This week author Joel Moore and I will be joined by fillm maker Dorian Walker. Dorian wrote and directed the movie American Drummer Boy, a very spended look at the role played by children in the Civil War.
During the Civil War, boys considered too young to fight were allowed to enlist as Musicians or Telegraph Operators. The principle Musician position needed to be filled was Drummer. The Drum was used by both the North and South to communicate commands in camp as well as on the battlefield. Although initially considered a non-combatant role, it was the Drummer that was on the battlefield signaling orders to engaged troops through the various drum calls. It has been estimated that 40,000 young boys served the North while 20,000 the South. When not drumming, these boys served their various camps by carrying water, cooking, gathering wood, rubbing down horses and after a battle, they assisted in carrying wounded soldiers off the battle field.