Sunday, January 9, 2011

Was Anna Glud really a drummer "boy"?

Anna Hundley Glud claimed to have been a 10-year-old drummer who went to war with her widowed father in 1862. She writes about her Civil War experience in her 44-page book Tom Hundley, the drummer boy: or A Secret that General Grant Kept. It's a drama that can be read online by clicking HERE

The first part is basically a play script, followed by a narrative of her life. The details of her regimental affiliation and alias are sketchy at best and read like a fictional novel. But decide for yourself:  Was Anna Glud really a Civil War drummer boy?

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Mrs. Anna Glud of Oakland, CA, put on the uniform of a Union drummer boy and marched away to the front. For over two years she saw active service where the fight was thickest and, amid the cannon’s roar, beat upon her drum the rally call which once turned near defeat to victory and stemmed the tide of battle.
     For almost 50 years, Mrs. Glud and kept secret her disguise as the drummer boy Tom Hunley. General Grant was “let in” her secret while the war was still in progress. The general was inspecting Tom Hunley’s regiment and, seeing the diminutive drummer boy, ordered him mustered out as too young for service.
     Mrs. Glud’s father interceded at that point and told Grant that his daughter was motherless … that he could not bear to leave her home alone. So the general swore himself to secrecy and ordered “Tom” to be retained. “During all the time that I was in the army many remarked that I looked more like a girl than a boy. But not one soldier actually found it out.”
     “Father and I kept so constantly together that I was always protected. Had I not had his assistance at all times, I doubt that I could have stood the rigors of a soldier’s life. Why, in a battle near Davisville, where 7,000 Confederates and Northerners were killed, our little body of men literally had to climb over the bodies of dead soldiers in order to fight our way out. My little feet were red with blood. And when we were mustered out in the fall of 1864 there were but 17 members of our company left.”
     After the war “Tom” and her father settled down on a farm in Indiana. But the rigors of the conflict proved too much for her father, who followed his wife and four sons to the grave six months later. Tom became Anna once more and never again disguised herself as a man.

Logansport Pharos Tribune / Logansport, Indiana / Aug 18, 1922
Mansfield News / Mansfield, Ohio / Aug 19, 1922
Iowa City Press Citizen / Iowa City, Iowa / Aug 26, 1922


OAKLAND, Cal. — For 58 years Mrs. Anna Glud, of this city, has nursed a romantic secret. And then, on her 68th birthday, with a family group about her, the white haired old lady revealed the amazing story of how, at the outbreak of the civil war, she had cut her hair, donned the uniform of a Union fighter and gone to the war as Tom Hunley a drummer boy.
     That she had not previously bared her secret was due partially to the fact that her family had been divided on the war issues and she waited for time to heal the wounds; partially because of a somewhat natural reluctance.
     But she did not wish the secret to go to the grave with her and so the story of Tom Hunley came to light.
     Two persons had known her secret — Jermiah Hunley, her father and Gen. Grant, in whose charge her father had placed her.
     The Hunley’s lived in a “border” state. Two sons went with the Union forces and two with the Confederate. Then the father was called.

Father Cuts Hair.The prospect of leaving his little girl among strangers, unprotected and uncared for, was too much, so he dressed her in the uniform of a drummer boy, cut off her hair, told her to always remember her name was “Tom,” and joined the regiment.
     For two years “Tom” Hunley and “his” father served with the Union forces in the bloodiest battles of the civil war. Never once was the identity of the little “drummer boy” suspected. There came a day, however, when Jeremiah was forced to reveal the secret of his daughter’s masquerade. General Grant inspected the regiment and seeing the diminutive “drummer boy” decided “he” was too young for active service, and ordered “him” mustered out. Thereupon Jermiah told him the story of the motherless little girl. The General swore himself to secrecy and ordered “Tom” Hunley’s retention in the service.
     Reminiscing, the former “Tom” Hunley said: “During all that time though many remarked that I looked more like a girl than a boy, not one soldier discovered that I was a girl. Father and I kept together so constantly that I was always protected. Had I not had his assistance at all times, I doubt that I could have stood the rigors of a soldier’s life during those two dreadful years.

Feet Red With Blood.
“Why, in a battle near Davisville, when 7,000 confederates and northerners were killed, our little body of men literally had to climb over the bodies of dead soldiers in order to fight our way out. My little feet were red with blood. And when we were mustered out in the fall of 1864 there were but 17 members of our company left.”
     The war over, Jermiah and “Tom” Hunley settled down in Indiana. But the rigors of war were too much for the father and in six months time he followed his wife and four sons into the Beyond, leaving his little girl, now re-attired in the dress of her sex, to continue life under the guidance of newly-made friends.
     Twenty years later, General Grant died without having revealed the secret of “Tom” Hunley, and a secret it has remained until recently when Mrs. Glud revealed it.

United News
by H.O. Thompson
Staff Correspondent


Oakland, Cal., June 1 — Tom Hundley, the drummer who thumped awaybravely while bullets whined on a dozen battlefield of the Civil war, was a girl.
     After keeping her secret for 63 years, Mrs. Annie Glud celebrated Memorial day by pulling a battered old drum from its khaki case and casting aside the mystery with which she concealed the exploits of her early years.
     Mrs. Glud was the “Tom” who enlisted at the age of 10 and who served for nearly three years in the trouble-laden days of the sixties. Only General Grant and the girl’s father knew the truth.
     Erect and with a sparkle of excitement in eyes that still need no spectacles to aid them, Mrs. Glud strapped her beloved drum to her waist and beat again, but not so vigorously, the old battle rhythms.
     There is a spot of fading red in the center of that drum. It has been there for more than a half-century.
     “Tom” and the company were before Richmond. In a shot skirmish with the Confederates the bugler fell. The “drummer boy” caught the dying lad and propped him against the drum head as life passed. A few days later “Tom” was mustered out of service.
     Tanned, and with lines that seemed out of place in a youngster’s face, “Tom” became Annie Hudley again and went back to pig-tailed girlhood.
     “How did it feel to be in battle?” Mrs. Glude asked, repeating a question. “Well, I remember that I used to get mad, real mad when the bullets whistled by.”
     Mrs. Glud had two brothers in the Confederate army and four who wore the blue of the north. she herself was with her father, who, acting as a scout through territory well known to him, led the Union armies on quick dashes against the enemy. Father and daughter were always together. “Tom” would follow closely behind the guide as they pressed ahead on forced marches.
     Sixty years had dimmed the memory of many of those exploits, but in hesitating words that leave no room for doubt, Mrs. Glud speaks of night bivouacs under the open sky, of violence and death, and of the torture of a family divided against itself.
     “There is no glamor in war,” she said. “It brings only unhappiness.”

The Evening Independent / St. Petersburg, Florida / Jun 1, 1925

Oakland Woman Fought As Drummer Boy in ’61

A drummer “boy” who marched with the Union forces in 1862 paraded again yesterday to the stirring notes of martial music, this time at the head of a party that rode a float entered by the Ladies of the Lyon Relief Corps.
     The drummer “boy” was Mrs. Annie Glud, 416 East Fifteenth street, who, at the age of 10, enlisted with the Union forces as a drummer boy under the name of Tom Hundley. Only General U.S. Grant and Mrs. Glud’s father knew that “Tom” was a girl. And it was not until 1921, when Mrs. Glud celebrated her sixtyeighth birthday, fifty-eight years after she enlisted, that the secret leaked out.
     The war to “Tom Hundley” was not merely a great adventure. Two of her brothers were in the Confederate forces, and two others fought on the side of the North.
     Gettysburg and the battle at Richmond just before General Robert E. Lee surrendered were two of the bloodiest battles in which the drummer “boy” participated.
     Mrs. Glud still owns the drum which she carried during the hectic days of the sixties. It is her proudest possession, she says.
     Although the drummer “boy” has marched in so many Decoration and Armistice Day parades that she has almost lost count of them, she never tires of taking part. They bring back, she says, the stirring experiences of the Civil War.

Oakland Tribune / Oakland, California / Nov 12, 1927

“Tom” Hunley
by Louise M. Comstock

IN 1862 there was enlisted in the Union forces engaged in the Civil war a drummer boy named Tom Hunley. He was a frail little fellow, whom the soldiers often teased with looking more like a girl than a boy. But his father, Jeremiah Hunley, enlisted in the same regiment, kept Tom close at his side and protected him not only from the taunts but even from the friendship of their comrades in arms. And for three years little Tom drummed the Northern troops along their weary marches and into desperate battle, and only two people, his own father and General Grant, ever knew that he was no drummer boy, but a little girl!
     Tom’s father carried the secret to his grave a few years after the close of the war. And General Grant told none. So that is was not until 60 years after her heroic deeds that the drummer boy herself, then a white-haired old lady, Mrs. Anna Glud of Oakland, Calif., told the strange story.
     Jeremiah Hunley and his five motherless children lived in a border state. When the Civil war opened, two sons joined up with the Union side, two with the Confederates. Then the father was called. Afraid to leave his only remaining child, Anna, then ten years old, alone, friendless in a contested territory, he cut off her hair, dressed her in boy’s clothes, told her to answer to the name “Tom” and set off to join the Union army. For two years “Tom” gallantly accompanied her father.
     Then, on day, General Grant inspected his troops. He was particularly struck with the diminutive drummer boy, decided she was too small for action, and ordered her mustered out and sent home to her mother! There was only one thing for her father to do. As soon as he could gain a private hearing with the general he explained that the drummer boy was no boy but his own daughter, and laid before him the circumstances which had prompted the deception. He begged that he might be allowed to keep her with him. And General Grant straightway shook the little drummer boy’s hand, swore himself to keep her secret, and ordered her retained in the service.
     Thus it was not until the end of the war that little Anna Hunley returned to the dress and life that befitted a little girl.

The Nashua Reporter / Nashua, Iowa / Dec 7, 1932

Annie seems to have been a woman of many interests and talents ...

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, ANNIE GLUD, a citizen of the United States, residing in Oakland, county of Alameda, State of California, have invented an Improvement in Fuel Saving Appliances for Grates; and I hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description of the same.

Patent number: 538511
Filing date: Feb 12, 1895
Issue date: Apr 1895


Mrs. Annie Glud Says That She Has Discovered Rich Treasures in the Shasta Mountains.
     With her own hands, Mrs. Annie Glud, wife of an Oakland, Cal., sailor, has uncovered a vein of gold in the heart of the Shasta mountains.
     It was by merest accident that the hidden wealth was revealed to her, and she has kept the secret for nearly a year. A serious illness prevented her from delving further for the gold. Now she has regained her health, and is ready to start for the claim, which is registered under her own name in the United States land office, at Redding, Cal. Twelve miles from there, in the Shasta mountains, is Stillwater creek, running through the gulch where Mrs. Glud and her husband has pre-empted a quarter section of land.
     “One day last October,” she said, “I was strolling down the gulch and was attracted by some shining particles mixed in the black, sandy loam. The thought struck me that they were gold. I thought, if gold is was, I would not dare tell the story of the discovery, fearing some one would ‘jump’ the claim.
     “I had heard of panning gold, but there were no mining utensil on the ranch. Finally I decided to try my hand. I went to the cabin, got a tin wash basin, and, crawling to the creek, scooped up a pan of the dirt. After twisting and turning that old wash basin my eyes were delighted with the sight of glittering particles of gold.
     “As soon as I was assured the gold was real, I made up my mind that I would own a claim and turn miner. I quietly found out what was necessary to be done and then I staked off a claim 600×500 feet and went to Redding, where I filed on it.”
     Then came Mrs. Glud’s serious illness, that stopped further developments temporarily.
     “I am going to my mine very soon. You would be surprised at the number of women that want to go with me. Why, this is a Klondike craze in miniature. But I am going to be very careful in the selection of my company, I shall accept no one who cannot meet her own expenses.”

Kansas City Journal / Kansas City, Mo. / Aug 25, 1897

Mine Is Discovered at Sixth and Franklin.

Gold has been found on Franklin street. There is excitement in the neighborhood and plans are being evolved to tunnel under some of the houses.
     Mrs. Annie Glud of 804 Franklin street is the discoverer of the gold mine at the corner of Sixth and Franklin streets. She has the nuggets and fine gold to show that the mine exists.
     Two days ago the electric light men had trouble with Mrs. Mary Kelly over the placing of a pole in front of her house at Sixth and Franklin streets. During the night Mrs. Kelly was outwitted and the men dug the hole and placed the pole. Mrs. Glud happened along while the work was in progress, and she secured a small valise full of dirt taken from the hole. She knows how to mine. The next day she panned the dirt and it netted her $5.25 in gold.
     A committee waited on President John A. Britton of the Oakland Gas, Light and Heat Company and told him of the find. Mr. Britton was surprised to hear that his workmen had struck a gold mine.
     Yesterday several people called on Mrs. Glud to secure information on the subject. Mrs. Glud said, “Yes, it is true that I made the find. I’ve go the gold.”
     Mrs. Glud is now trying to make arrangements with Mrs. Kelley to tunnel under the latter’s house in pursuit of gold. She wants to prospect for the gold.

Oakland Tribune / Oakland, California / Apr 12, 1901



Mrs. Anna Glud of 804 Franklin street, who styles herself a private detective, made application to the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners this morning to be appointed matron of the City Prison, vice Mrs. Reed, deceased. The board met to pass the salary warrants for the next month. The application was referred to Chief of Police Hodgkins for a report.
     Mrs. Glud had the recommendation of Ex-Mayor Barstow and other prominent members of the community, but inadvertently she appears to have used the same application made two years ago to be appointed matron of the County Jail.
     The application had been originally addressed to the Board of Supervisors and Sheriff John Bishop. Whether the old application will prejudice her case or not is a matter for the board to determine.
     The discovery was made by Secretary Walter Fawcett, who noticed the name of E.E. Baunce, deceased, in the petition for appointment.
     The original application bears the date of December 27, 1902. This date and the name of the Supervisors and that of Sheriff Bishop was turned under.

Oakland Tribune / Oakland, California / May 31, 1904


Three more young boys have left their homes in this city and their anxious parents have asked the police to locate them. Mrs. A.B. Burbank of 1361 Thirteenth street reports that Everett Dolan, fourteen years of age, has disappeared. Everett is light complexioned and when he was last seen wore a dark coat and a soft hat.
     George Marshall, a messenger, fourteen years of age, has left his home at 15 Eighth street. Young Marshall has been living with Mrs. Glud at the above address. Mrs. Glud called at the police station this morning and stated that she had been caring for the lad for some time and she asked that the police arrest him and place him in jail for a short time, so that he would learn not to run away. The third boy who ran away yesterday was Willie Sparks of 878 Lydia street.

Oakland Tribune / Oakland, California / Oct 11, 1906

No doubt, Annie was a very interesting lady, who seemed willing to try her hand at anything.

She did have four brothers, two of which there seems to be documentation showing they served in the Civil War, on the side of the Union, so it is possible the other two were the ones who served on the Confederate side.

Regarding her father, Jeremiah, there is no proof that he served, and it appears others have looked and have not found any either. According to a family tree for this family, Jeremiah may have been married six times. And he may have been married to two of them at the same time.

Another controversial issue is his date of death:

Widows Pension Records / Mary E. Densmore
Detail: Death Dates
Date: 1870 to 1871
Notes: Thomas R. Hunley his son, told Mrs. Mary Murray who was married to Jeremiah Hunley that his father died in Dec 1863 then later told her April 1864 and that he died in prison. It was later voice in court proceedings that Thomas later said he died in 1870 or 1871, but was later reported to be alive.

Online Comments
Fletcher-Ammons, Hunley family tree on In her book, Anna “Hundley” Glud states that her father knew he was dying, and told her to marry his old friend, Joe Dalton, who turned out to be a drunken wife beater who abused her. According to her story, she had a baby boy, (Charles Thomas Hunley?) and was so afraid for their lives, she took him and ran away. Eventually, she somehow ended up in California, but doesn’t say how she got there, or with whom she made the journey.
     So, according to the news stories, Anna managed to hang on to her drum all these years. This is a red flag for me. She ran away from an abusive relationship, with child in arms, and still had her drum?
     If she had been married, did she get a divorce before marrying Paul Glud? Did Joe Dalton die? How would she know if she ran away? I suppose that information might be found on her marriage license application for her marriage to Paul.
     The accounts of her father, in her book and all the news articles don’t seem to jive with the few facts about him that are available. Clearly, he seemed to have been busy getting hitched and unhitched, while the children apparently were farmed out. He doesn’t sound like the kind of man who “couldn’t bare to leave his little girl behind.”
     In addition, the part of the story where she states that General Grant, once he heard the touching story, let her stay in, just seems too much like a romance to be true. Sure, it could have happened, but why did she wait until everyone involved was dead to tell the story? She seemed to be a lady who liked the attention the story would have brought her.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) May 31, 1873: My intent is not to disparage a good lady’s name. When I ran across the first article about her being a drummer boy, I was excited and had planned to add it to my post on drummer boys. So I started looking for more. After reading a few of the articles, I began to question the authenticity of her story. Obviously, she lived through the Civil War, and life was rough for her in her early years. She was very active in G.A.R. related groups, had brothers who fought in the war, and had access to all kinds of stories about the war. While her “war” story was interesting to read, I think it was just that, a story.

EMILY Says: Annie Hundley (or Hunley) is a niece of my 6 times great grand father, my mother gave me the play book and I read it. I had never heard of her before and I googled her name. Very cool information. The drum being brought along while running away also rose a red flag for me seemed unlikely, maybe it was hidden away and picked up later? As for romance with general Grant? I didn’t feel it but they did stress the point in the book for her to come see him after the war and never did…that seemed odd to me. In the book it says that Joe Dalton died under a train. She knows this because Colonel (Thomas?) Devoe followed him till he died then sought her out (should be about 1853?). Wonder what ever became of that? He purposed before she ran away and before he learned that she was all ready married to Joe. He devotedly followed her it seemed and saved her son out of a window who was 5 yrs old at the time. They seemed really in love with each other. She talked about the heart ache to be without him and he talked of meeting again in heaven…

Jacob Hunley Says: The whole story is made up. Her brother Archibald Hunley is my 3rd Great-Grandfather. She had five brothers, not four. There was Archibald, James, Jesse, Thomas, and Richard Hunley. Richard was the only one that did not serve in the Civil war as he was too young, being born in 1852. All four of the other brothers served, but all on the side of the Union. As for her father serving, that is all a lie. Jeremiah Hunley was my 4th Great-Grandfather and he was somewhat of a scoundrel, having been married nine times. A few of the marriages took place when he hadn’t divorced previous wives. Several of the marriages took place during the mid-1860s, therefore he would not have been able to be in the war and be marrying nine different women during the same time.

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