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jaytkay's avatar

What is the origin of the American Revolution piper & drummer image?

Asked by jaytkay (23303 points ) April 8th, 2012

Is there a big heroic painting that has been copied again and again?

Here’s an example

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6 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Archibald Willard painted numerous versions, the first for the Centennial Exposition. Another version he did hangs at the State Department.

CWOTUS's avatar

Artistic images aside – yet here’s another – consider that the Continental Army did not have the level of funding, support and training that today’s military enjoys.

“Drummer boys” were often children of soldiers already in the army. These boys, as well as the old men and walking wounded who were unfit for hard duty served important functions as cooks, armorers, messengers, gunsmiths, blacksmiths and other camp and support functions.

One of those functions was to play marching tunes to set a cadence as well as to inspire soldiers – or at least take their minds off the tedium of marching for days on end.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes. “The Spirit of ‘76” is the name of the painting by Archibald Willard. Search on those keywords for more information.

LostInParadise's avatar

The image of the volunteer army has been, shall we say, a bit exaggerated This is not to disparage the soldiers, but it must be kept in mind that they had families and responsibilities back home. As Washington realized, to expect them to serve indefinitely without pay was not reasonable.

elspethe's avatar

I know of a restaurant in Kent Connecticut called The Fife and Drum…they may be a source or an historical society in CT.

rojo's avatar

Link to a short discourse on fife and drum.

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