CW123 Infantry Drummer Boy
‘Drummer Boys’ played an important role in the American Civil War… on both sides of the conflict, with some becoming soldiers.
In the Union Army it was forbidden to recruit any boys under the age of 16 but many still joined eager and willing to do their part and join, what many thought would be a ‘great adventure’.
By and large, the most popular reason young boys joined up was to escape what they viewed as a dull boring life working on a farm. (In 1860 the population of the United States was more than 80% rural).
As drummers these young boys helped to issue commands on the battlefield using their drum rolls and bugle calls to send orders to different units and formations. Soldiers marched to battle to the sound of drums and used their beat to regulate loading… firing… and reloading their weapons during the battle.
This young Drummer plays a steady beat as his comrades move into the attack.