Drummers and Musicians

by Fred Ray on May 2, 2009 · 0 comments

You never know where you’ll stumble across Civil War material. I came across some interesting info at the National Music Museum, which has a short bio of Avery Brown, said to be the youngest man (boy?) to enlist during the war.

Although they seldom rate a mention, musicians were an important part of the army. The long roll got men ready for battle, their drums kept time for the march and attack, and the bands lifted the spirits of the men. Although they did not fight their lives were far from being “bombproof.” They were expected to act as stretcher bearers, which often led them up to the front lines.

The museum also has a collection of Civil War instruments on display, as well as a bass drum that belonged to the Pennsylvania Bucktails, and a violin played by a New York officer on which he carved his wife’s name.

Much more information on Civil War bands, with photos, on this very informative web page. Did you know that by the end of 1861 the Union army had 618 bands comprised of some 28,000 musicians?

Here’s a band from a Zouave unit—the 114th Pennsylvania—taken at Petersburg in 1864.

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