REGULATION CIVIL WAR ISSUE EAGLE DRUM BY CONTRACTOR ALEXANDER ROGERS

$6,250.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 846-380

A very good looking regulation Civil War painted eagle drum, full height, measuring about 15 ½ inches tall and 16 ¾ inches in diameter, including the rims, with bright colors, little paint loss and no in-painting. The interior retains the original maker’s label, fully intact, legible, and visible through the vent hole, reading in black ink on a greenish-blue ground, “MANUFACTURED / BY / A. ROGERS, / FLUSHING, L.I.” Rogers is known to have supplied at least 3,400 drums on ten contracts with the U.S. government starting in August 1862. This is a great example not only of his work, but of the regulation U.S infantry drum carried throughout the war by the “field music,” the company musicians, even after the regimental bands had been abolished in Fall 1862.

This is constructed in the standard fashion, with a wood body fastened at the overlapping seam by brass tacks arranged in two vertical rows with a decorative pattern in between, centered around the vent hole, with a circle of tacks and a diamond or arrowhead arrangement above and below. The wood is excellent, with no chips, cracks, or abrasions and nice color. The painting follows the regulations in portraying the arms of the United States: an eagle with spread wings clutching arrows and an olive branch in its talons, with overhead a yellow and orange-red sunburst “glory” of the sun’s rays coming up from behind an arched bank of clouds, which frame white six-pointed stars above the eagle’s shoulders and wings. The eagle has a yellow bordered, red, white and blue United States shield on its chest and a long white-edged red banner scroll with forked ends floats behind the eagle’s end and extends to either side, reading “REGt. // U.S. // INFANTRY” with the numerical designation left blank.

The eagle is painted in white/cream, brown, and yellow, with the olive branch in greens and red, and the arrows in white/cream. The ground is blue, correct for an infantry drum, showing somewhat greenish, as almost always the case, from the aging of the varnish. The paint is excellent. What losses there are, are narrow striations and along the wood grain, again typical for Civil War painted drums. The rims are very good, show lots of their original red paint with some scattered stains and just light wear. The only damage to them is the letters “WHIGA” carved upside down on the upper rim. We have not figured that out and suppose it could also be “WH / GA” or even “WH 1 GA,” if you were to suppose the drum was captured at some point, but there is nothing certain. The rope is correct, but certainly a replacement, as are likely the inverted-heart tighteners or lugs. The flesh hoops and heads are complete and in place. The bottom head is likely a replacement and there is no snare. The top shows age, though heads were replaced as necessary during the war, as some quartermaster requisitions make clear.

Even after bands were relegated to brigade and higher commands the company musicians were retained as a regimental drum corps and filled essential roles, not only adding color, pomp, and ceremony to parades and reviews, and raising morale, but regulating life in camp and on campaign with duty calls, assisting the regimental surgeons when the regiment went into action, etc. Needless to say, the young age of some drummers and their devotion to duty also struck a sentimental chord with the public, producing a number of poems and songs celebrating their heroism.

This is a great looking drum that could be the centerpiece of a display with strong eye-appeal. [sr][ph:m]

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