Sunday, October 26, 2008

Abner D. Stevens Drum

Will Chappell sent these photos of an Abner D. Stevens drum very similar (if not the same drum) to that described in this blog at "1861 Dated Snare Drum by A.D. Stevens":


Will Chappell wrote with this information apparently from an unidentified eBay listing:

Offered is this wonderful Civil War DRUM made by the Pittsfield Drum Factory, Pittsfield, MA as seen in peep hole that reveals maker's label. The label also says established in 1796 Military and Bass Drums, Pittsfield date There is a date at the bottom of the label that appears to be Aug 9 1861. The drum has been passed down from a Powhatan Virginia estate. The original owner was Colonel William Wood Finney a Civil War Confederate Army Officer and a co-founder of the Western Portion of the Pony Express. He was my great great grandfather. I took a picture of a framed photo I have of him as well as one of his wife Constance to help in your research.

He served with the 59th Virginia Infantry and the 26th Virginia Infantry Battalion. He served under Stonewall Jackson at Harper's Ferry and participated in the battle of Lewisberg where he was taken prisoner. Although he has been admired by collectors of Civil War ephemera as well as Pony Express enthusiasts, he was not as well favored by family. He was known as a bit of a chauvenist coming home from his escapedes only to father yet another child. He fathered eight that I know of. The winning bidder will be given a copy of his lineage as well as a scan of an original picture I have of him. I'll also include a copy of a photo of his estate named Elioch which has now sadly fallen to ruin.

This is one of two drums from his estate. The other is fully marked but since I will be passing it on to my son I can only offer to include photo's of it next to this one if you'd like. I don't know if he used the drum in the war or not.

The drum features the two original red painted bands, Top and bottom drum heads and a rolled twine shoulder strap. The drum heads are very old and warped the top has stains and what appears to be a small cigarette burn hole. The bottom head is stained as well although much less and there is one rope from the snare that is detatched at one end. The drum cylinder is is in excellent well cared for condition as are .The Height is 14 1/2 inches and the diameter is 16 1/2 inches.

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