Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Civil War Drummer Boy, Flag, Drum, Uniform

eBay seller bofonz( 357) writes as follows about this spectacular CDV (eBay item no. 250336430107):

This is probably the best cdv image I own. It is a federal Drummer Boy with all you could ask for in an image. Full length with full musician's uniform. He is hoding his drum sticks in his left hand and leans on his drum with his right hand. On the table is drum and flag. Please see the photo attached for the image enlarged for quality and content. It was taken by the photographer C. Gullmann, Artist Po' Keepsie, NY on the front of the cdv in his period format. This image is the best of the best!

And it truly is spectacular. What a wonderful close-up on what looks to be a heavily engraved presentation drum. The leather tags sport what are probably brass union shields (I have a ca. 1850 drum with what might be similar tags, photo below).

(from "Drum by John Lowell of Bangor, Maine", this blog, March 5, 2008)

Not to extrapolate to the rediculous, nevertheless I would estimate the drum to be of a relatively small size, say 15" in diameter, roughly the same in height. A portion of the snare assembly can be seen at the bottom rim but it's difficult to say whether that's the mechanism or the butt plate.

Note Vague Similarity to Known Presentation Drum:

A drum (see photos below) in the collection of the National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center is described as follows, bears elaborate engraving somewhat similar to that on the drum in the above CDV:

Civil War drummer Jacob Booz (1840–1909) was presented this drum in 1863 by officers of his regiment, Company C, 1st New Jersey Volunteers, for recognition of service. The drum is inscribed with 14 of the engagements that Booz participated in. He enlisted in the Civil War on March 22, 1861 and served until he was honorably discharged on June 23, 1864. Jacob Booz re-enlisted on September 2, 1864, and participated in three more engagements. He was honorably discharged on June 30, 1865.

After Jacob Booz's death, his family presented the drum to the State of New Jersey Museum. Woodrow Wilson was governor at that time, and when he became president, the drum was transferred to the Smithsonian in 1917. The drum was originally intended for presentation only, but a vent hole (in the center of the inscription) was added later by Booz, enabling him to actually play the drum, which he used until his death in 1909.


At December 25, 2010 at 4:35 PM , Anonymous crystal schaefer said...

Thats my Great Great Grandpa and I am so proud of him!

At October 18, 2011 at 6:37 AM , Blogger Nicholas Ciotola said...

Crystal: I work at the New Jersey State Museum and am doing research on this drum. Please contact me at I would love to talk to you about your great grandpa. Best wishes, Nick Ciotola

At December 3, 2012 at 1:35 AM , Anonymous Crystal Schaefer said...

I tried contacting you. My Yahoo is


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