W. Davis Waters was born in Bennettsville, South Carolina, and grew up in Hampton, Virginia. In 1972, he received his MA degree at Wake Forest University and that same summer he attended the 13th Annual Seminar for Historical Administrators at Colonial Williamsburg. On the Peninsula, he learned a lot about the Civil War.
Waters worked for the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources for thirty-three years, serving as site manager at Historic Edenton and at Bennett Place. He also wrote articles for historical journals, such as Confederate Veteran, Confederate Generals (edited by William C. Davis), and The North Carolina Historical Review, including gone entitled “‘Deception Is the Art of War’: Gabriel J. Rains, Torpedo Specialist of the Confederacy.”
In 2005, W. Davis Waters was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian award bestowed by the Governor, for extraordinary services to the State of North Carolina. Although retired, Waters continues to research and write about history. He lives with his wife Denise in historic Hillsborough, North Carolina.