An older Soldier of the 31st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry instructs younger drummers during the Civil War. According to Glenn Williams, a senior historian at the U.S. Army Center for Military History, the average age for a drummer was around 18, and by 1864, the Union Army had forbidden the recruitment of boys under the age of 16, although there were a number of notable exceptions. Williams said that during the 18th and 19th centuries, the term boy often meant apprentice, and that many drummer boys were just that to older Army musicians and officers. Their duties could include acting as servants to the officers or as assistants to the unit surgeons. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center)

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