A Mother's Son, Eddie's Drum At Wilson's Creek

JPK Huson 1863

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#1
drum nash2.JPG

The Drummer Boy was a favorite topic of artist and Civil War reporter Thomas Nash. This is a portion of only one of several pictorial ' bios ' done for Harper's between 1861 and 1865.

These stories may seem overdone, melodramatic and so lost in Time lack the ability for us to make the connection between ' then' and ' now '. That is a mistake. A widow brought her son to an army camp. The little, displaced family needed money, could he be a drummer? He could.

drum2.JPG


An officer wrote of the inevitable, tragic results.

drum loc.JPG

LoC. Such was the patriotic fervor pervading this country, images like these actually were sold- ornaments for one's wall. A boy. Inside war.

Men and women saw awful things. They wrote of them. One thing the Victorians did- and really well- was yank our heart strings. Sometimes they should have and we must say Thank You. Alongside so many of these accounts in Harpers Weekly and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper are made-up stories. You know, dramas in everyday life, Eloise and Franklin and their hopeless love. Who in blazes read them?

drum3.JPG

The story, from the next month's issue of Harper's, sure seems typical- fiction? No.

drum 3 and 9 battls.JPG

My 3 sons looked this tall, and awkward, in soccer shorts, cleats and torn t-shorts, posed unwillingly before rocketing off to some muddy field. These three? Nine battles- in war- total, mud and blood. Kinda hate this photograph. You want them to come home.

drum5.JPG


drum camp1.JPG
drum camp2.JPG

8th Regiment, PA , Drumming Taps

drum9.JPG

Lyon was dead. The battle of Wilson's Creek, 1861, was over- sections of the article have been cut for brevity. A beaten drum drew this officer to where a widow's son lay,

drum11.JPG

drum loc2.JPG

LoC


drum12.JPG


" Took off his buckskin suspenders, and corded the little fellow's legs below the knee.. " That was ' the enemy ". I don't think so.

drum13.JPG


Sorry to include Eddie's death. It was important. Women lost their children- after yes, putting them in harm's way, too. It's incomprehensible to any of us, a parent would deliberately expose their son to any harm, much less an entire war. I do not have statistics on how many drummers were killed between 1861 and 1865, if those numbers exists. A mother somewhere lost each one.

drummer crop zo.jpg

 

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WJC

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#4
View attachment 158792
The Drummer Boy was a favorite topic of artist and Civil War reporter Thomas Nash. This is a portion of only one of several pictorial ' bios ' done for Harper's between 1861 and 1865.

These stories may seem overdone, melodramatic and so lost in Time lack the ability for us to make the connection between ' then' and ' now '. That is a mistake. A widow brought her son to an army camp. The little, displaced family needed money, could he be a drummer? He could.

View attachment 158793

An officer wrote of the inevitable, tragic results.

View attachment 158791
LoC. Such was the patriotic fervor pervading this country, images like these actually were sold- ornaments for one's wall. A boy. Inside war.

Men and women saw awful things. They wrote of them. One thing the Victorians did- and really well- was yank our heart strings. Sometimes they should have and we must say Thank You. Alongside so many of these accounts in Harpers Weekly and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper are made-up stories. You know, dramas in everyday life, Eloise and Franklin and their hopeless love. Who in blazes read them?

View attachment 158794
The story, from the next month's issue of Harper's, sure seems typical- fiction? No.

View attachment 158788
My 3 sons looked this tall, and awkward, in soccer shorts, cleats and torn t-shorts, posed unwillingly before rocketing off to some muddy field. These three? Nine battles- in war- total, mud and blood. Kinda hate this photograph. You want them to come home.

View attachment 158795

View attachment 158789 View attachment 158790
8th Regiment, PA , Drumming Taps

View attachment 158797
Lyon was dead. The battle of Wilson's Creek, 1861, was over- sections of the article have been cut for brevity. A beaten drum drew this officer to where a widow's son lay,

View attachment 158804
View attachment 158813
LoC


View attachment 158798

" Took off his buckskin suspenders, and corded the little fellow's legs below the knee.. " That was ' the enemy ". I don't think so.

View attachment 158799

Sorry to include Eddie's death. It was important. Women lost their children- after yes, putting them in harm's way, too. It's incomprehensible to any of us, a parent would deliberately expose their son to any harm, much less an entire war. I do not have statistics on how many drummers were killed between 1861 and 1865, if those numbers exists. A mother somewhere lost each one.

View attachment 158814
Thanks for posting yet another gripping story!
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#6
Maybe I read this wrong, but why would you "think" a Rebel soldier wouldn't or couldn't have compassion for this young Yankee drummer boy and apply a tourniquet to his legs to stop the bleeding?

I don't know? An adult, probably someone's father, finding himself our there with a horribly wounded child? Guessing first he swore, at children in harm's way, North or South, then tucked him under his wing like any man would. Honestly not being argumentative. It's funny. If it had not been during a war, he'd have been considered barbaric, ha he not helped a dying child.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#7
I'm not sure why you call illustrator and cartoonist Thomas Nast a "reporter" but he was fond of these sentimental little vignettes. Nast is the one who gave us Santa Claus, after all.

View attachment 159066

Well yes, his delightful Santa is iconic. But he was a journalist, not just an artist. Sent to cover events, he reported back on them. Photo journalists are reporters- with cameras. Somewhere is a thread on an article where Waud did both- wrote copy and sent back sketches. Cool stuff.
 

NH Civil War Gal

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#8
I'm glad the Rebel tucked the child under his wing. He didn't see him as the enemy, but as a wounded child that needed help. I'm sure he was cursing the whole situation that brought man or boy into such a h*ll.

Grant brought his son, who was 10 or 12, to Vicksburg (after writing Julia) because he thought it would be good for him. The soldiers made a pet of him, etc., and as I was reading it aloud to my husband, he was amazed and horrified. How did Grant convince Julia, "let's bring the boy to a siege site and war, but I promise he won't get hurt."

Just like @cash says, history is a different country! We need to look at it with different eyes. The poverty and desparation of the women or families just staggers the imagination.
 

Bruce Vail

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#10
Well yes, his delightful Santa is iconic. But he was a journalist, not just an artist. Sent to cover events, he reported back on them. Photo journalists are reporters- with cameras. Somewhere is a thread on an article where Waud did both- wrote copy and sent back sketches. Cool stuff.
Call me old-fashioned, but it is hard for me to swallow the equation of the propagandist/political cartoonist Nast with the modern photojournalist. The definition of journalism needs to be fluid in a free society, but there is such a thing as going too far.

Nast_Union_Pows.jpg


Expired Image Removed
 
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SWMODave

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#11
Regretfully, Bruce is correct. I am not aware of any Trans Mississippi historian that classifies this story as factual.

A blatant error would be the First Iowa did not meet up with General Lyon until after the skirmish at Boonville - which is about 150 miles west of St Louis. Another would be the claim Union troops were close enough to the battlefield over that evening to hear anything.... let alone react to anything happening on the battlefield.

Story as copied in New York Times

Motive? "During the Civil War, Lincoln called Nast his “best recruiting sergeant,” and after the war Grant, then a general, wrote that Nast had done as “much as any one man to preserve the Union and bring the war to an end.”
Source

List of 1st Iowa soldiers including drummers and fifers
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#12
Regretfully, Bruce is correct. I am not aware of any Trans Mississippi historian that classifies this story as factual.

A blatant error would be the First Iowa did not meet up with General Lyon until after the skirmish at Boonville - which is about 150 miles west of St Louis. Another would be the claim Union troops were close enough to the battlefield over that evening to hear anything.... let alone react to anything happening on the battlefield.

Story as copied in New York Times

Motive? "During the Civil War, Lincoln called Nast his “best recruiting sergeant,” and after the war Grant, then a general, wrote that Nast had done as “much as any one man to preserve the Union and bring the war to an end.”
Source

List of 1st Iowa soldiers including drummers and fifers

This is not Nast's story- I used his illustration for a story from Harper's, written by an officer who was there. Was not the same issue or year, for that matter. Nast had nothing to do with the story- Harpers did not do much gooey propaganda. They had no need, sending their reporters to the front and following armies and the action. There was some.

Frank Leslie and Harpers both sent artists- like now, photo journalists are sent, to cover events. Check out an issue- coolest stuff ever. I will in fact go find this piece - which was one of the endless letters and reports men sent to papers, periodicals and magazines. As wrenching as it is, I'm inclined to believe it. Those two magazines published fictional matter for entertainment, too- romances, long, long love stories. They liked flat news, with their news.

How many of us have a terrible time finding relatives who were properly mustered in, in various lists and rolls? I tried to look up a drummer boy who perished in a DC hospital, written of by one of the civilian nurses. No sign of him. Did the nurse invent him? Goodness no. With the dreary lines of dying men passing through their wards, last thing on earth a nurse would require, one, more awful story.
 

James N.

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#13
67427_tamm_tig_lg.gif


Well yes, his delightful Santa is iconic. But he was a journalist, not just an artist. Sent to cover events, he reported back on them. Photo journalists are reporters- with cameras. Somewhere is a thread on an article where Waud did both- wrote copy and sent back sketches. Cool stuff.
Call me old-fashioned, but it is hard for me to swallow the equation of the propagandist/political cartoonist Nast with the modern photojournalist. The definition of journalism needs to be fluid in a free society, but there is such a thing as going too far. Expired Image Removed
Although you both have so far mentioned Nast's considerable contribution to modern American culture with his creation of a uniquely Americanized Santa Claus, it would be well to also remember him as the creator of the Democratic donkey and Republican elephant symbols, as well as the now lesser-known Tammany tiger above. However, his position as a journalist is cemented by his considerable part in exposing the post-war political corruption of New York's Democratic Tammany machine headed by the notorious William Marcy "Boss" Tweed, who famously said that he didn't care about anything that was written about him in the newspapers (many if not most of his constituents were illiterates) but it was the d**n PICTURES like this famous example below that was what eventually got him. That seems like the finest sort of investigative journalism to me!

67420_tamm_vult_md.gif
View attachment 159171
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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#14
Call me old-fashioned, but it is hard for me to swallow the equation of the propagandist/political cartoonist Nast with the modern photojournalist. The definition of journalism needs to be fluid in a free society, but there is such a thing as going too far.

View attachment 159113

Expired Image Removed

He did both. I'm seriously not being argumentative. How were drawings of camp life, which were genuinely representative, propaganda?

What was Waud, if not a photo journalist? Documenting the war as it happened was the same as pointing a camera at it. In fact, just did a thread on Frank Leslie's genius in giving the public what they wanted- ' photos ' from the front.
nast cav.JPG

Nast-
nast cav2.JPG

double page spread of a cavalry attack, no propaganda here, no glamour- just reporting, as it were. Like the other excellent artists following the war.

nast camp.JPG

Nothing romanticized about life in winter camp- just guys in a small, probably highly odor filled, smoky place, being guys.

Documenting war.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#15
Although you both have so far mentioned Nast's considerable contribution to modern American culture with his creation of a uniquely Americanized Santa Claus, it would be well to also remember him as the creator of the Democratic donkey and Republican elephant symbols too. However, his position as a journalist is cemented by his considerable part in exposing the post-war political corruption of New York's Democratic Tammany regime headed by the notorious William Marcy "Boss" Tweed, who famously said that he didn't care about anything that was written about him in the newspapers (many if not most of his constituents were illiterates) but it was the d**n PICTURES like this famous example that was what eventually got him. That seems like the finest sort of investigative journalism to me!

View attachment 159152

Well, I said it was iconic ( and did not know he'd invented the elephant/donkey, thank you! ) His Boss Tweed feud was far too wonderful to be lost inside Eddie the drummer's thread- and OH my goodness, had not occurred to me to associate it with investigative journalism. Of course it was! Crazy cool ' duh ' moment here. Guessing Tweed thought it less cool- but felt awfully investigated!
 

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#16
46FE1647-0F72-448A-B354-414E4D554B80_cx0_cy7_cw0_w1023_r1_s.jpg


Well, I said it was iconic ( and did not know he'd invented the elephant/donkey, thank you! ) His Boss Tweed feud was far too wonderful to be lost inside Eddie the drummer's thread- and OH my goodness, had not occurred to me to associate it with investigative journalism. Of course it was! Crazy cool ' duh ' moment here. Guessing Tweed thought it less cool- but felt awfully investigated!
Here's the original appearance of both symbols together - the Democratic donkey is portrayed as the a*s in a lion's skin, while the elephant plunges off a precipice labeled repudiation (of national debt), inflation, and reform. Although Nast is best remembered as a cartoonist, his ability to reduce complex ideas and situations to lower levels where they could easily be understood by the so-called man in the street was what really made him a journalist, as you've indicated.
 
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Bruce Vail

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#17
This is not Nast's story- I used his illustration for a story from Harper's, written by an officer who was there. Was not the same issue or year, for that matter. Nast had nothing to do with the story- Harpers did not do much gooey propaganda. They had no need, sending their reporters to the front and following armies and the action. There was some.

Frank Leslie and Harpers both sent artists- like now, photo journalists are sent, to cover events. Check out an issue- coolest stuff ever. I will in fact go find this piece - which was one of the endless letters and reports men sent to papers, periodicals and magazines. As wrenching as it is, I'm inclined to believe it. Those two magazines published fictional matter for entertainment, too- romances, long, long love stories. They liked flat news, with their news.

How many of us have a terrible time finding relatives who were properly mustered in, in various lists and rolls? I tried to look up a drummer boy who perished in a DC hospital, written of by one of the civilian nurses. No sign of him. Did the nurse invent him? Goodness no. With the dreary lines of dying men passing through their wards, last thing on earth a nurse would require, one, more awful story.
Nast had nothing to do with the story

You said it, not me.
 

Bruce Vail

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#18
He did both. I'm seriously not being argumentative. How were drawings of camp life, which were genuinely representative, propaganda?

What was Waud, if not a photo journalist? Documenting the war as it happened was the same as pointing a camera at it. In fact, just did a thread on Frank Leslie's genius in giving the public what they wanted- ' photos ' from the front.
View attachment 159153
Nast-
View attachment 159154
double page spread of a cavalry attack, no propaganda here, no glamour- just reporting, as it were. Like the other excellent artists following the war.

View attachment 159156
Nothing romanticized about life in winter camp- just guys in a small, probably highly odor filled, smoky place, being guys.

Documenting war.
I guess I was mistaken that Nast spent the war in his New York studio. Gee, in all the good things I've read about him it never mentions that he went out in the field with the soldiers.

And what cavalry charge was that exactly that Nast 'reported' on?
 

James N.

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#19
... And what cavalry charge was that exactly that Nast 'reported' on?
Although by Winslow Homer rather than Thomas Nast, this 1862 example has always been one of my favorites; not everyone associates the famous pre-impressionist painter with being an artist-correspondent for Harpers' Weekly either. (And in this case, it's a purely imaginary charge that may well have been drawn in the studio.)

cavalry-charge-1250.jpg
 



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