lelliott19

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#1
Drum.JPG
* William Rawlings
On Oct 3, 1861, 17 year old Thomas Harris Sparks, and several of his brothers, enlisted into the local unit organized in Sandersville, Washington County, GA. The unit was known as the "Jackson Guards" and became Co B 1st Georgia State Troops. They served 6 months in Georgia, guarding Federal Prisoners at Macon. Thomas mustered out April 3, 1862. On May 8, 1862, the unit was reorganized as Co B of the 59th Georgia Infantry and sent to Virginia. In July 1862, Thomas was appointed regimental "Drummer" of the 59th Georgia. *
Portrait.JPG
** Find-A-Grave
As activity intensified in the Spring of 1863, the 59th was assigned to Brig Gen G T "Tige" Anderson's brigade of Hood's Division. His brother, William, died of disease at Rapidan, Va in the Spring of 1863 and, another brother, Stephen was killed at Gettysburg. Thomas was wounded by GSW and captured while serving as a nurse in the hospitals after the Battle of Gettysburg. He was released Nov. 12, 1863 at West's Building US Hospital |*** and paroled until exchanged Nov 17, 1863.

Thomas returned to his regiment and was present at the Battle of Cold Harbor. During that battle, he became separated from his drum, but survived that battle and all the rest to surrender at Appomattox.**** After the Battle of Cold Harbor, the drum was picked up by a Union soldier as a souvenir of the battle and carried home.

And so the drummer remained separated from the drum for 52 years, until 1916, when the Georgia Adjutant General received a letter from William F. Scott of New York seeking to return the drum to the drummer whose name was inscribed upon it "T. H. Sparks" if he was still alive or to a member of his family. Inquiries were posted in all the Georgia newspapers. Thomas H Sparks responded immediately and negotiated the purchase of the drum for $15 plus the cost of shipping. In January 1916, the drum arrived in Sandersville Georgia, remarkably well-preserved save a bullet hole suffered at Cold Harbor. Today, although barely escaping a fire, the drum is on display at the Washington County GA Historical Society in Sandersville, GA.
Receipt of the Drum.JPG
*Rawlings

The original inscription on the drum under the name "T H Sparks" looks like it says "4th Ga Vols CSA" so it is possible that the drum previously belonged to that regiment of Dole's brigade?
.
Inscription.JPG
* Rawlings

Sources:
* William Rawlings as published in Georgia Backroads
https://www.williamrawlings.com/images/The_Drum_Returns_Home--as_published.pdf

** Find-A-Grave https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/28028317/thomas-harris-sparks

*** Carded Records at Fold3.com

**** Busey and Busey Confederate Casualties at Gettysburg, p. 380. https://books.google.com/books?id=MbzDDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA380&lpg=PA380&dq=Thomas+Sparks+drummer+4th+Georgia+Vols&source=bl&ots=5bKqOfnkwF&sig=o0leT2vN-NT2zqHQ0a1Afm6xzU4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjhgPHW-4_YAhXHdSYKHaokB2oQ6AEIUjAH#v=onepage&q=Thomas Sparks drummer 4th Georgia Vols&f=false
 
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lelliott19

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#9
Great find. Great gesture by Mr. Scott. Has anyone in this thread ever been to that Museum?
I've never been, but I will be going to Thomson GA to do my 16th GA program for a SCV Camp in late January. Sandersville is only about 50 miles from where Ill be. Maybe I'll be able to catch it on my way there or back home. If so, Ill post pictures.
4th GA Drummer.JPG

Athens Banner, Sep. 18, 1915, page 8.
 

lelliott19

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#12
I can possibly understand having the original owner of the drum pay postage, but negotiate and charge him a fee for the drum?
According to the article, Mr Scott originally hoped to return it to "the owner of the drum or some of his relations" for a nominal fee of $25. Perhaps Mr. Sparks was able to negotiate a reduced fee? Or perhaps the $15 plus shipping added up to about $25 total?

A GEORGIA DRUM
Made from the wood of a sturdy oak, that grew in Georgia soil,
Shaped by the hand of a Georgia man, who gloried in his toil.
Headed with skins of Georgia lambs that grazed in Georgia fields,
With the tensions drawn by cotton yarn, that was spun on a Georgia reel.

At war's alarm it went to the front, borne by a Georgia boy,
Clad in his jaunty jacket gray, his mother's pride and joy.
At early morn for reveille, at roll calls and tatoo,
At taps when darkness shrouded camp and guarded hearts so true,

It sounded forth to warn the men of duty all severe
When soldiers slept - while mothers shed the the silent heartfelt tear.
In battles fiercest charge it beat, the rally clear and loud,
And many found Virginia's clay a gallant soldier's shroud.

Now the war is o'er and hearts no more, find glory in the fight,
When plows and pruning hooks are made from swords that flashed so bright.
A generous foe who wore the blue, seeks out its owner true,
And sends it back, his heart to cheer and friendships to renew.

And now it rests once more at home and sounds not as of yore,
Father of Battles, well we trust, twill rest forevermore.

L C Matthews
Atlanta, Georgia , May 12, 1916

4th Ga Drum.JPG

Weekly Banner, Jun. 7, 1918, page 5.
 
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Jimklag

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#15
View attachment 170545 * William Rawlings
On Oct 3, 1861, 17 year old Thomas Harris Sparks, and several of his brothers, enlisted into the local unit organized in Sandersville, Washington County, GA. The unit was known as the "Jackson Guards" and became Co B 1st Georgia State Troops. They served 6 months in Georgia, guarding Federal Prisoners at Macon. Thomas mustered out April 3, 1862. On May 8, 1862, the unit was reorganized as Co B of the 59th Georgia Infantry and sent to Virginia. In July 1862, Thomas was appointed regimental "Drummer" of the 59th Georgia. *
View attachment 170544 ** Find-A-Grave
As activity intensified in the Spring of 1863, the 59th was assigned to Brig Gen G T "Tige" Anderson's brigade of Hood's Division. His brother, William, died of disease at Rapidan, Va in the Spring of 1863 and, another brother, Stephen was killed at Gettysburg. Thomas was wounded by GSW and captured while serving as a nurse in the hospitals after the Battle of Gettysburg. He was released Nov. 12, 1863 at West's Building US Hospital |*** and paroled until exchanged Nov 17, 1863.

Thomas returned to his regiment and was present at the Battle of Cold Harbor. During that battle, he became separated from his drum, but survived that battle and all the rest to surrender at Appomattox.**** After the Battle of Cold Harbor, the drum was picked up by a Union soldier as a souvenir of the battle and carried home.

And so the drummer remained separated from the drum for 52 years, until 1916, when the Georgia Adjutant General received a letter from William F. Scott of New York seeking to return the drum to the drummer whose name was inscribed upon it "T. H. Sparks" if he was still alive or to a member of his family. Inquiries were posted in all the Georgia newspapers. Thomas H Sparks responded immediately and negotiated the purchase of the drum for $15 plus the cost of shipping. In January 1916, the drum arrived in Sandersville Georgia, remarkably well-preserved save a bullet hole suffered at Cold Harbor. Today, although barely escaping a fire, the drum is on display at the Washington County GA Historical Society in Sandersville, GA.
View attachment 170546 *Rawlings

The original inscription on the drum under the name "T H Sparks" looks like it says "4th Ga Vols CSA" so it is possible that the drum previously belonged to that regiment of Dole's brigade?
. View attachment 170547 * Rawlings

Sources:
* William Rawlings as published in Georgia Backroads
https://www.williamrawlings.com/images/The_Drum_Returns_Home--as_published.pdf

** Find-A-Grave https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/28028317/thomas-harris-sparks

*** Carded Records at Fold3.com

**** Busey and Busey Confederate Casualties at Gettysburg, p. 380. https://books.google.com/books?id=MbzDDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA380&lpg=PA380&dq=Thomas+Sparks+drummer+4th+Georgia+Vols&source=bl&ots=5bKqOfnkwF&sig=o0leT2vN-NT2zqHQ0a1Afm6xzU4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjhgPHW-4_YAhXHdSYKHaokB2oQ6AEIUjAH#v=onepage&q=Thomas Sparks drummer 4th Georgia Vols&f=false
Great story, Laura.
 

jackt62

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#17
That is a very heartwarming story. Very similar to other acts in which artifacts such as swords and flags were returned to their original or rightful owners decades after the war.
 

lelliott19

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#18
Very similar to other acts in which artifacts such as swords and flags were returned to their original or rightful owners decades after the war.
Indeed. I've posted a number of those kinds of stories here over the years. If you are interested in reading more, you can search for "Act of Kindness" and find a bunch of them. Not all related to returned artifacts, but some.
 



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