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A Brave Drummer Boy Who Impressed Sherman
A brave drummer boy named Orion P. Howe served in the Fifty-fifth Illinois Volunteers. Orion soon was in the thick of the battle at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Major General ...

A Brave Drummer Boy Who Impressed Sherman

A brave drummer boy named Orion P. Howe served in the Fifty-fifth Illinois Volunteers. Orion soon was in the thick of the battle at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Major General William Sherman was so impressed by this young man that he wrote a letter to Secretary Edwin Stanton to tell of his great bravery, which undoubtedly secured him a promotion.

When the assault at Vicksburg was at its height on the 19th of May, and I was in front near the road, which formed my line of attack, this young lad came up to me wounded and bleeding, with a good, healthy boy’s cry: “Gen. Sherman, send some cartridges to Col. Malmborg; the men are nearly all out.” “What is the matter, my boy?” “They shot me in the leg, sir, but I can go to the hospital. Send the cartridges right away.” Even where we stood, the shot fell thick, and I told him to go to the rear at once, I would attend to the cartridges, and off he limped. Just before he disappeared on the hill, he turned and called as loud as he could; “Caliber 54” I have not seen the lad since, and his Colonel, Malmborg, on inquiry, gives me his address as above, and says he is a bright, intelligent boy, with a fair preliminary education.

What arrested my attention then was, and what renews my memory of the fact now is, that one so young, carrying a musket ball wound through his leg, should have found his way to me on that fatal spot, and delivered his message not forgetting the very important part even of the caliber of his musket, 54, which you know is an unusual one.

I’ll warrant that the boy has in him the elements of a man, and I commend him to the Government as one worthy the fostering care of some one of its national institutions.

Our God often calls upon us to take steps of faith that test our courage. The Lord will never lead us into areas where he has not prepared and equipped us for service.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9


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