Foreword by Carol Kammen
No Drums takes readers into the homes and hearts of the individuals, families, and communities on the home front of the Civil War in Tioga County, New York. First published in 1951, this novel is both a dramatic story of war and a moving tale about living in its shadow. Through a vividly drawn cast of characters centered around George and Nancy Wilson and their family and friends, E. R. Eastman re-creates the daily life of rural America in the mid-nineteenth century—how crops were planted, cultivated, and harvested, how meals were prepared for the table—and the debates that took place in many American homes about the reasons, course, and costs of the Civil War. His narrative moves easily from the small towns of upstate New York to the front lines of war in northern Virginia and into the White House, where Nancy Wilson and her daughter-in-law, Ann, plead with President Lincoln to pardon Nancy's son, Mark, unjustly court-martialed for collaborating with the enemy.
"Although the story deals with life during the Civil War," Eastman writes in his foreword, "it is just as timely as now, and will be while men continue to settle their arguments with the sword. It is a story of how people worked, loved, and lived under a great strain. Being a novel, most of the characters are, of course, fictional, but the theme and most of the incidents, situations, and adventures are based on true stories from the lives of people whom I once knew." Available once again, No Drums remains a fitting tribute to the men and women both on and behind the front lines of war.
E. R. Eastman
E. R. Eastman (1885–1970) worked as a teacher and school principal in Interlaken, Richford, and Newark Valley, New York and was employed as agricultural agent in Delaware County. Eastman was one of the founders of the Dairyman's League Cooperative and was editor of its newsletter from 1917 to 1922. In 1922 he became editor of the American Agriculturist, a position he held until 1947. He authored thirteen historical novels. Eastman served on the New York State Board of Regents and he was a trustee of both Ithaca College and Cornell University.
In this carefully researched historical novel, E. R. Eastman tells the story of the pioneers who settled "Genesee Country" of frontier New York in the early nineteenth century.