Saturday, July 12, 2008

Civil War Drum Returns to Carroll County, Virginia

Photo from Carroll County Historical Society Website

Reprinted from

From: Freddie Spradlin
Subject: Civil War Drum Returns to Carroll County
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 20:05:57 -0500 (EST)

Thanks to:
Mary A Sutphin
for forwarding this to me [Freddie Spradlin].

I think the folks who originate in Carroll will be interested in this. Especially those who had relatives in 29th VA. Infantry. This is from "The Carroll News," Wed. Dec. 30th. Very condensed. "Civil War Drum returns to the county where it was made." "A part of Carroll County's Civil War history was recently returned to the county through the efforts of of the Carroll County Citizens Committee for Historic Preservation. Gary Marshall explained, court clerk Wheatly spotted in an estate auction a listing for a Civil War era snare drum made in Carroll County.

The auction was held in Charlottesville. Marshall describes the drums history as uniquely tied to Carroll County.

"Joshua Mabry, a wheelwright, whose business was was just east of Hillsville, made the drum. When the Civil War started and units were recruited, the drum was taken with Company D, 29th VA. Infantry, where Alfred Gardner, another Carroll native served as company drummer throughout the war. Gardner, 1837-1925 described how he would wake the company with his drum. Another family story recalls a goose being grabbed by Gardner and stuffed inside one of the drums he used on the march near Lynchburg.

When the war ended in 1865, Gardner walked home carrying the drum, just as he had done four years through the war. The late John Perry Alderman wrote the definitive history of the 29th VA. Inf., which reflects the journey of the snare drum, as it reflects the battle action of the 29th." Marshall states, "It (the drum) represents an aspect of the heritage of our county. It makes concrete the hallowed memory of a definitive period in the formation of our American nation. For this drum, even in defeat, once voiced the sounds of war, a war that shaped a divided people into the United States of America."

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