Civil War Soldiers Find Destroyed Musical Instruments

Drummer boy finds snare drum as Civil War soldiers discover cache of destroyed musical instruments.

| Good Old Days

My father, at the age of 17, enlisted in Company A, 108th Illinois Volunteers, and had to say he was 18 in order to enlist. He was the drummer boy the first year, then carried a musket. He was in several battles, and was with the troop that captured Selma, Alabama.

He said when the Rebel band knew they would be captured, they destroyed all their musical instruments. Father was interested in the shell of a snare drum. A youth said to him, "Boss, I know where you can get heads for that," so Father bought the heads, repaired the drum and after coming home he, two of his brothers and a friend or two formed a band that was in demand for all celebrations, picnics and political rallies.

I still have the drum shell and the ebony drum sticks; on the shell is printed "Selma, Alabama."

Father spent six months and eight days in Anderson Prison. He saw the man who was hanged in prison and drank from the spring that broke out on a side hill. He said all the men were so happy to get good water because what they had was so filthy.

Some friends were asking Father about his prison experience. My little girls were just shocked and came to me and asked, "Mamma, what did Grandpa ever do that they put him in prison?"

He used to sing some of his Army songs to us children. I remember part of one.

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