Becker was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. By 1859, he had moved to New York where he went to work as an errand boy for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. Although Becker had no formal training in art, Frank Leslie and his staff encouraged his natural talent, and by 1863, Leslie dispatched Becker to accompany the Union Army to send back drawings of what he observed. In addition to major events including the battles of Gettysburg and Petersburg and President Lincoln's address at the dedication of the military cemetery at Gettysburg, Becker recorded scenes of daily life in army camps throughout the eastern theater of war as well as civilian events. In all, approximately 88 of his wartime drawings were pu
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