Sunday, December 20, 2009

Civil War Drum in Sauk County (WI) Historical Society

Civil War snare drum used by Charles Junge. It is said to have the signatures of his buddies inside.

Frank Pettis (1850- 1918) was eleven when he enlisted in the Union army as a drummer boy during the Civil War. At the age of twelve he began military service with his father and served from February 22, 1862 to August 9, 1865.

Pettis was present for every battle his unit was engaged in - from Suffolk, VA, and Newberne, NC to the sieges of Richmond and Petersburg.

After the war, Pettis returned to Reedsburg and helped in his father’s tailor shop. When he was 20, he became a miller.

He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and the Reedsburg Drum Corps until his death on August 15, 1918. At his funeral the Reedsburg Drum Corps, with muffled drums preceded the hearse to Greenwood Cemetery where he is buried.


Source: Website of the Sauk County Historical Society.

Note: Curiously, there is a Frank Pettis, civil war drummer, just about the same age, mentioned in Ancestory.com, a geneological website but from New York:

Frank Pettis b. abt. 1851 Binghampton, Broome Co, New York. He served in the civil war as a drummer boy From New York.

Also see:

Reedsburg's Civil War Drummer Boy Buried Here
By Dorothy Douglas Parent

Frank Pettis (1850-1918) was eleven when he enlisted in the army as a drummer boy during the Civil War. At the age of twelve he began military service with his teacher, Captain A. P. Ellinwood, in the 19th Infantry, Company A. He served from February 22, 1862 to August 9, 1865.

Pettis was with his Captain in every battle in which their unit was engaged — from Suffolk, VA and Newberne, NC to the Siege of Petersburg and on to Richmond, where the colors of his regiment were the first to float from the Confederate capital building, Richmond, VA.

After the Civil War, Pettis returned to Reedsburg. First he helped in his father's tailor shop, but at the age of twenty learned the miller's trade. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Reedsburg Drum Corps until his death on August 15, 1918. At his funeral the Reedsburg Drum Corps with muffled drums preceded the hearse to the Greenwood Cemetery where he was buried near his Captain.

Pettis left five children. One of his direct descendants, Richard Curtis Knight, lives today (1998) near Rock Springs.

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