Jackson, 79th Infantry drummer

A drummer boy named Jackson poses for a portrait during the Civil War. Jackson is believed to be a freed or escaped slave who joined the 79th Infantry Regiment – U.S. Colored Troops, an all-black unit assigned to Kansas and Arkansas during the war that incurred heavy casualties. As a drummer, Jackson would have used up to 40 different beats to convey his commander’s orders to assemble for formation, head to chow, line up for pay or charge into battle. Many drummer boys also served as stretcher bearers. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center)

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