Civil War Rudiments


[Bealeton, VA, drum corps of the 93rd New York Infantry, ca. August of 1863]

Here is part 2 to my focus on Civil War drummer boys (see While part 1 presented a history of the drummer boys this post deals more with the technical aspects of their contributions. According to the National Civil War Field Music School ( drummer boys during the Civil War were required to play all 26 rudiments (see below). The rudiment that meant attack was a long roll. The rudiment for assembly was (777 flam flam 777 flam flam 777 flam flam 77 flam flam 7)  and the rudiments for the drummers call was (7 flam flam 7 flam flam 7 flam flam 2x fast, 1x slow 7 flam 7 flam). The rudiment for simple cadence was (open beating) (55 flam flam repeat). Here are some examples of variations played by Civil War drummer boys courtesy of W. Brent Price:

Call to Battle




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