Sunday, October 20, 2013

Possible Gideon G. Owens drum (94th OVI) by Wm. S. Tompkins

Possible Gideon G. Owens drum (94th OVI) by Wm. S. Tompkins

Information from eBay Auction:

17 1/2" diameter by 15" height, eBay item no. 290999686135.  Offered for sale by "GreeneSgt" for a starting bid of $9,999.00 and a BIN price of $13,250.00.

This drum has a beautiful patriotic scene with US flags, a man writing at a desk and scrolls.

Star enlays of different woods. Maker: W.S. TOMPKINS, YONKERS NY

Drum head has Co.C 94th Regt. OVI on the drum head along with some of these battles:

Yates' Ford, Kentucky River, August 30-September 3. Yates' Ford August 31. Tate's Ferry, Kentucky River, September 1. Retreat to Louisville, Ky., September 2–3. Pursuit of Bragg into Kentucky October 1–15, 1862.

Battle of Perryville, Ky., October 8. March to Nashville, Tenn., October 16-November 7, and duty there until December 26.

Advance on Murfreesboro December 26–30.

Battle of Stones River December 30–31, 1862 and January 1–3, 1863. Duty at Murfreesboro until June. Tullahoma Campaign June 23-July 7. Hoover's Gap June 24–26. Occupation of middle Tennessee until August 16. Passage of the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River, and Chickamauga Campaign August 16-September 22. Davis Cross Roads or Dug Gap September 11. 

Battle of Chickamauga September 19–21. Rossville Gap September 21. Siege of Chattanooga, Tenn., September 24-November 23.

Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign November 23–27. Lookout Mountain November 24–25. Missionary Ridge November 25. Pea Vine Valley and Graysville November 26. Ringgold Gap, Taylor's Ridge, November 27.

Demonstrations on Dalton, Ga., February 22–27, 1864. Tunnel Hill, Buzzard's Roost Gap and Rocky Faced Ridge February 23–25. Atlanta Campaign May 1-September 8.

Demonstrations on Rocky Faced Ridge May 8–11. Buzzard's Roost Gap May 8–9. Battle of Resaca May 14–15. Advance on Dallas May 18–25. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Pickett's Mills May 27. 

Operations about Marietta and against Kennesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Pine Hill June 11–14. Lost Mountain June 15–17. Assault on Kennesaw June 27. Ruff's Station, Smyrna Camp Ground, July 4. 

Chattahoochie River May 5–17.

Buckhead, Nancy's Creek, July 18. Peachtree Creek July 19–20. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Utoy Creek August 5–7. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25–30. Near Red Oak August 29. Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1.

Operations against Hood in northern Georgia and northern Alabama September 29-November 3. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Siege of Savannah December 10–21. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April 1865. Near Rocky Mount, S.C., February 28.

Taylor's Hole Creek, Averysboro, N.C., March 16. Battle of Bentonville March 19–21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24.

Advance on Raleigh April 10–14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D.C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 20.

Grand Review May 24.


(Thank you GunBroker for

And these photos answer some questions.  First, the plaque simply identifies the maker (but at least it does that) as Wm. S. Tompkins.  Also, the inlaid details are characteristic of a Tompkins drum.  I'm not sure about the pulls or the metal snare mechanism.  Just insufficient information for me to form an opinion.


  1. As editor of this blog I wrote to the seller for clearer photos, especially of the plaque. Tompkins drums were decorative and often used as gifts. Without a clearer photo of the plaque there is much to guess about. It's possible, for example, that the drum was given to the 94th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in recognition of its service during the Civil War. The list of engagements handwritten on the drum head is virtually identical to the list on Wikipedia at In my opinion, it's unlikely that this drum was actually used, as painted, in the Civil War. There's too much invested in the painting and inlaid details for the drum to have been used during service.


Please add to our knowledge by leaving a comment here.

P.R. Winn, Drummaker

An article by W. Lee Vinson, author and publisher of and . For Lee's story about ...