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The Drummer Boy of Shiloh

Background

This story about a Civil War drummer boy may have been inspired by the real-life tale of John Clem, who served as a drummer boy as Shiloh at the age of ten. Later in the war, Clem shot a Confederate officer who had demanded his surrender, which resulted in his promotion to the rank of sergeant. Drummers - who were often very young- marched into battle along with the troops, beating on their heavy drums to set the pace.

The Civil was was between the North (The Union) and the South (The Confederate) of the United States. One of the big issues provoking this war was the issue of slavery and if it should be banned or not. The southern economy was greatly dependent upon agriculture and slave labor while northern economy was built more from cottage industry and factories. The north supported the abolishment of slavery while the south depended upon it for cheap labor.

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