William Waud, trained as an architect in England, was an assistant to Sir Joseph Paxton and worked on the design of the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition in 1851. Soon afterward he joined his brother, Alfred Waud in America. Frank Leslie hired William Waud as a Special Artist in 1861, before the outbreak of the war, and sent him to cover assignments in the South, including the inauguration of Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederacy and the bombardment of Fort Sumter. Leslie’s published his drawing of the Union expedition against New Orleans in spring 1862. In 1864 Waud joined the staff of Harper’s Weekly and worked along with his brother Alfred (also with Harper's) during the Petersburg Campaign. He covered Sherman’s March in the south and Lincoln’s funeral after the war. The Becker Collection includes three drawings attributed to William Waud.
[biographical research by Alba Campo and Alyssa Hughes]