Melancholy Union Soldier with Letter, ca. 1898
Courtesy of the owner
Charcoal on paper, originally mounted on wooden frame, 30 x 25 inches
Signed lr: “Wm. T. Trego”
An officer of the Union army stands alone in a wooded area
with head bowed, his left hand resting on his sword, while his right hand holds
both his cap and a letter. He has obviously received unhappy news while in the
field with his troops. The stance and attitude of the soldier is similar to
another smaller pencil drawing of a Cavalryman
housed at the Mercer Museum.
In addition, a surviving photograph
of a lost Trego painting shows an older
Union officer on the battlefield in a similar pose, also holding a letter.
Whether the two sketches and the painting were all part of the same project is
unknown. This sketch can be partially seen hanging in the background in a
of Trego in his studio with The
Rescue of the Colors
Obtained from the artist by a member of his cousin Howard
Trego’s family, it has been passed down in the family ever since.
Doylestown, Pennsylvania, James A. Michener Art Museum, June 3-Oct 2, 2011: "So Bravely and So Well: The Life and Art of William T. Trego."
The drawing was at one time stored in a garage and suffered
damage. When retrieved by the current
owner some years ago, it was very brittle, and there were holes that had
resulted in losses of the drawing in several areas. It was also somewhat grimy.
It was conserved and restored in 2010 by Elizabeth Wendelin and is now in excellent condition.