American "Truth"

by McKenzie Brouk, Diana Shao, Claire Gilmore, and Ansh Shah

Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth

A Biography of Gilbert Gaul by Claire Gilmore

The artist of Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth, Gilbert Gaul, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on March 31, 1855. After attending the Claverack Military Academy for schooling, he attended the National Academy of Design and later the Art Students' League of New York for his collegiate academics.

Gaul toured the American West in 1876, and started painting military and western scenes for display, as well as illustrating for various magazines. His work earned him many medals and awards at the Colombian Exposition, the Paris Exposition, and the Buffalo Exposition to name a few. Gaul painted Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth in 1892.

In September 1898, Gaul married Marian Halstead. They lived in Nashville while he worked on his portfolio titled With the Confederate Colors which was published in 1907. Gaul passed away in December 21, 1919 after a long illness.

A Critique of "Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth" by Claire Gilmore

Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth is a strong statement about the roles of women, as seen in the point of view in the painting. Gaul allows the viewer to see the defiance of Molly Pitcher in her action of seizing the cannon after her husband's death, through the strong emotion portrayed in her face and stance. Moreover, the disgust at her belligerence seen in the faces of the men around her verifies the overall tone of strength.

Immediately the viewer is drawn the Molly Pitcher and the intense light that is behind her showing her progressive idea. The light behind Molly, is like a revelation, a bright new thought. The line of the painting then continues to the middle of the painting, where a two men are in disbelief of her defiance to maintain her womanly place, and take on the job of a man. One then looks to the left corner, and sees a dead body, perhaps that of whom was formerly manning the cannon. The rule of thirds applies in this work, as something different and significant happens in each section.

The Story Truth of "Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth" by Claire Gilmore, McKenzie Brouk, and Diana Shao

As my exhausted husband laid unconscious, I seized is place at the helm of the cannon. As a pitcher runner for the Revolutionary Soldiers, others protested at my presumptuousness that I could man a cannon myself. I am a woman, but I carried on because this Monmouth needed to be won for the land of the free. In the heat of the battle I used my husband's ramrod to reload and fire the cannon. The sweltering heat never got to me as did my husband. With the June breezes sweeping my skirts, I carried on. The only hindrance to my endeavor was a bullet hole through the skirt, which I now wear proudly. I Molly Pitcher fought for my country despite the gender inequalities and I say so proudly.

The Happening Truth of "Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth" by Claire Gilmore, McKenzie Brouk, and Diana Shao

Molly Pitcher, the water runner for the Continental Army, manned the cannon at the Battle of Monmouth after her husband passed out due to heat exhaustion. She reloaded and fired the cannon defending her husband's' post, only suffering from a bullet hole in the skirt. Her bravery was later acknowledged after the end of the war.

The War Story by Claire Gilmore

My beloved husband, whom I then presumed dead, laid unconscious at the Battle of Monmouth. His last words to me where, "Molly, fight for me darling." His loss of consciousness signified the death that would come to the country given that we lost this key battle. I fought hard for him, and our love for the cause and our country. Despite the tears my loss and deadly heat, I myself dodged shots, and eventually was hit in the leg to maintain his post. As the dust and the June heat settled, my dear husband was resurrected as well as our cause for freedom, a blessed moment itself. The sky was a rosy pink, and God smiled at us, verifying His stance with us. We then knew we would win the war and our independence.