Many of you attended the Bolingbroke Christmas parade and may have noticed among the many wonderful parade entries, one particular group that stood out.
I was very impressed, to say the least, and wanted to formally introduce to you Drew Edge of Bolingbroke. Drew is a member of the Georgia Volunteer Battalion and plays with the fife and drum corps. His group of four marched in the parade showing off their musical talents and were dressed in civil war army uniforms.
I was curious as to their story, so I met with Drew and learned of his passion for civil war reenacting. Drew said he studied the civil war in the 5th grade and became very interested in the history. He also began his music interest and began playing the trumpet in the 5th grade. His father, Scott Edge, and a family friend, Kevin Sark, took him to Andersonville where he was outfitted and became a participant.
He became a runner (messenger) and after two years graduated to a rifleman. He said there was always a lack of musicians; he was promoted to Sergeant & Bugler in 2018. Now his primary job is to take care of the fife and drum corps. He said there are five in his group and they come from all over the state.
Drew said the parade was the first time they played together as a full group. Drew said he attended 11 reenacting events in 2019, traveling all over the southeast. He explained that they are all volunteer and self-financed.
He said his love of music and the continued learning of the history of the civil war are very enjoyable and he plans to attend even more events in 2020. He said the public is welcome to come and be spectators at any reenactment event; the closest one will be held the first weekend of May in Jones County - ‘Old Clinton War Days’.
Drew usually plays the fife - a ‘cousin’ to the flute. Since the rise of the modern army in the late 16th century, trained fifers and drummers have been adopted and used by armies to signal predatory alerts and execution signals as well as times of day for troops. They signal when the troops should rise in the morning & retire at night, when to eat, when to assemble and to sound an alarm. Trained musicians also play popular music on the march or while in camp. Drums have an important role in the military and date farther back in history. Drew says he has learned a lot in his years of volunteering and plans to keep fifing as long as he can.
Drew graduated from Mary Persons High in 2017 and is currently a history student at Gordon State College. After graduating college next year, he plans to attend umpire school. He currently umpires high school softball and baseball. Umpire school is in Vero Beach, Fla., and after completing the school Drew will be eligible to umpire in minor league baseball.
Drew and his fife and drum corps are available for your private events and recently played taps at a funeral. He said they are open to playing at weddings, church events, etc. If you are interested in hiring this very talented group or would like to know more about upcoming civil war events, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also visit the website of the Georgia volunteer battalion to learn more at: Georgiavolunteerbattallion.org
The Bugler is Buddy Jowers Fife & Bugler is Drew Edge. The Fife: is Isaac Young. The Snare Drum is Jennifer Gunn. The Bass Drum is Ben Morris. The Junior Drummer is Chance Sprague.
Vicki Smith covers Bolingbroke for the Reporter. She and her husband, Bobby Lee, own & operate Properties Plus Realty, and she is president of Bolingbroke Community Club., which gives us the beloved Bolingbroke Christmas parade.