’s Drummer Essay, Research Paper
I read a book called Mr. Lincoln?s Drummer. The author is G. Clifton Wisler. It is a historical fiction story. There are a lot of characters in this book but Willie Johnston was the main character. He was born in Vermont and was in the seventh grade. He was called one of the drummer boys. He was only eleven years old and he played the drum really well. He really wanted to join the Union Army all his life. He was a really skinny boy that weighed 84 pounds. He served on Company D; it had a lot of youngsters in it. He had to wake everybody with his drum not a fife, a fife is a flute. Whenever Mr. Harrington told Willie to beat the drum, he followed his order. At first Willie couldn?t remember the rhythm but after awhile he got used to it and knew it with his eyes close. When the rebs shoot he would go hide behind something. He was scared to death going to his first battle. But he would always go ahead.
Captain Harrington was a small fellow, about five feet with his boots on. A small mustache and whenever he would speak he had fire in his eyes. And from time to time he would just swing his sword around. He offered Willie money to play his drum. Willie agreed. Captain Harrington didn?t like another drum before his own beats.
James who was Willie?s brother and who always made a funny remark like when Ma and Willie were fighting about if he was going to join the army or not, Ma said," If you let those rebels shoot you I?ll pound you!" Then Willie promised he?d turn sideways that way he could hide behind a tree. Then James said," That way you can hide behind a pencil."
These are some minor characters in the book like, the Stevens brothers they were all about five foot seven and they had almost the same traits. Calvin who was called Blackie because he had dark hair and was the middle one. Lando, who was the oldest, had brown hair and a small mustache. Russ was eighteen and he was very serious with gray eyes. Julian Scott was the fifer artist he drew everything in sight. He sketched Willie playing his drum and sent it to Ma for Christmas. Julian also guarded Mr. Lincoln.
When the battle begun everybody was ready for it. Lando got shot and had two holes in his chest. Lieutenant Buck said to watch for him. The Union Army got close to the Rebels. There was a deep stream so they had to swim to get back on shore. Will Scot got hurt in the chest but not brutally. Willie and Julian wrapped his chest up with bandages. Captain Pingree told Willie to beat retreat. Willie began beating his drum as hard as he could. The only thing that saved them was that the rebs stayed put. The soldiers swam for safety. Twenty-six were dead and over sixty were wounded. This battle was called the Battle of Lee?s Mills. There were two more battles after this one.
The ending of this book congratulates Willie Johnston with his hard work and rewards him with a Congressional Medal of Honor. He becomes the seventh soldier in the U.S to be honored.
This book gives a lot of good looks behind the scenes of the Civil War. This book would probably be appropriate for middle school students for several reasons. First, the story is seen through the eyes of a boy that is in the seventh grade and is eleven years old. Second, the book is not very hard to read. The story flows, and it didn?t have many slow spots. And last the battle scenes are not really detailed.