Page 28 - MFM August 2013
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Historic Revolutionary Drum

R Reid Gardiner (3)
     esting quietly in the Montana Masonic Museum is January and February. Under General Banks the
     an old drum. Its paint is fading from the brilliant regiment took part in the Red River Campaign from
colors it once wore, the carrying strap is tattered and March 10 through May 22. The regiment took part in
worn, the bottom of the drumhead is rent, the rope engagements at Fort DeRussy, Pleasant Hill, and the
stretchers are frayed, leather keepers are dry and brittle retreat to Morganza.
and the drumsticks which are the drum’s partners are
worn smooth from use. Silent now, but the drum has       After returning from the Red River Campaign
encompassed the bicentennial of our country.                  the 119th took part in the engagements in
                                                         Mississippi, including Tupelo, Tishamingo Creek and
The drum was presented to Grand Lodge by Past            the Tallahatchie River. In September the Regiment
     Grand Master Myron E. Bean of Choteau. It had       found itself in pursuit of General Stirling Price
been handed down through the                                                     through Arkansas and Missouri,
Bean family for generations,                                                     finally moving to Nashville,
having been originally given                                                     Tennessee in November. Later,
to Hiram Bean of Sheffield,                                                      the regiment played a part in the
Vermont in 1818. He was the                                                      Battle of Nashville, December
Great Grandfather of PGM                                                         15 and 16. After the battle, the
Myron Bean. The drum was old                                                     regiment pursued Confederate
at that time and Hiram Bean was                                                  General Hood to the Tennessee
taught to use the drum by an old                                                 River throughout the rest of
man, then living at Wheelock,                                                    1864.
Vermont, who was known as
“Drummer Bill” Miles. Miles                                                      The year 1865 dawned with
saw service throughout the                                                            the regiment being moved
Revolution as a drummer and                                                      to New Orleans where it was sent
had served in the British Army                                                   to the campaign against Moble,
before that. Hiram Bean died                                                     Alabama and its defenses. In
October 9, 1862.                                                                 the occupation of Mobile and
                                                                                  Montgomery, Alabama. The
The flames of civil war licked                                                    regiment was mustered out of
     high on the young United States and the drum        service August 26, 1865.
was pressed into service again to the sound of the call
to colors. Benjamin E. Meserve, a Vermonter living       The drum was returned to the Bean family after the
in Illinois was loaned the drum by the Bean family            war, before being donated to the Grand Lodge of
and he enlisted in Company E of the 119th Illinois Montana by P.GM. Bean. Myron Bean died on August
Infantry. The 119th was mustered into service two 25, 1991 and is buried at the Custer County Cemetery
days before Hiram Bean died.                             in Miles City.

The 119th Illinois saw service in the Western            This old drum worn and tired basks in the glory of
     theater of war, Companies G and K were captured          its service to the United States. You can view the
December 21, 1862 while on duty in Kentucky. During      Drum in the Montana Masonic Museum in Helena,
the 1863 the 119th served mainly to guard railroads      Montana.
in Kentucky and Tennessee. Ordered to Vicksburg,
Mississippi in January of 1864, the regiment was           Original article printed in the Montana Masonic News,
soon engulfed in the Meridian Campaign during              March 1976.

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