Kettledrummer 1684

The kettledrummer is a man on horseback, committed to beating the kettledrums

The kettledrummer is a man on horseback, committed to beating the kettledrums, from which he takes his name. Kettledrums are two large basins made of red copper or bronze, round at the bottom and covered on the top with a goatskin. This is held in place by means of an iron ring and several nuts attached to the body of the kettledrum, and a similar number of screws, which can be mounted or dismounted with a key. The kettledrums are held together by means of a strap which is passed through two rings, one in front of and the other behind the pommel of the drummer’s saddle. The kettledrums are furnished with two banners, usually made of damask or satin, which are embroidered with the Arms, of the Prince or Colonel to whom they belong. When the weather is bad, they are usually covered with black cowhide leather.

To strike the Kettledrums, he uses sticks of horn or boxwood, each eight to nine inches long, each having at one end a small crown the size of an ecu coin. It is the end with these small crowns that strikes the drum skin, and makes it sound much more pleasant, than if it were struck with a drumstick. There is no instrument which makes a sound more martial than the kettledrum, especially when accompanied by the sound of a few trumpets.

The Kettledrummer must be a man of heart and seek to perish in battle rather than to be away with his kettledrums. He must have a beautiful movement of the arms, and a pleasant air in the actions of rejoicing. The Kettledrummer and Trumpeters marches at the head of the squadron, three or four steps in front of the commander. However, on a day of battle they are on the wings in the intervals of the squadrons, to receive orders from the Major or the Regimental Aide-Major.