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Music Bonded During Civil War


Music can be a peacemaker of sorts. At least during the Civil Way it had a way of bonding the conflicting troops.

Before the fall of Atlanta, the brass band of Major Arthur Shoaff’s battalion of the Georgia Sharpshooters gave their expert cornettist to the cause. Each evening after supper, the musician went to the front lines and played for the Confederates along the entrenchments. When firing was heavy, he didn’t to appear.

Across the lines, Federal pickets would shout, ”Hey, Johnny! We want that corner player.”

”He would play, but he’s afraid you’ll spoil his horn.”

”We’ll hold fire. ”

”All right, Yanks.”

The cornettist would then mount the works and play solos from operas, and sing tunes like Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming, and I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls in a fine tenor voice.

Colonel James Cooper Nisbet, who was on hand, never forgot the scene:  ”How the Yanks would applaud! They had a good cornet player who would alternate with our man.”

Once the concert was over, firing would resume.

The Civil War, Strange & Fascinating Facts, by Burke Davis author of Gray Fox.





  1. Love this post, Paisley! One of my fondest memories, as a Civil War civilian reenactor, was listening to the music in camp and the bands marching out with the troops to battle.

  2. Thanks, Susan. It makes you realize how sad the war was when they could stop of fighting for music and then go back to trying to kill each other. I know my Mother found a relative of ours that played some kind of music and he was a lad. I’ll have to look it up one of these days.

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