Music During The Civil War

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Music Involvement in the Civil War
Grace Misner
West Catholic High School

Music involvement in the Civil War Music is a major thing in societies everywhere today. During the Civil War era, music was something to be enjoyed and also something to be afraid of. There were many instruments used in the Civil War including drums, bugles, and fifes. Music was what kept people together and what lead the way for the troops. People relied on music to lead and organize the troops, it was played throughout the town and was used to call people together for meals and occasions, and music was used to let out emotions during the war during times of peace and conflict. The drums were typically used to lead troops into battle. The drum corps became …show more content…

To cope with the struggles of war and missing their families, they would turn to music to brighten their days (See Figure 4) . The men would sing some of their favorite songs and or play music. When the soldiers from the North and South marched to war, they fell in love with songs that showed the division between them. Music was used to pass time because it entertained, comforted,it brought back memories from their families back at home, and it brought the soldiers closer together and helped more bonds be made. For the confederacy, it helped them create a sense of national identity and unity so necessary to a fledgling nation. Bernard wrote, “In camp and hospitals they sang sentimental songs and ballads, comic songs and patriotic numbers...The songs were better than rations or medicine.” By Bernard’s count, “ … during the first year of war alone, an estimated two thousand compositions were produced, and by the end of the war more music had been created, played, and sung than during all our other wars combined. More of the music of the era had endured than from any other period in our history.” (Kenneth A. Bernard 1966) The fears of the soldiers were calmed down by the hightly band concerts that other played the requests of both sides of the lines. There was usually a fiddler, guitarist, or banjo player working around the camp with people also singing the songs of the era. A southern song Dixie, or Dixie’s land, was originally written for a minstrel show. Performers often blacked their faces and pretended to be slaves. They would speak or sing in thick accents that were hard to understand. The lyrics wouldn't be written in dialect. The catchy tune soon turned the song into one of the most patriotic songs in the confederacy(Daniel Decatur Emmett 1815-1904). After Robert E. Lee surrendered, Abraham Lincoln, on one of the last days of his life, asked a band o play “Dixie” saying it was his favorite song. This

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