Sunday, May 06, 2012

Broom Brigade

Here is a group of young ladies (names and location unknown) who participated in a drill team known as the “Broom Brigade” in the 1880s. Mark Twain wrote in his book Life on the Mississippi of a "new institution" in the west and the south: young ladies who dressed in uniforms, and went through infantry drills. Instead of a musket, they carried a broom. Joseph H. Barnett wrote a book entitled Broom Brigade Tactics, in which he gave instructions for broom drills that were suitable for “exhibitions, roller rinks, and social and church entertainments.” An early advertisement for Mr. Barnett’s book about broom drills appeared in the Scrap Book Recitation Series, a publication edited by H.M. Soper in 1879.

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