Civil War Bands

Civil War Bands

Did you know …

If Civil War soldiers had free time in the evening, they liked to visit with each other and talk about news from home. Army bands often played in the evening, and everyone enjoyed the free concerts.

Military bands were brass and percussion instruments

Usually Civil War bands contained the following instruments: cornet, saxhorn, alto horn, tenor horn, Bass, side drum, bass drum, cymbals, piccolo, flute and clarinet.

Both Union (northern) and Confederate (southern) armies had bands.

Drums and cymbals

At the time of the Civil War, most drum sticks were made of dark wood, such as rosewood, cocobolo, or ebony. Many drummers carried their drumsticks under their belts. Drum slings made of cloth
or black leather helped them carry the bulky drums.

Crash cymbals were popular in the military bands.

Duties of members of the band

They played for dress parades, reviews, and funerals. They often gave concerts after supper for the soldiers. They performed for high-ranking officers on a regular basis.

Bands sometimes played during battles. The music helped to cheer on the men. They also served as stretcher bearers to carry the wounded soldiers and helped the doctors at the hospitals.

– Sandra M. Hart

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