Civil War music was extremely important to every soldier during the war. The Civil War drummer was an especially important person in the infantry.
They announced all sorts of activities on a daily basis.
In the morning the drums began to beat for reveille.
They played for morning roll call, breakfast call and sick call.
As if that wasn’t enough they were also used to announce guard duty, beginning a march and any drills that were taking place.
Drums were not just used in camp however. They were used on the battlefield as well where they played an important role.
Drums were used to signal troops to maneuver and to signal when troops would load their weapons and fire them.
While drums were very important to the infantry, the cavalry and artillery relied on buglers instead of drums for their orders.
Another type of music during the Civil War was the kind that individual soldiers made. Soldiers on both sides really liked to sing and make music. A wonderful collection of songs from the Civil War is Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War.
Musical instruments were commonplace in both armies. They included flutes, harmonicas, guitars, banjos, fiddles and any other instrument a soldier could either buy or maybe even make if they were creative enough.
Some of the most favorite songs of the Confederate soldiers were “The Bonnie Blue Flag”, “Lorena”, “Maryland My Maryland”, and “Dixie”.
On the other side of the line the Union troops preferred “The Battle Cry of Freedom”, “Tenting on the Old Campground”, and the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”.
Sometimes when the two armies were facing off against one another each sides respective brass band would play some of the favorite songs of the other side.
Despite the war there were still some moments of peace and respect between the armies.