Tuesday, January 12, 2016 . . . .

Seats on Ohio's Johnny Clem
Drummer Boy of Chickamauga
Tuesday, January 12, Payton Seats will present a program to the Big Walnut Area Historical Society based on Ohio's famous Civil War drummer, Johnny Clem.  The program begins at 7:30 and is open to the public.

Johnny Lincoln Clem was born in Licking County August 13, 1851, attended school until he ran away to join the army when the war broke out between the states.   At first he could not find a group that would take him but he dogged the troops until he proved his courage and dependability.  He was given a drum and began to learn the cadences which would keep the troops marching into battle.

It is interesting to remember those cadences were written  by Mt.  Vernon's Dan Emmitt

Johnny continued to serve his nation as an adult in the army.  When he retired in 1915, he was the oldest  soldier from the Civil War still in the army


On August 15, 2011 Licking County Historical Society dedicated the renovated Johnny Clem School with the help of Tom Paul who portrayed Major General William Starke Rosecrans.   Author David Moore placed flowers on Clem's monument in Arlington National Cemetery on his birthday, August 13th, Johnny's 160th birthday.  Photos were shared at the school Dedication.

Payton has been interested in the Civil War since his grandfather, Jack, introduced him to it when Payton was seven. Two years later he became the drummer boy for the Rosecrans Headquarters Unit which did local reenacting and started the General Rosecrans Statue Fund.  

Payton at Harlem Township

Payton played in the Ohio Statehouse,in shorts for television and other local media.  In addition to his role of drummer boy, he gave presentations to the Rosecrans group and at gatherings such as Harlem Township, and at Ohio Historical Society Civil Was Days.

Payton is a member of the Sons of Union Veterans, The 30th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and the 1st Ohio Light Artillery Battery A at the Ohio Statehouse.

"I enjoy doing Civil War presentations throughout the state of

Payton and his grandparents

Ohio. I have four main presentations: Johnny Clem, The Life of a Soldier, Toys of the Victorian Era, and The Telegraph Operator.

I currently hold the office of camp counsel of Dennison Camp No. 1 SUVCW. I have had the honor to receive the National Johnny Lincoln Clem award, I have also had the honor to serve as appointed chaplain between the election and installation of officers. I was quite lucky to have the opportunity to submit three pieces of writing that will form the closing chapter of a book on the history of Raleigh County, West Virginia, my home county, noted Payton.

"History has always been a major component of my life, because life revolves around time. There is always change, adaptation, invention; it helps to tell the story of our world. And history is the foundation of that story, without it we are left without an identity or purpose," Payton continues.

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