Today in History:

Music of the Civil War

Soldiers loved to sing and there were many tunes popular in both armies. A variety of instruments were available to musically minded soldiers including guitars, banjos, flutes, and harmonicas. More industrious soldiers fashioned string instruments such as fiddles out of wooden cigar boxes. Regimental or brigade bands often played during the evening hours and there were instances of army bands being heard to play favorite tunes for the opposition when the armies were separated by a river or siege line. Some of the more popular tunes for southerners were "Lorena", "Maryland My Maryland", and "The Bonnie Blue Flag". Union soldiers had "The Battle Cry Of Freedom", "Battle Hymn of the Republic", and "Tenting on the Old Campground" as favorites. The men of both sides also enjoyed minstrel tunes such as "My Old Kentucky Home", "The Arkansas Traveler", and "Dixie".