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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: Reference question for Civil War

Hello Richard and thank you for the posting on the drummers in the Civil War. Your posting inspired me to look further into their history.

The drummers were not all young boys. For instance my g-great grandfather was a drummer in Corps D'Afrique at the bloody battle of Port Hudson. The casualty rate for drummers was extremely high. As a consequence, the presence of Blacks (slaves and impressed free men of color) in confederate ranks as the article mentioned, were expendable. Another article that I found states that the dead were thrown into mass graves. A very sad tragic story.

On a more positive note, the armies on both sides had brass bands attached to regiments. After the war, the black bands, like my ancestor's, played in competitions throughout the South and the Caribbean and at carnivals and picnics. The black military bands and their "quick step" rhythms became the precursor to jazz music.

Thanks again for your posting.

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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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