Harper’s Weekly – July 11, 1863

Unlike the Weekly’s principal frontline artists Alfred Waud and Theodore Davis, Winslow Homer and Nast created their illustrations in New York. Homer specialized in scenes of army life. During 1863, Nast drew his own impressions — some as pictures and others as topical vignettes.

Nast, who always enjoyed children, had a special appreciation for under-age drummer boys. In addition to serving as drummers and buglers, they assisted cooks, surgeons and supply officers, ran errands and delivered messages. Most were too small to carry or shoot heavy muskets. They were the central feature in this picture.