By December 2, 1756 of that same year, Colonel George Washington, having just moved into Fort Loudoun, writes the need for training young drummers:
"The returns of our Strength, which I called in so soon as I arrived, is herewith sent, signed by the Adjutant, amounting exclusive of the Drafts, to 81 Effectives; including the sick, and young Drummers, who were sent here to learn.2 "
But in January 1, 1757, just 13 drummers, and Captain Mercer's Company then had just one instead of the 2 the year before.
. In 1757, the British Secretary of War Lord Barrington ordered the raising of a Highland Battalion “which is to Consist of Ten Companies of Four Serjeants, Four Corporals, Two Drummers, and One Hundred Effective Private Men in each Company, besides Commission Officers…” . The recommended number of drummers was higher, as Langley’s manual from 1794 suggests that there should be one drummer for each company of thirty privates, three officers, two sergeants, and three corporals, or approximately 2.56% of each company.
The chart shows the Virginia Regiment as of 9 October 1756.
Duke of Cumberland’s 1757 Exercise of the Foot, each procedure is categorized by its “word of command” and corresponding drumbeat. The orders of “Bayonets to be fixed,” “Shoulder,” “take post in battalion,” “first caution,” “recover your arms,” “to the Right-about,” “march,” “halt,” “order your arms,” and “take care to perform the manual exercise,” are conveyed variously through a “roll upon the drum,” a “flam on the drum,” “a ruffle of the Drum,” or “a troop” on the drum. . Replacements a Necessity:
They served such an important link in the chain of command that it was crucial they be replaced when lost in action. On the New York frontier, Colonel Johnathan Bagley wrote on November 27th, 1755 to William Johnson to “Send Up [a] Good Drum[m]er” to fill the position of Drum Major, and “if to be had” two more drummers. . Johnson’s correspondence indicates numbers of British casualties in battle, including a number of “missing” drummers. . Not only personnel, but equipment had to be replaced after falling to the enemy. Nathan Whiting reported to Johnson on October 28th 1755 that his regiment lost seven guns, four swords, four horns, and one drum in the Lake Champlain region to the French and their Indigenous allies. . Some of these instruments were likely brought back to Canada as trophies of war. . . . Footnotes: .  Exercise for the Foot: With the differences to be observed in the Dragoon Exercise 1757: By Order of H.R.H. Prince William Augustus Duke of Cumberland, etc., A Plan of Discipline Compiled for the use of The Militia of The County of Norfolk 1759, Historical Arms Series No. 42 (1759, reprinted; Bloomfield & Alexandria Bay, Museum Restoration Service, 2004), 12-15. .  James Thompson, A Bard of Wolfe’s Army: James Thompson, Gentleman Volunteer, 1733-1830 , edited by Earl John Chapman and Ian Macpherson McCulloch, (Montreal: Robin Brass Studio, 2010), 111. .  Ibid., 222. .  Serjeant Thomas Langley, 1st Royal Regt. The Eighteen Manoeuvres for His Majesty’s Infantry, 1794 (1794, reprinted; Hemel Hempstead: Bill Leeson with permission of the British Library, 1988), 21. .  Brumwell, Stephen. Redcoats: The British Soldier and War in the Americas, 1755-1763 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 101. .  William Johnson, The Papers of Sir William Johnson, University of the State of New York, 1921-1965, vol. IX, (Albany: The University of the State of New York, 1939), 325. .  Ibid., 235, 236. .  Ibid., 287. . ..
The colors on the drummer's uniform are usually reversed. However, some (?) of the Royal Regiments in the British Army in the late 18th Century did not reverse their Colors!! The drummer did not carry a musket. They have a "hanger". it was convention NOT to kill the drummer. But I don't know if the Indians knew that convention. Hence the "hanger."