Original Civil War Field Drum, Drum Sling, Drumsticks, Stick Carriage
Original Civil War Field Drum, Drum Sling, Drumsticks, Stick Carriage – This is a superior example of a Civil War period field drum, accompanied by a rare, original drum sling, military drumsticks and maker marked, brass drumstick carriage. The drum, constructed of bent maple, with painted, oak rims, retains both original drumheads, as well as its original gut snares with the period, cast brass snare tightening device. The rims evidence use; the upper rim has a hole drilled in it, at time of use, for attachment of the drum sling, carrying hook. The tightening rope, strung around the drum body and through holes in the rims, appears to be original; five of the original leather tension ears remain, as well. The body exhibits its period, decorative, brass tack pattern; the tacks even extend on to the upper head rim. Peering through the sound hole, which apparently once had a bone or ivory decorative washer, does not show a maker’s label pasted on the interior of the drum body.
This drum is in fine condition and has not been cut down, as many we see have. The drum is still in its original, issue size – most period drums, when issued for military use, measured such that their height was almost, if not, the same as the diameter, from rim to rim. This drum measures as follows: Height – 15.5”; Rim diameter – 15.5”.
The accompanying rare drum sling is in excellent condition. It is constructed of a ribbed, heavy, buff colored cotton; the sling retains its original cast brass, adjustment buckle and keeper. At the juncture of the two branches of the sling, there is a leather, heart-shaped pad, holding both sling ends together, as well as supporting the tinned iron, attachment hook. This hook once had a thin spring band, which has apparently broken off. This hook attached to the hole in the rim of the drum for the drummer to carry the drum via the sling.
The drumstick carriage is the typical heavy brass variety, with three, heavy, iron wire hooks, soldered to the back of the carriage, to attach the carriage to the drum sling. The sticks were carried in two brass tubes, attached to the front of the carriage. This example of an original, Civil War drum carriage is definitively original and of the period – it exhibits a large, incised “S” on the back side of the carriage. This “S” indicates that this drum carriage was manufactured by C & F Soistman, Civil War period, Philadelphia based contractors for the U.S. Army; Soistman specialized in the manufacture of military drums during the war. This stick carriage is in fine condition, as are both, heavy walnut drum sticks.