Importance of Music During the Civil War

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On the day of April 12, 1861, the civil war began. It was a war between the north, or the Union, and the south, or the Confederacy over slavery. The Union had an army of nearly two million soldiers, while the south had approximately half because of their population differences. About 620,000 total soldiers died from combat, starvation, disease, or even accident. The civil war was the bloodiest battle in the history of our country and resulted in the greatest number of casualties compared to any of American war. Soldiers who fought in the civil war witnessed and experienced countless sights of death and sorrow. In order for spirits to be raised and for them to be distracted from war, music was often played or sung. Music…show more content…
Around camp there was usually a fiddler or guitarist or banjo player at work, and voices to sing the favorite songs of the era. Music was also played for the soldiers’ daily routines and calls. To explain, it was played to awake the soldiers; they were awoken at five o’clock in the morning during summer and six o’clock in the morning during winter. Thirty minutes later, “Peas on a Trencher” was played to notify that it was time to eat breakfast. It was used for the sick call for ill soldiers and the guard mounting call at eight o’clock in the morning. It was then played again while the sergeant major inspected the soldiers and told them their specific duties for the day. Music was played for the drill call and continued playing until the dinner call; “Roast Beet” was used for the call for dinner. Lastly, music would send the soldiers to bed at night. Both the Union army and the Confederate army had different songs that their soldiers would sing or that would be played by musicians. Some popular songs in the Union army included “Battle Cry of Freedom,” “May God Save the Union,” and “John Brown’s Body” (later known as “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”). Some popular songs of the Confederate army included “Dixie,” “God Save the South,” “God Will Defend the Right,” “The Rebel Soldier,” “Maryland, My Maryland,” and
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