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June 9, 2013
Understanding the Significance of the Drummer Boy in Historic Gettysburg “What’s with all the mention of drummer boys everywhere?”

When people visit enough hotels in Gettysburg, they often have the same question: “what’s the deal with the drummer boys?”  We must admit, in the midst of beard-bearing men with guns, the image of a little boy with a drum does not seem all that inspiring.  However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Although they may not look all that intimidating, the drummer boys of the Civil War were anything but timid.

 In the Union Army, the criterion dictated that an enlistee of the Army had to be at least 18 years old.  Nonetheless, this did not discourage many drummer boys from joining the Union troops by remaining deceptive about their age.  Many drummer boys were teenagers, often less than 18 years old, and many still were not even in their teens.  The most notable case of an astonishingly young drummer boy is that of Johnny Clem, who became a drummer boy for the Union Army at age 9.

 A sizable number of the population seems to believe that the role of the drummer boy was minute at best, serving as more of a mascot for an infantry rather than playing a crucial role in any facet of the War.  In spite of that belief, the role of the drummer boy was actually imperative to the success of an infantry.  The drummers were responsible for knowing varying drum rolls that meant anything from “retreat,” to “meet here,” and the markedly important “attack now.”  Furthermore, drummer boys played a large part in the physical wellness of soldiers.  The boys would scour the battlefield for wounded warriors and transport them to medical tents on stretchers for treatment.

 Although the drummer boys of the Civil War do not epitomize the staunch and imposing soldier we have come to expect, they do represent something equally important.  The drummer boys embody the courageous spirit of our country at the time of the Civil War.  They symbolize the indomitable will of a people so concerned with the future of their nation that they are willing to lay it all on the line.  These drummers did not simply march to their own beat; they led the march of our nation to its current prosperity.

 That is why the image of the drummer boy is so iconic to us here at our Gettysburg cottages.  It’s more than a charming logo and a unique name; the ardor, courage, and heroism of the drummer boy is in each and every one of us.  We are glad that the next time you plan a Gettysburg vacation you will understand the significance of the drummer boy to our area hotels.  In addition to that, we’d love to have you at the Cottages at Drummer Boy for a relaxing and authentic Pennsylvania cabin experience in historic Gettysburg.

June 9, 2013
Planning a Vacation to Gettysburg National Military Park? Don’t forget to book your stay at the Cottages at Drummer Boy, Gettysburg’s premiere destination for cabin camping.

The Gettysburg National Military Park is an alluring landscape located less than 15 minutes from the Cottages at Drummer Boy and was home to one of the most momentous battles of the Civil War.  The Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg crushed the Confederacy’s hopes of independence and foreshadowed the culmination of the war.

 Six months after the Battle, President Abraham Lincoln orated his Gettysburg Address nearly 40 yards away from the Soldiers’ National Cemetery located within the National Military Park.  President Lincoln’s speech not only promoted the values of The Union, but espoused the significance of human equality set forth “four score and seven years ago” in our Declaration of Independence.

 Although the battle was technically a victory for Union soldiers, the residents of Gettysburg were not so fortunate.  Unused plots of land became necropolises and nearly any befitting building was turned into a hospital.  All of this discord led to the creation of Camp Letterman General Hospital, situated to the East of Gettysburg.  Camp Letterman was used to house patients, surgeons, and nurses.  This location took part of the strain off of the citizens of Gettysburg and was evacuated by 1864. 

 Around that time, townspeople who understood the significance of the Battle founded the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association and sought out to preserve the battlefield.  In 1895, those individuals relocated their land holdings to the federal government.  At this time, the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association became Gettysburg National Military Park.  Since then, park administration has undertaken the process of cultivating the physical landscape of the park as well as preserving a rich spiritual heritage that all visitors can admire and learn from.

 Today, the Park provides a vast number of tours for visitors from self-guided audio tours to tours on foot, bike, and bus.   The Park even accommodates horseback rides provided through local businesses!  Despite this marvelous selection of tours, Park administration most highly recommends hiring a Licensed Battlefield Guide for the most inclusive, comprehensive tour possible.  These guides are put through rigorous training and tests in order to provide visitors with a descriptive and communicative two-hour tour that they won’t soon forget.

 As you can see, a visit to Gettysburg National Military Park should be at the top of your to-do list in Gettysburg, but an incredible day is nothing unless it’s followed by an incredible night.  That’s where we come in; Cottages at Drummer Boy strives to provide you with the ultimate in Gettysburg cottages.  We know that after a daylong encounter with the historic beauty that is Gettysburg, a cramped hotel room simply will not do.  We provide visitors with an authentic and organic Pennsylvania cabin experience that not only allows you to experience nature in classic Gettysburg style, but allows you to be pampered the entire time you’re with us.  So go explore Gettysburg National Military Park and come give us a visit while you’re at it!

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