| American History Stories, Volume IV|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Stories of the great conflict from the time Lincoln became president and the southern states seceded, through the battles of Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, until the close of the war. Includes poems, songs, and illustrations commemorating the events. Ages 8-12 |
EDDY, THE DRUMMER BOY
One of the saddest stories of the war is the story of Little
Eddy, the Drummer Boy.
His father, a Union man of East Tennessee, had been
killed, and his mother had gone to St. Louis with Eddy,
 then about twelve years old, in hope of finding a sister who
lived there. Failing in this, and getting out of money, she
applied to the captain of one of the companies in the Iowa
First to get Eddy a position as drummer boy. The
regiment had only six weeks longer to serve, and she hoped
that during that time she might get work for herself and
find her sister. The captain was about to say that he could
not take so small a boy, when Eddy spoke out, "Don't be
afraid, captain, I can drum."
Upon this, the captain replied, with a smile, "Well,
well, sergeant, bring the drum, and order the fifer to come
The fifer, a lank, round-shouldered fellow, more than six
feet high, came forward, and bending down with his hands
on his knees, asked, "My little man, can you drum?"
"Yes, sir," said Eddie, "I drummed for Captain Hill in
The fifer straightened himself up and played one of the
most difficult tunes to follow with the drum; but Eddy kept
pace with him through all the hardest parts and showed that
he was a master of the drum.
"Madam, I will take your boy," said the captain. "What
is his name?"
"Edward Lee," she replied, wiping a tear from her eye.
"Oh! captain, if he is not killed, you will bring him back
with you, won't you?"
 "Yes, we'll be sure to bring him back. We shall be
discharged in six weeks."
Eddy became a great favorite with the soldiers; and the
tall, lank fifer used often to carry him "pick-a-back" over
the hard roads and muddy places.
After the battle of Wilson's Creek, little Eddy could not
be found. By and by the corporal, who had been searching
for him, heard the sound of his drum not far away.
The company was to march away in a very few minutes,
but not liking to leave the little fellow, the corporal went
to find him.
He found him sitting up against a tree, looking deadly
"O corporal, I am so glad you came! Do give me a
drink of water! You don't think I'll die, do you? That
man lying there said the doctor would cure my feet."
Poor little Eddy! both feet had been shot off by a cannon
ball. Looking around, the corporal found a Confederate
soldier lying dead not far from Eddy. He, poor soldier,
although he was himself dying, had crept up to Eddy and
tried to bandage the little boy's feet.
While Eddy was telling the story, a Confederate officer
came up and took the corporal and his little friend prisoners.
Very tenderly the officer lifted Eddy upon the horse
before him, and started for the camp; but before they
reached it, the little drummer boy was dead.
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