The lot of the Civil War sketch artist

The lot of the Civil War sketch artist

Joseph Becker began working for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper in New York City as an errand boy shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War. In 1863, the paper sent him to follow the Union Army as a sketch artist. His assignment, and that of dozens of artists like him, was to supply Leslie’s with scenes of military life and warfare that could be reproduced by engravers for the paper’s hundreds of thousands of readers. However, what the artist in the field dispatched and what the paper printed were not always the same, as this interactive slideshow demonstrates.

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