This drum was owned by William L. Blaisdell, Cayuga County’s longest-surviving Civil War veteran. Blaisdell enlisted in the Union Army February 24, 1864 at the age of 17, and was assigned to Co. G of “Seward’s Regiment,” the Ninth N.Y. Heavy Artillery. He fought in the battles of the Shenandoah Valley in 1864 and witnessed the surrender of General Robert E. Lee’s army at Appomattox Court House. He survived the war and was discharged on September 29, 1865.
Through his war-time service, Blaisdell managed to save $800, which he used to start a carriage-making business. Fire destroyed that shop; and his first toy-making shop in Warners was also destroyed by fire in the 1870’s. In 1889, he settled in Martville, where he opened a shop making crates and children’s wooden toys.
On Memorial Day, 1939, then 93 years old, William Blaisdell led the singing of the Star Bangled Banner at a celebration in Auburn. At that time he was the last living member of the G.A. R. in Cayuga County and marched alone in the Memorial Day parade.
William Blaisdell died at home in Martville on February 13, 1941. His widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Blaisdell, donated both this drum and a Civil War snare drum from Blaisdell’s collection to the Museum in 1943.
Status: Available | $100
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