He was only a drummer boy, but Orion Howe's courage under fire helped General Sherman break the Rebel hold on Vicksburg.
It is April, 1861, and there is talk of war in the Howes' Illinois home. When President Lincoln asks for more soldiers, Orion's father and brother enlist. Hating to be left behind, twelve-year-old Orion soon joins them to be a drummer boy in the Union Army.
As the war wears on, Orion bravely endures hunger, sickness, and fatigue, facing battles with nothing but his drum and sticks. But the biggest test of his courage is yet to come.
On May 19, 1863, Orion's company is pinned down outside Vicksburg under heavy fire. Colonel Malmborg sends him to request more ammunition. Suddenly Orion is struck in the leg by enemy fire. Can he still get to the rear wagons? When he runs into General Sherman, will he remember the message he has been sent to deliver?
Diary of a Drummer Boy is a fictionalized diary based on the true story of Orion Howe, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. A beautifully illustrated introduction to the Civil War for students too young for more graphic depictions.
From reviews of a previous edition:
School Library Journal: "This imagined journal...has the tone of nonfiction. Garland's full-page illustrations are simply stunning...This picture book is perfect for students too young for more graphic depictions of the Civil War..."
Booklist: " This] book will serve as a lively, vivid introduction to the Civil War, particularly as a short book to read aloud or have students read aloud in classrooms."
A National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)/Children's Book Council (CBC) Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People