Civil War Drummer Boy

 

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Thomas Nast's Original "Civil War Drummer Boy" Illustration

You are viewing an incredible Civil War illustration by Thomas Nast.  It is entitled "The Drummer Boy of Our Regiment - Eight War Scenes".  It is an original leaf from an 1863 Harper's Weekly newspaper, and demonstrates Thomas Nast's work as a War Illustrator.  The work presents a variety of Civil War scenes, associated with the life of a Civil War drummer boy.

During the Civil War, boys as young as 7 or 8 were recruited into the army to serve as Drummer Boys.  These young men traveled with the army, and even marched into battle with them. This incredible leaf shows images of the life of a Civil war Drummer Boy.

Thomas Nast "The Drummer Boy of Our Regiment"  (Click on Image for Enlarged View)

The upper left inset image shows the boy washing his face in the morning in a wooden bucket.  The upper center image is captioned, "The Favorite in Camp", and it presents a touching image of the young boy sitting in a soldiers lap, listening to stories of the war.  Another soldier is pictured nearby reading a copy of Harper's Weekly.  The upper right image is captioned, "Our Daily Bread", and shows the drummer boy enjoying a nice meal of warm bread and coffee.  The center left image is a touching picture of the small boy leaving for war.  He is crying, and his entire family is weeping and obviously upset at his departure.  A soldier is seen standing with his hand out, to take the boy away.  The boy has his drum on his back.

The lower left inset image pictures the young boy writing a letter home, using his drum as a desk.  The lower center image shows the boy marching into battle, providing the cadence on his drum for the soldiers march to.  A look of bravery and determination can be seen on the small boys face.  The lower right image shows the boy with a happy smile, reading a letter from home. 

The most interesting image shows the boy returning home from the war.  The interesting thing is that he left a little boy, and is returning a young man.  His family can be seen staring at him as if they do not even recognize him.  The grandmother is adjusting her glasses as if she can not believe that the little boy has grown into a young man.

This is a classic Thomas Nast illustration, and captures the life of a Civil War Drummer boy.

 

We hope you enjoy this complete Gallery of the Civil War works of Thomas Nast.  We have created this digital archive for the use of researchers and students of Thomas Nast.  Please remember that the digitally enhanced images are Copyright Son of the South Material, so do not use them without asking permission.  For more information, contact paul@sonofthesouth.net .

A Note to our Readers

We created this Thomas Nast Gallery to digitally preserve Nast's Civil War work for posterity.  We are now making the original, 140 year old leafs available for a price of $250 each.  The proceeds from the sale of the material will enable us to continue to expand the material featured on our site.  Please contact paul@sonofthesouth.net if you are interested in acquiring one of these original leafs.

 

 

 

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