battle of Gettysburg — Union Position Near the Centre — Gettysburg in the Distance — Cemetery on the Hill.”

Also included in the July 25th issue of Harper’s Weekly was this drawing, depicting Hazlett’s Battery on Little Round Top. “The Battle of Gettysburg — Hill on the Left of the Union Position — Hazlitt’s [sic] Battery in Action.”


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