Friday, April 27, 2012

Battle of New Orleans-Sponsored by William Waud

W. Waud's image of USS Iroquios' XI-inch gun crew hit during the battle of New Orleans
Artist William Waud, brother of artist Alfred Waud, accompanied Farragut's fleet up the Mississippi River and was present during the attack on Forts St. Phillip and Jackson.  While Alfired worked as a contract sketch artist for Harper's Weekly, William worked for the cross-town rival: Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. The Library of Congress and the LOUISiana Digital Library both have several dozen digital versions of both brothers' work online.

W. Waud's image of the heart of the fight between Farragut's ships and the Confederate forts and ships.

William's depiction of New Orleans are not for the faint of heart. Unlike many other depictions of New Orleans William's images do not show a clean, orderly battle.  The viewer of the image is thrown right into the middle of the chaos.  And this was before the engraver back in New York City got a hold of William's original sketch and added his own graphic interpretation of the scene.   In this post are  four of William's drawings as published engravings in Frank Leslie's and two are rough sketches.   In one of these engravings, William made sure the public knew the risks he was personally taking to bring them accurate depictions of the war by placing himself in one of the images.

USN mortar gun crew with identifications of assignments.

The fighting top of USS Mississippi during the battle.  Notice the
sketch artist (W. Waud himself) at right, ever so calm at work.  
Destruction of the ironclad CSS Louisiana
Final victory-Farragut's fleet off of New Orleans

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