In my 5th NY Drummer, I wanted to capture the image of an older regimental drummer as many of the drummers were not boys but actually men.
Of the dozens of colorfully outfitted Zouave regiments that served in the Civil War — units whose uniforms were inspired by the exotic regalia of the famed French colonial troops — none surpassed the reputation of the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry for tactical proficiency, military discipline and steady bearing under fire. Organized in April 1861 by wealthy Manhattan lumber merchant Abram Duryée, the unit attracted many young professionals to its ranks — students, college graduates, lawyers and businessmen. ‘I expect every man to do his duty and I expect to do mine,’ Colonel Duryée told his assembled troops as they prepared to embark for Virginia. ‘I intend to make this regiment a glory for the State.