1863 DATED FULL PAGE SKETCH OF THE CAMP OF THE 8TH PENNSYLVANIA RESERVES AT MUNSON’S HILL, VA. BY 9TH MASSACHUSETTS BATTERY ARTIST RICHARD HOLLAND

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Item Code: 955-32

Page meas. approx. 9.75 x 6.50 inches and contains a single and very nicely done sketch of the camp of the 8th Pennsylvania Reserves also known as the 37th Pennsylvania Volunteers.

The view, as will be seen from the caption, was drawn from Upton’s Hill looking toward Munson’s.

Spread across a valley in front of the hill is a camp made up of 26 huts with chimneys, 2 Sibley tents and two long wooden structures that may be a cook shed and headquarters. Scattered around the camp are several figures.

The background is dominated by Munson’s Hill itself with a circular earthwork on the summit that houses several tents or huts. Snaking their way up the hillside are two trails that lead to the hill’s summit. The far background is dominated by the rolling countryside

The drawing has a plain drawn linear frame.

Title reads “A VIEW OF MUNSON’S HILL & CAMP OF THE 8TH PENN. RESERVES FROM UPTON’S HILL.” Bottom left is signed “R. HOLLAND, APR 18TH 1863.”

Reverse of the page is blank. Paper has light surface dirt.

The 8th Pennsylvania Reserves saw action on the Peninsula, 2nd Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness and Spotsylvania. They lost 226 officers and men killed and died of wounds and disease plus many others who were wounded and survived. The regiment served in the 1st and 5th Corps Army of the Potomac, the 22nd Corps Army Corps around Washington, D. C. and in the 3rd Corps of the Army of Virginia under Pope.

Also included with sketch is a facsimile copy of the cover to Holland’s sketchbook which reads, “SKETCHES OF VIRGINIA – SKETCHES AROUND WASHINGTON D.C., ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, UPTON’S HILL & CENTREVILLE. BY R. HOLLAND, MEMBER OF THE 9TH MASS. BATTERY”. Colorful flags flank the wording.

Richard Holland was born to Michael and Joanna Holland in Ireland on March 15, 1842. He came to the United States with his family at age 12 and settled in North Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Eventually Holland became an apprentice to Captain Lucius Richmond and learned the trade of a painter in which profession he was engaged when the Civil War began.

The now 21 year old Holland enlisted in the office of the selectman of North Bridgewater on July 29, 1862 and was assigned to the 9th Massachusetts Light Battery. At the time of his enlistment Holland was described as being 5’ 6 ½” tall with blue eyes, black hair and a dark complexion.

The 9th Massachusetts Battery served with the 5th and 9th Corps of the Army of the Potomac. Private Holland served as the #4 crewman on a gun in the left section of the battery and was responsible for priming and firing the gun on command. He was present with the battery throughout its service being engaged at Gettysburg, Mine Run, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Bethesda Church, Totopotomoy, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, Hatcher’s Run and the pursuit of Lee. The batteries heaviest loss occurred at Gettysburg where they were very heavily engaged on July 2nd on the Trostle farm. During that action they lost 8 men killed, 19 wounded and 1 missing. Holland was mustered out at the close of the war on June 6, 1865 and brought home with him a sketchbook in which he had kept drawings of people and places related to his service.

He was married twice. The first time to Miss Cecilia Pray in May of 1866. Sadly she died at age 36 of heart disease in April of 1880. The couple had two children, Charles born August 9, 1870 and Mary Cecilia born October 3, 1872.    Mr. Holland married for the second time on July 1, 1882 to Marietta M. Monk. The couple had no children.

After the war Holland resumed his trade as a painter. He became known for his skill graining and later in frescos. His paintings were found in churches throughout the area of his hometown as well as in the Brockton City Hall in Brockton, Massachusetts. His work in the town hall was considered “handsome and spirited.” The frescos depict the battle between the USS KEARSARGE and the CSS ALABAMA, Fort Sumter, the Monitor and the Merrimack, the 12th Massachusetts Battery going into action at Antietam, a Union drummer boy and a mounted cavalry scouting party led by his former employer Lucius Richmond.

Aside from the Brockton Town Hall, Holland also became known for smaller canvas paintings of still life, landscapes etc... However he avoided portraiture in which he felt he did not excel.

In 1884 he returned to Gettysburg as part of a commission to look into the placement of a memorial to the 9th Massachusetts Battery. While there he added to his wartime sketchbook numerous views of the Gettysburg battlefield.

Holland was a member of the Fletcher Webster Post #13 of the GAR and Appomattox Regiment of the Union Veteran’s Union. He was known for lending his artistic talents to any organization he was a member of and without payment.

When he died of pneumonia on January 12, 1906 he was remembered as a helpful, modest, unassuming and kind person. He is buried in Union Cemetery in Brockton, Massachusetts.

Holland’s military records accompany this item.  [ad]

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