Sketch of the drummers camp at Folly Island, SC

Sketch of the drummers camp at Folly Island, SC

Every once in a while a great opportunity makes itself available to the students of the Seventeenth. Just such an opportunity arose back in December of 1999 when I heard from Gayle Sullivan. Gayle is a descendant of Henry Huss, drummer of Company D, 17th CVI.

That month I had just finished uploading the “Christmas at Folly Island” article by James Montgomery Bailey (aka “High Private Manton”), when I received an e-mail from Gayle inquiring about the 17th. In what was surely one of the more unusual “coincidences” I have experienced in the 17+ years I have worked on this site, it turned out that Gayle was in possession of the sketchbook of Henry Huss. Henry is mentioned in the Bailey article that I had just uploaded, in particular a sketch that he drew of the drummers quarters at Folly Island. I’m not sure who was more excited when it was found that the sketch mentioned in the 1863 article was in the sketchbook, Gayle or myself.

Gayle was generous enough to make copies of the sketches and to grant permission for them to be posted on the 17th CVI web site for all to see. The limitations of the Internet do not do them justice!

It was very generous of Gayle to make these drawings available for all to see. It is rare when original soldier art remains in the hands of family…and rarer still when it is shared!

Picolata, Florida 1864 - This drawing by drummer Henry Huss shows the fortification built at Picolata, Florida by Companies A, D, I and K.


  1. Carolyn Ivanoff
    April 29, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Thank you Gayle for sharing these and thank you Dale for posting. It’s wonderful to “see” through the soldier’s eyes what they are describing for their folks back home. It’s very exciting when we in the 21st century can “witness” the lives of these men through their own writings and work. The generosity of sharing these words and documents gives these men a voice for us to hear that preserves their experiences for us and extends through the generations. All honors to the citizen soldiers of the 17th Connecticut Volunteers.

    • 17thCVI
      April 29, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      These are great sketches for sure! I can’t believe that I had not gotten them transferred to the new site until now!

  2. vikki hillis
    August 8, 2015 at 3:41 am

    Hello all,
    What a delight to see my great-great-grandfather’s artwork! My Grandmother was Marie Weimar Hillis, daughter of Lala (aka Laura Huss, born 1869 to Henry & Mary). Art continues in this line, 3 daughters born to William Hillis MD, son of Marie Weimar & William A. Hillis DDS, all favor the visual arts and the power of line. Although, Nanna played the piano, the talent for music seems not to have carried, but interestingly, I have always had a love for for drums and drumming and have gathered quite a collections over the years. Must be Henry’s influcence. Again, my thanks, what a delight.
    vikki hillis
    hot springs arkansas, formerly of greenwich, connecticut.

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