In 1862, due to an increasing need for a strong Union presence in sessionist-prone Southern California, the U. S. Army established a camp in Wilmington, near Banning's Wharf and San Pedro Harbor. Named "Camp Drum" in honor of Lt. Col. Richard Coulter Drum, and later changed to Drum Barracks. Assistant Adjutant General of the Department of the Pacific, its story is now fully told in this book by historian Don McDowell. The Beat of the Drum relates the history of the camp from its beginnings as a bustling Civil War post from which troops, material and supplies were dispatched to frontier bases all over the Southwest, through decommissioning by the military in 1871. The book then chronicles the conversion of several of the buildings to a college campus, and the use of the Junior Officers Quarters building as a boarding house through two world wars. It concludes with the saving of that structure from demolition and it's restoration to the lovely museum it is today. The people, personalities and events of Drum Barracks' colorful 140-year history are told in a highly readable style, supplemented by scores of photographs, maps and illustrations. This book tells an indispensable story for history buffs of the Civil War and Indian Wars in the Far West.