1809 Brown Drum Hits the Market
eBay Seller barryglick( 2 ) has opened bidding on this beauty at $3,000. (See eBay item no. 120436923419.) If you've ever wanted a genuine Brown drum in your collection, you know that these babies don't come along every day. Glick's starting price is not unreasonable. (Note: The above photos are exclusive to FieldDrums.com. They are not, as of the time of this posting, posted on eBay.)
Glick described the drum as follows:
"The drum is manufactured by B. E. and M. of Windsor Conn. It was made in 1809 and numbered 26 on the label. As you can see from the notes inside it was used by a soldier from 1861 to 1864 which of course is the period of the Civil War. The Drum is in execlent condition. It is 16 inches in diameter and 16 inches high."
Glick reports (see photos) that there are notes inside attributed to a Civil War soldier. That's a major plus in valuing this drum which Glock reports dates from 1809 (that's only 30 something years after the Revolution and 50 something years before the Civil War).
So, my thinking on this one is to break out the piggy bank, mortgage the house, and borrow from your friends if you have to, but get this drum.
Here's the real deal folks.
The printed and partially handwritten label reads:
Manufactured and Sold
B.E. and M. BROWN,
[then in handwriting] No. 26 ~ 1809
Also in handwriting is:
CO. N ["N" somewhat illegible]
1861 1st VT. VOL 1864
And, attesting to the drum's continued use:
Note: no record could be found of a Vermont Civil War soldier named Posnet, Posner, Pusnet, Pusner, Osnet or Osner. Also, The First Regiment Vermont volunteer Infantry comprised militia companies from Bradford, Brandon, Burlington, Cavendish, Middlebury, Northfield, Rutland, St. Albans, Swanton and Woodstock. They were selected from the uniformed militia of the State at Burlington, April 19, 1861. Vermont in the Civil War. The 1st Regiment Vt. Volunteers was mustered into the service of the United States May 2d, 1861. Vermont in the Civil War.
It appears, however, that the 1st Vermont served three months and almost a full fourth month (less four days) until approximately August 15, 1861. Vermont in the Civil War. Some soldiers who served with that unit later re-enlisted with other Vermont units. Thus the second date on the drum, 1864, could be the date that the drummer who inscribed his name and service record, was mustered out, but not from the same Vermont unit.
Susan Cifaldi, who has studied and written about Brown drums, emailed this afternoon with the following comment:
For what it's worth, I think it says "Wallace B. Goodspeed / Wells [Rutland Co] Vermont. The "drumer Posnet" could be a corruption of Pownal, which is also in Rutland County but about 60 miles south of Wells. As you note, there is no "Posnet" in Vermont.
The 1st VT Regiment was a 3-months regiment raised in April 1861 (CoK came from Rutland County). I could not find a regimental roster for the 1st VT, but I did find Wallace Goodspeed listed in the 17th, but it, too, saw only short service, from March 1864 until July 1865. If he served in 1862 and 1863, it escaped my notice.
Hope this helps.
The tack pattern is classic Brown. See, e.g., 1837 Eli Brown and Son Field Drum with Label for something comparable:
Also see "Leo J. Brennan's Eli Brown Drum (1829)".
And, finally, see "When is a brown drum a Brown drum?".