Description

    CDV PHOTOGRAPH DRUMMER BOY ROBERT HENDERSHOT CA 1860S. War fever had gripped Jackson after the fall of Fort Sumter and like many others, Hendershot longed for the glory of battle. His widowed mother may also have hoped that military life might instill some discipline in her delinquent son. He was a frequent runaway, and his aversion to school was such that he could not even sign his own name. He claimed to be ten that summer of 1861, but like many aspects of his life, that is in dispute, as various documents give birthdates ranging from early 1846 to 1851, and no less than four different birthplaces, from Michigan to New York City. When he enlisted, Hendershot was a slight-framed boy, 4½ feet tall, with fair hair, hazel eyes and a ruddy complexion. He bore a deep scar under his right eye that he would submit as his first badge of courage. He soon dropped his implausible claim to have received that scar as the result of a severe wound at Shiloh (at the time his regiment had been camped more than 600 miles away). By the end of 1862, though, events at Fredericksburg would give him another, more believable, opportunity for fame. In the fall of 1861, Hendershot was a fixture in the camp of the Jackson County Rifles. There, he incessantly practiced his drum calls, an activity that caused at least one recruit to call him "a perfect little pest." He apparently accompanied the Rifles to Fort Wayne, outside Detroit, where the unit became Company "C" of the 9th Michigan Infantry. Robert claimed to have enlisted along with the others, but said that the mustering officer rejected him because of extreme youth. In any case, he boarded the train that carried the regiment south, either as a stowaway or as a servant to Captain Charles V. DeLand, the commander of Company "C" and editor of Jackson's American Citizen. Robert formally enlisted in the 9th in March 1862, when the regiment moved from Kentucky to Murfreesboro, Tenn. He remained with Company "C", which was posted at the Murfreesboro courthouse as provost guards. He was there on July 13 when Confederate Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest launched a pre-dawn raid on the town. During the battle, Robert claimed that he fearlessly exposed himself to enemy fire, a claim later substantiated by several 9th Michigan soldiers. This exquisite albumen CDV of the Hendershot "Drummer Boy" was photographed by Brady of New York and Washington D. C.

    Condition: Very fine, fantastic contrast.


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    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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