American Drummer Boy


Call To War PBS Documentary

Call To War
PBS Documentary

Call To War is included with your American Drummer Boy DVD

This half hour film tells the true life stories of two young Kentucky boys during the time of the American Civil War, and is the basis for which American Drummer Boy was written.

William Horsfall, 14, from Newport, Kentucky wanted to join up with his hometown unit but is told he’s not old enough. He takes matters into his own hands and steals aboard a riverboat headed toward his units training ground. Eventually he became a Drummer with the 1st Kentucky Infantry, U. S., and in action at Corinth, Mississippi, 1862, rescued his Captain in a skirmish. He became one of the youngest recipients of the Medal of Honor for his action. In Southern Kentucky, the only son of a widowed mother joined the famed Orphan Brigade.

Asa Lewis served with distinction, winning promotions and notice for his bravery in combat. Two months after his enlistment was up, his mother and destitute sisters wrote him, asking for help putting the crops in. Lewis asked for and was denied a leave to go home, so took matters in his own hands. He was captured by bounty hunters and brought back to General Braxton Braggs Army where he was tried as a deserter. He was sentenced to death before a firing squad of his own unit. It became one of the blackest days in Civil War history.