Civil War

Letters from the Home Front (Part I)

Children grew up fast during the American Civil War as they were forced to endure hardships and take on adult responsibilities. Under pressure from the war, some children joined the army to become drummer boys. Some decided to become powder monkeys in the navy. And some decided to stay home and take care of their …

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Civil War

Letters from the Front Line (Part II)

Children grew up fast during the American Civil War as they were forced to endure hardships and take on adult responsibilities. Under pressure from the war, some children joined the army to become drummer boys. Some decided to become powder monkeys in the navy. And some decided to stay home and take care of their …

Continue Reading

Civil War

Letters from the Front Line (Part I)

Children grew up fast during the American Civil War as they were forced to endure hardships and take on adult responsibilities. Under pressure from the war, some children joined the army to become drummer boys. Some decided to become powder monkeys in the navy. And some decided to stay home and take care of their …

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Civil War

Jimmie Johnston: Child Soldier of the Civil War

  * James “Jimmie” Vincent Johnston was born September 23, 1857, and “was the youngest person who rendered effective service in battle” during the Civil War at age 6 ½. * His father, Captain John V. Johnston, was executive officer on Admiral Andrew Hull Foote’s flagship during the attack on Fort Donelson. * On February …

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Civil War

The Importance of Drummer Boys during the Civil War

It is often difficult to hear commands with all the noise and confusion in a battle. So in order for commands to reach the soldiers, signals that can cut through the roar of fighting became necessary. That’s how drums became such an important part of warfare with its role in the battlefield communications system. Orders …

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Civil War

The Boys of the American Civil War

After the start of the war at Fort Sumter, people were lining up to enlist and join the army. The soldiers had multiple motivations for volunteering. Some did it to defend their land. Some did it for glory. And some joined because they want adventure. While the recruiting age was 18 and above, many boys …

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Civil War

Alexander H. Johnson: “The Original Drummer Boy”

Many believed that Alexander H. Johnson was the first black musician to enlist in the army during the Civil War, however, he was not really the first. Technically, at least three others have enlisted before he did. A sailor with a passion for percussion, Johnson grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts. For unknown reasons he …

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Civil War

Civil War: The Impact of Family Situations on Enlistment

While many enlisted because they want to experience some adventure, a large number of boys hint at, or outright admit to having, difficulties of some kind at home. Whether economic or relational, these home problems made the army an attractive option for them, and a reasonable one in the eyes of their parents. 14-year-old Charles …

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