Step Back in Time
On the main street of the little village of Andersonville the undistinguished front of a turn-of-the-century brick and frame building hides a national gem. Gerald Lamby's Drummer Boy Civil War Museum. The Andersonville Welcome Center is located in the Lobby of the Drummer Boy Museum.
Representatives of the Smithsonian Institution, Editor David Roth of the Blue and Gray Magazine, five members of the Georgia Civil War Commission, and thousands of others have visited the Drummer Boy Museum and have been astonished at the significance and worth of its collection.
Fifteen mannequins wearing fifteen different authentic Civil War uniforms, both Union and Confederate, dominate the museum. Featured are a colorful red and blue New York Fire Zouave uniform and both Confederate and Union drummer boy uniforms complete with drums. The Confederate South Carolina Zouave drummer boy uniform is one of only two that are known to exist. Visitors can be told who wore all fifteen of these uniforms and what happened to these military men. One story that stands out is of Captain Albert Wilbur, 16th New York Cavalry. Captain Wilbur was with the unit that was hunting for John Wilkes Booth. With the help of his many diaries, which are on digital display, visitors can get aa better understanding of the life of a soldier during the Civil War.
Numerous 1850s and 1860s revolvers, carbines and muskets and Civil War swords are on display along with original flags of the period. A gem of the collection is a last national flag of the Confederacy and a 35-star, 6-by-10-foot United States flag that was captured by Private James McChesney of the 14th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, Company C in the battle of Monocacy. He wrote in a letter to his mother, "we were in danger of being destroyed for we (were) only a few 100 men contending against a Division. As we cast our eyes to the rear; suddenly there arose the glad cry: Reinforcements! Reinforcements! And there went up from our glad hearts prayers of thankfulness and from our throats a shout of joy which made the walking grin and was answered by a responsive shout. the Stonewall Division was in sight; riding proudly at its head was General J. B. Gordon."
An extensive collection from the estate of General Thomas T, Eckert, President of Western Union and Chief of the United States Military Telegraph Department under President Lincoln, is also a part of the museum. Included is Mary Surratt's bonnet which was removed from her head and handed to Eckert in preparation for her hanging with the others convicted in the Lincoln assassination conspiracy.
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