Today I had the opportunity to do something that I’ve never been able to do before…communicate with an actual descendant of a Civil War drummer boy. Richard Cole’s second great-great-grandfather Thomas Jefferson Cole (pictured above) was a musician in Company E of the First Regiment South Carolina Volunteer Infantry. This Confederate unit served in many sizes and capacities throughout the war and was present at the bombardment of Fort Sumter. After the war started they became part of the Provisional Army of the Confederate States of the Army of Northern Virginia. They participated in many of the war’s major battles to include: Second Manassas, South Mountain, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor and they were present at the South’s surrender at Appomattox Court House. You can view a complete and detailed list of their engagements here. Unfortunately little is known about young T.J. Cole other than his photograph and service record. Still they offer a glimpse into the service of a drummer boy during America’s great conflict. Cole lived to be seventy-five years old. If anyone has any additional information on T.J. Cole or the 1st SCV I would greatly appreciate it. (Special thanks to Richard Cole for supplying the images)
If you are interested in additional posts on the Civil War drummer boy visit:
Drummer Boy Photo Album Drummer Boy Medal of Honor History of Drummer Boys Drummer Boy The Drummer Boy History: Drum Signals Complete Music for the Fife and Drum From History to the Canvas 154th Anniversary A Letter Home 103rd Ohio Preserved Drum Courage and Distinction Civil War Drums “Major” A.H. Johnson Alexander Howard Johnson The Long Roll Civil War Rudiments Battle Beats
Update: Richard turned out to be a successful performing and recording drummer from here in Virginia. Small World.