GETTYSBURG – DOUBLE SKETCH OF “NORWOOD’S ROCK” ON TROSTLE FARM BY 9TH MASS BATTERY VETERAN & ARTIST RICHARD HOLLAND

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Item Code: 955-54

This full page contains two sketches, one black and white and one color. The page the sketches are done on meas. approx. 7.75 x 4.50 inches.

The top sketch is black and white and meas. approx. 4.00 x 4.25 inches. In the foreground is a partially bald-headed Union soldier looking exhausted and sitting behind a large boulder with his accoutrements scattered on the ground around him. Off in the distance behind the rock, on a rise, the 9th Massachusetts Battery is seen in action with white smoke belching from their guns. Covering the ground between the fighting battery and the rock where the soldier takes cover is the debris of battle. A dead horse, broken equipment and dead and wounded men.

This sketch is titled “NORWOOD’S ROCK” and thus reveals the identity of the wounded soldier in the picture. John Kendall Norwood was a 24 year old clerk from Lawrence, Massachusetts who enlisted as a Private in the 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery on August 5, 1862. During the battle of Gettysburg, Norwood was shot in the chest where the bullet lodged in his lung. He was able to crawl behind a large rock for cover. This is the event depicted in the sketch described above. Norwood was later discharged for disability on February 1, 1864.

The lower color sketch takes up the remainder of the page and is a more detailed rendition of the above sketch. In the foreground is Norwood’s rock but without Norwood being present. There is a tree and fence running from right to left into the distance where the Trostle farm house and outbuilding are visible. Off on the distant rise the 9th Massachusetts is seen in action. This sketch is minus the debris of battle seen in the smaller sketch.

The green of the fields contrasted with the bold white of the farm buildings and the subdued brown of the trees and fence give the sketch a pleasing finish. There is one small ink spot along the left edge but this does not hurt the beauty of the work.

Bottom of the sketch bears the simple title “NORWOODS ROCK.”

This sketch was done by Richard Holland when he returned to Gettysburg as a part of the 9th Massachusetts Battery Monument Committee in 1884.

Included with sketch is a facsimile copy of the front inside cover of the sketchbook to which is glued three newspaper articles regarding the 9th Massachusetts Battery monument at Gettysburg.

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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