Union Drum
Division of Cultural History, National Museum of American History

Union Drum

Date: 1864
Catalog #: 69758    Accession #: 274169
Credit: Division of Cultural History, National Museum of American History


Ernest Vogt (Manufacturer)

Ernest Vogt. was a manufacturer of drums, banjos, tamborines. His shop was located at 225 Beaver Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 13.6" H x 16" W x 16" D

Physical Description

Wooden body painted with shield-breasted eagle holding ribbon with the inscription, E pluribus unum, or out of many, one.

Specific History

This drum is a military issue rope-tension snare drum. It was used in the Civil War by Samuel Kyle, who served as a private in Captain James Christieís Company K, 22nd New Jersey Volunteers. The eagle embellishment on the side of the drum was a common design but varied from manufacturer to manufacturer.

General History

1863 regulations allowed recruiters to enlist those, ďsuch as the recruits as are found to possess a natural talent for music, to be instructed on the fife, bugle, and drum, and other military instruments...care should be taken to enlist those only who have a natural talent for music." Young musicians were trained at Governorís Island in New York. George Bruce served as Principal Instructor at Governorís Island. Bruce along with Daniel Decatur Emmett , the composer of Dixie, authored The Drummers and Fiferís Guide. Their guide became the standard for military musicians. Many of the field drummers were young boys, age twelve to sixteen. A drummer sounded the morning and evening camp duties and also sounded the field maneuvers. Most field drummers would have been accompanied by fifers.


Country: United States
State: New Jersey
War: Civil War
Service: Army