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On a cold and windy April night, the drummer boy, Joby is sleeping outside a peach orchard but is woken up, startled by a peach blossom that has fallen on his drum for he is anxious about the war tomorrow.
Joby looks around at his fellow soldiers, realizing he is the only one without a shield or weapon to protect himself. He believes that they all believe that they are the one that is going to survive.
Frightened by the upcoming war, Joby starts sobbing. The General comes and talks with Joby, encouraging him to be brave, saying that he is "the heart of the army." Feeling strengthed from the general's talk, Joby allows the peach blossom to fall on his drum.
Joby feels reassured by the general's compassion and second guesses his frightened feelings towards the battle at Shiloh. Inspired by the general's kind words, Joby is determined to perform well in the war.
At the battle tomorrow at Shiloh, Joby marches in proudly, willing to help guide his troop and his country, still tense, but coming in with a sense of patriotism. Although his efforts did not last long for Joby was shot stone cold by a confederate soldier.
After his tragic death, his bravery was remembered and honored by country. Joby’s death has become a legacy for other drummer boys.
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