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Herald of Freedom and Torch Light, Sept 1862 (4-1A Poetry)

Herald of Freedom and Torch Light, Hagerstown, Md., September 1862, page 4 Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


The Drummer Boy of Tennessee.

When called the fife and drum at morn,
The soldier from his rest
And those to higher honors born,
With softer couches blest,
There came, a Captain brave to seek
Deep in her mourning clad,
By loss made sad and journeying weak,
A mother and a lad –
And they had come from Tennessee
Waiting the beat of reveille.

But, penniless and widowed,
Her story soon she told;
The hand of traitor had not spared
Her husband’s life, nor gold;
And now she brought her only son,
To fill the drummer’s place;
Thus young his daily bread to earn,
His country’s foes to face;
For he had learned, in Tennessee,
To beat the call of reveille.

The boy upturned his eager gaze,
And, with a beating heart,
He read upon the Captain’s face
Both kindliness and doubt;
For he marked his tender year.
His little fragile form –
“Don’t be afraid,” he boldly cried:
“For, Captain, I can drum!”
And I have come from Tennessee.
To sound for you the reveille.”

"Well, call the fifer—bring the drum,
To test this noble youth, “
And well his part he did perform,
A "Drummer Boy," in truth!
"Yes, madam, I will take your boy,"
The Captain kindly said,
"Oh! bring him back," her quick reply,
"Unnumbered with the dead!
And Eddie Lee of Tennessee
Shall play for you the reveille.
'Twas many a weary march was made,
To sound of drum and fife
And well the 'Drummer Boy” essayed
To play the “march of life;”
Each soldier loved, and sought to share
Their part of good with him;
The fifer on his back did bear,
Across each swollen stream,
The Drummer Boy of Tennessee,
Who beat with him the reveille.

But came the battle shock, and doom
Of one great “Lyon” heart;
The victor’s shout, the victim's groan.
Fulfilled their fearful part!
And on that blood-stained field of woe
The darkness threw its pall!
The morning dawned on firing foe;
When, list! “The morning call!"
Our drummer Boy from Tennessee,
Beating for help the reveille

Upon the valley sod he lay,
Besides a lifeless foe
Whose dying hand had sought to stay
The life-blood’s ebbing flow;
The quivering drum yet echoing
The beating of his heart –
The encamping angel beckoning
From drum and fife to part!
And Eddie Lee, of Tennessee,
Awaits the final reveille!


Herald of Freedom and Torch Light

Maryland Historical Society

Sept 10-24, 1862

Collection Location:
Maryland Historical Society

Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862; Maryland Campaign, 1862; Hagerstown (Md.)--Newspapers.

Washington County, MD. September 1862

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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