31385 Federal Irish Brigade Drummer, No.1

W. Britains

Musicians were, for the most part, noncombatants and did not carry weapons, but at times were driven by duty into front-line action. The sound of the drums moved troops into place; when lines were established drummers generally moved to the rear. However, shot and shell travel great distances making any position on a battlefield extremely dangerous. Charley King, a 13-year-old drummer, died of wounds suffered at the Battle of Antietam. He was in the rear when an errant Confederate shell exploded overhead, showering down shrapnel, striking King in the chest. He died in a field hospital three days later and was the youngest casualty at Antietam.

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