Music in the Civil War
“All history proves that music is as indispensable to warfare as money; and money has been called the sinews of war. Music is the soul of Mars….”
The New York Herald, 1862
“When soldiers North and South marched off to war, they took with them a love of song that transcended the political and philosophical divide between them. Music passed the time; it entertained and comforted; it brought back memories of home and family; it strengthened the bonds between comrades and helped to forge new ones. And, in the case of the Confederacy, it helped create the sense of national identity and unity so necessary to a fledgling nation.
Bernard writes, “In camp and hospital they sang — sentimental songs and ballads, comic songs and patriotic numbers….The songs were better than rations or medicine.” By Bernard’s count, “…during the first year [of the war] alone, an estimated two thousand compositions were produced, and by the end of the war more music had been created, played, and sung than during all our other wars combined. More of the music of the era has endured than from any other period in our history.”” – Civil War Trust
Learn more about music in the Civil War
This is by no means an exhaustive list of music during the Civil War. There’s always more to discover.
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