Photographer's Note

This young man was taking part in Independence Day festivities on July 4 at Washington Crossing. He is a re-enactor portraying a drummer boy of the late 1700's. He is clothed in Continental Army attire.

Armies would regularly recruit young boys for service as drummers, well into the nineteenth century. These young drummer boys would use their skills to perform an important role in the battlefield communications system by playing various drum rolls to signal different commands. Recruiting boys for this task freed men for combat duty and as the boys got older they could be enlisted into the ranks.

Drummer boys were usually treated as mascots by the troops and often entrusted into the care of the regimental chaplain. Since they had few military duties to perform, the life of a drummer boy appeared rather glamorous and this caused many a young boy to run away from home to enlist in the army. Officially there were age restrictions for this job but these were often ignored and boys as young as ten years old were occasionally recruited.

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Additional Photos by Linda Richters (richtersl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 992 W: 583 N: 849] (3546)
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