Beat! Beat! Drums!
Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge
In his later revision of "Beat! Beat! Drums!", Walt Whitman took out some of the lines that help us figure out what exactly us going on. He replaced "a force of armed men" with "a ruthless force," and took out the words "Recruit! Recruit!" (Shmoop prefers the original: after all, isn't the original always better?)
Mr. Whitman was a big self-promoter. How big? Well, he'd take out ads promoting the upcoming publication of his poems and write anonymous reviews praising his work. (Source.)
Whitman had five brothers, two of whom (George and Andrew) served with the Union army in the Civil War. (Source.)