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Drummer Boys in the Civil War
Transcript of Drummer Boys in the Civil War
"The Boys War" Boys as young as nine years old would run away from home to join the army. The recruiters couldn't keep them away So they allowed them to be drummer boys The job of the drummer boy was to relay commands to the soldiers during the deafening roar of battle. During battle, soldiers rarely heard the officers. The drummer boys would stick close to the officers and give commands through the beat of a drum. Tending to the wounded
Even though the jobs of a drummer boy seemed small, it wasn't easy. Many were woken up and kept awake for hours relaying messages between outposts. The other jobs of the
drummer boys included:
and other camp chores. One of the most well-known Drummer boys was Johnny Clem. Johnny ran away from home at age nine. He tried to join the union army, but the recruiter denied him several times. Johnny would sneak around with the 22nd Michigan infantry. Finally they adopted him and made him their mascot. By the time johnny was eleven, they had made him a small uniform and gave him a cut down rifle his size. Johnny survived the war and retired as a Brigadier General in 1915. He lived to be eighty-five and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. There were many songs written about the drummer boys. But maybe the most famous is called "Drummer Boy of Shiloh" written by William Hays Look down upon the battle field
Oh Thou, our Heavenly friend,
Have mercy on our sinful souls.
The soldiers say, "Amen."
They gather 'round a little group
Each brave man knelt and cried
They listened to the drummer boy
Who played before he died... "Oh Mother," said the dying boy,
"Look down from Heaven on me
Receive me to they fond embrace
Oh, take me home to thee.
I've loved my country as I've loved my God
To serve them both I've tried"
he smiled shook his hands- death seized the boy
Who prayed before he died... THE END Jessie Booth