Calendar | Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County

'Drummer Boy of Shiloh' Saturday at presidential museum

Musical performance tells story of youngest Civil War enlistee, prisoner of war and battle hero

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[July 12, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD -- The story of the youngest Civil War enlistee, who was captured during the war and ultimately became a hero, will be told during "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh," a musical performance scheduled for Saturday at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield. Paid museum admission is required to see the performance, which will be presented in two parts -- the first at 11 a.m. and the second at 1 p.m. -- in the museum's central plaza.

Barry Cloyd, a well-known performer from the Peoria area, portrays Joseph Henry Monroe, the youngest person to enlist in the Civil War. Cloyd tells Monroe's story of how he became a drummer boy during the Civil War, his capture at the Battle of Shiloh, his escape from a prison camp and the eventual return to his regiment to fight in 26 more battles. After the war Monroe became a music teacher in Peoria, and Cloyd recounts the effects that the war had on Monroe, his marriage and his family. Monroe is buried in Springdale Cemetery in Peoria Heights.

Cloyd's performance of "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh" is set to original music as well as popular songs from the time period. He performs the songs on three different instruments during the show -- guitar, banjo and slide dobro.

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"The Drummer Boy of Shiloh" is sponsored through grants from "History Comes Alive," the Susan Cook House Education Trust and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

For more information about programs and exhibits at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, visit

[Text from Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum file received from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]


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