Saturday, May 31, 2008

Eagle Regimental Drum - 10th Mass Infantry

[Ed. Note: This article was contributed by Mike Sorenson of West Coast Civil War Collectors and appears here with Mike's permission in furtherance of our goal of assembling information concerning important rope drums.]


This is a regulation Civil War field drum identified to the 10th Massachusetts Infantry. Label inside drum identifies its maker as John Pollard / Manufacturer of all kinds of / DRUMS / and other / MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS / 209 Fulton Street, New York N.Y. Pollard is not listed in any of the reference texts now available and further research may be required. (A 19th century bass drum is held in the Heritage Military Music Foundation Antique Musical Instrument Collection, also made by Pollard, with a maker's label attributing the same address.)

The drum’s maple body is uncut and in fine condition with its original paint, somewhat worn but still clearly visible. The drum body stands 16½” tall and 16½” in diameter. The federal eagle motif is clear, the riband bearing the notation “10th Reg Infantry”. The ropes, skins and tugs are all original. One leather tug is missing and a tear exists on the bottom skin. The counter hoops are original with red paint and the diamond tac design is fully intact. At the center of the bottom tac diamond pattern is a regimental brass insignia fastened to the drum body, “10.”

Of particular interest are notations in original period ink on the area where the top skin overlaps the flesh hoop. Commencing above and to the right of the tac design is the following notation with battle honors: 10th Massachusetts Infantry - Fair Oaks - Richmond - White Oak Swamp - Malvern Hill - Antietam - Fredericksburg - Chancellorsville - Salem Heights - Gettysburg - Hatcher’s Run - Wilderness - Spotsylvania Court House - Totopotomy - Cold Harbor.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-181

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