EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

September 20, 2013

Lawrence Civil War Memorial Guard begins 2-day event tomorrow


There will also be an exhibit on display inside City Hall about Norword and the other Lawrencians who fought at Gettysburg, a local 150th commemoration of the famous battle of July 1-3, 1863.

“Gettysburg was the pivotal battle and Lawrence was right in the thick of it,” said Larry West, the guard’s president.

“Of the regiments who fought at Gettysburg, we have identified slightly under 100 Lawrence men who were at the battle. Of those who were at Gettysburg, there were 13 casualties — six of them died of their wounds or were killed in action. Between Union and Confederates, there were over 160,000 soldiers who were present — about 70,000 were Confederates. Total casualties were close to 50,000 for both sides — those who were killed, wounded and missing or captured.

Norwood was a cannoneer with the 9th Massachusetts battery and saw combat for the first time when they arrived at Gettysburg, according to West, who will talk about the Gettysburg soldiers during the weekend. Norwood worked in the dry goods business before enlisting in August of 1962.

“The battery didn’t have any infantry support, so they pulled back to the Trostle Farm,” West said.

“They were essentially ordered to be sacrificed, to hold their position until a new line could be formed 300 yards behind them. Eventually, they were overrun and they lost all but two of their guns, which they pulled out by hand. John Norwood was shot in the lung and was captured,” West said.

The Confederates allowed one of his battery mates to remain with him.

But because of his medical condition, Norwood was a prisoner for only a short time.

“The Confederates retreated and just left him there. Eventually, he got him some medical treatment. Because the Minie ball was in his lung, the doctors couldn’t remove it. That was the end of his soldiering career,” West said.

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