Civil War “Special Artists”

Hi Friends,

It’s release week, and I’m excited to tell you more about the inspiration behind Waiting for His Return. When I was doing research for this story, I saw an article about artists who traveled with the troops during the Civil War. I thought that would be an interesting occupation for my hero. I ordered a copy of Our Special Artist – Alfred R. Waud’s Civil War, and I used what I learned about Waud as an inspiration for my hero, James Galloway.

Here’s an excerpt from that book: “When North and South went to war in 1861, a small legion of men in civilian clothes went with them. Instead of weapons they carried pencils and pads of paper, and instead of setting out to take Richmond or Washington, their goal was to capture on paper the look of the war. They were the battlefield artists, the men who brought home to the people behind the lines the scenes of battle that were deciding the fate of the nation.

Special artist Alfred Waud

One of the most famous was Alfred R. Waud, the man Harper’s Weekly Illustrated Newspaper called “Our Special Artist.”

Waud covered the war from the first to the last, initially for the New York Illustrated News, and later for Harper’s. From the formation of the Confederate government in Montgomery, Alabama, to the last campaigns of Grant’s army leading to Appomattox, Alfred Waud was there, pencil in hand. Waud even went into battle alongside the Yankee troops he accompanied in the field. He was under fire almost as much as they as he frantically sketched the brutal scenes before him, then polished them after the fight to send them to the publisher. Teams of engravers worked through the night when his sketches arrived, turning them into wood block engravings used to print the next week’s edition. 

Portraits of the great generals, scenes in camp and field, the look of battle –all came from Waud’s pencil. Along with his drawings he often sent firsthand accounts of what he had seen, acting as an informal reporter as well as an artist. He went where even the photographers could not go, and the result is that while several other battle artist also worked for Harper’s and it’s competitors, Alfred Waud is the one whose view of the conflict dominated the public mind in the North. People of the Union literally saw the Civil War through his eyes.”

Alfred Waud went to great lengths to travel with the troops in order to bring the news of the war home. He was dedicated to the Union cause, and I wanted my hero to reflect many of those same qualities — faithfulness, courage, and dedication. 

Waiting for His Return is available as an eBook from Amazon for $2.99 for a limited time. I hope you’ll download your copy  and enjoy this inspiring holiday novella!

You have until November 12th to enter the special book launch giveaway. Follow this link to enter. Thanks very much for sharing this post and adding your reviews to Amazon or GoodReads!

Blessings and Happy Reading,

Carrie

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