Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Robert Henry Hendershot, Drummer Boy.

Robert Henry Hendershot.

Birth: Mar. 1, 1850, Tecumseh, Lenawee County, Michigan.
Death: Dec. 26, 1925, Englewood, Cook County, Illinois.
Burial: Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, Cook County, Illinois.

The following comes from the 12th., Rhode Island Infantry.

His name was Robert H. Hendershot. He was twelve years old. On the 11th day of December, 1862, when volunteers were called for to cross the river in the open pontoon boats to drive back the Mississippi sharpshooters who made it impossible for the engineers to finish the pontoons, slinging his drum over his back, this little patriot volunteered, and jumped into one of the boats. His captain ordered him back, saying, "You are too small for such work." "May I help push off the boat?" said Robert. '"Yes," said the captain, and, clinging to the boat he let it drag him across the stream. Many of the men in the boat were killed, and, as the brave boy climbed the bank, his drum was torn to pieces by a piece of shell. Undaunted he seized a musket belonging to one of his dead companions and fought bravely with the rest of the survivors, who drove the sharpshooters from cover and captured nearly one hundred of them.

Burnside gave the boy great honor, and the New York Tribune Association gave him a splendid new drum, and the proprietor of Eastman's Business College at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., gave him a home and a fine education

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