Harper's Weekly 04/27/1867


MR. LINCOLN AND THE
DRUMMER BOY.


We present on page 244
a beautiful engraving, il-
lustrating one of the most
touching of the many in-
cidents which have been
related of the kindness of
heart and affectionate na-
ture of the late President
Lincoln. The picture
tells its own story, but
we append the incident as
told by F. B. Carpenter
in his book of reminis-
cences of Mr. Lincoln,
published in 1865:


“Among the large num-
ber of persons waiting in
the room to speak with Mr.
Lincoln, on a certain day in
November last, was a small,
pale, delicate-looking boy,
about thirteen years old.
The President saw him
standing, looking feeble
and faint, and said—`Come
here, my boy, and tell me what you want.' The boy
advanced, placed his hand on the arm of the Presi-
dent's chair, and with bowed head and timid accents
said: `Mr. President, I have been a drummer in a
regiment for two years, and my colonel got angry
with me and turned me off; I was taken sick, and have
been a long time in hospital. This is the first time I
have been out, and I came to see if you could not do
something for me.' The President looked at him
kindly and tenderly, and asked him where he lived.
`I have no home,' answered the boy. `Where is your
father?' `He died in the army,' was the reply.
`Where is your mother?' continued the President.
`My mother is dead also. I have no mother, no father,
no brothers, no sisters, and,' bursting into tears, `no
friends—nobody cares for me.' Mr. Lincoln's eyes
filled with tears, and he said to him, `Can't you sell
newspapers?' `No,' said the boy, `I am too weak,
and the surgeon of the hospital told me I must leave,
and I have no money, and no place to go to.' The
scene was wonderfully affecting. The President drew
forth a card, and addressing on it certain officials to
whom his request was law, gave special directions `to
care for this poor boy.' The wan face of the little
drummer lit up with a happy smile as he received the
paper, and he went away convinced that he had one
good and true friend, at least, in the person of the
President.”



Website design © 2000-2004 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2004 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com