Little Drummer Boys

My great-grandfather, Archie, enlisted in the 12th Regiment of the US Infantry at Forth Hamilton, facing New York’s harbor from Brooklyn,  on January 27, 1862. He soon met three young Union soldiers arrayed in their military regalia.

Fort Hamilton Trio

Drummers and buglers were vitally important to train new recruits in drills they would need to use in action one day. Drum tattoos and bugle calls initiated everything from charges to retreats, rallying troops in the din of warfare. Though still young boys, these three were already veterans of battle at Bull Run.

3 responses to “Little Drummer Boys

  1. They each have that 1,000 yard stare.

  2. What strikes me is that these are “babies” going into the field of battle! I know it was common and yet so hard to imagine how a boy could endure the brutality of war.

    • Yes, Judy, their youth is striking, and sorrowful. The Civil War has been called “the boys war.” Children fought and died in the bloodiest battles of our nation’s history. All the greater, then, must be our continuing resolve that they did not die in vain. That’s why I cherish the credo carried by the boy who lived to become my great-grandfather: “Union must and shall be preserved.”

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