A Confederate Drum Captured at Beaufort, South Carolina
[This article copied from the article archive of the website of Historical Auctions without permission, pursuant to the fair use doctrine. No claim of original generation or added content is made. The material is exactly as it appears on that organization's website. It is reprinted here for the interesting and important facts stated.]
This Confederate wood drum was captured at Beaufort, South Carolina during the winter of 1861-1862 by Private Daniel M. Reed of Company G, the 50th Pennsylvania Infantry. The family provenance states that Reed was a part of a force camped at Beaufort and that Reed found the drum in an abandoned fort. Reed was killed later that year at Chantilly, Virginia and his personal effects along with this drum were sent back to his family in Pennsylvania.This rough-hewn drum is obviously not Union issue.
Confederate drums are exceedingly rare and most were hand made as is this example liberated by Private Reed. The wood is actually a single wide strip that has been wrapped around and tacked with rows of tacks to secure the piece making the shell of the drum. At 15" in height and 17" in diameter, the drumheads are made of calfskin and are intact with no holes. The tension ropes are of a later date but the leather tighteners appear to be original to the drum. There is a notation that can be seen inside the vent hole of the drum that indicates the drum was "restored and repaired Feb, 1983."The most striking aspect of the drum besides its quality craftsmanship and construction is the eagle and seven stars painted on the side of the drum.
Although somewhat crudely done, the eagle is typical of the Confederate representation with seven stars. The seven stars represent the states, including South Carolina, which seceded from the Union within the first three months before the fall of Fort Sumter. While the image of the eagle and stars are faded and show considerable wear, the fading of the eagle and stars appear to be mostly from age as this drum was removed from service after only several months of use.
This drum is accompanied by an archive of copies of Private Reed's letters he wrote home before he was killed at Chantilly. Also, there are copies of notarized statements from the former owners of the drum stating that it came from the Reed family before being sold in 1982. The drum also has two rough-hewn drumsticks. Estimate: $3,000 - $4,000.
5 bidders, 207 page views
$10,157.50 (includes BP) Bid Source: Mail/Fax
Ended: Jun 23, 2007
Lot: 72129 Auction: 663
Heritage Auction Galleries, www.Heritage.HA.com
HAND-PAINTED MILITIA SNARE DRUM
Sold Date: 10/07/2005
Source: Cowan's Auctions Inc.
the front with an image of an eagle clutching six arrows in its talons with seven five-pointed stars. The back side has dark brown paint. The body of the drum banded together by numerous small nails along the seam. With 8 patent leather tensions and corresponding double braided ropes. Both headbands are painted black; the top has 8 laces for increasing tension of the head. Includes a pair of 18` drumsticks. This drum was purportedly collected by Private Daniel M. Reed, a member of Co. G of the 50th Pennsylvania, who was killed in 1862 at the battle of Chantilly, Virginia. According to documentation accompanying the drum, Reed `captured` the drum from an abandoned South Carolina fort during the 50th`s participation as part of an expeditionary force that camped near Beaufort in the fall and early winter of 1861-1862. After Reed`s death, the drum was returned to his family in Pennsylvania. Included are photocopies of a number of letters from Reed`s South Carolina service. Inside of drum`s peephole is an inked notation Restored and repaired Feb, 1983. 15` high x 17.5` diameter.