“Bully for the Band!”

The Civil War Letters and Diary of Four Brothers in the 10th Vermont Infantry Band


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About the Book

From the commanding call of the bugle at reveille to combat instructions (such as “fix bayonets”) to reassuring songs around the campfire at night, music was an integral part of the Civil War soldier’s experience. This volume presents the Civil War writings of Charles, Herbert, Jeremiah and Osman George, four brothers from the town of Newbury, Vermont, who played in the 10th Vermont Infantry regimental band. Their letters and a diary describe the life of an enlisted musician, including forming a band, rehearsals and repertory, performances for officers, troops, and civilians—and battlefield stretcher-bearer duties. Despite the hardships they suffered, including the loss of one brother, their writings (supported by detailed scene-setting narratives by editor Davis) reveal the Georges’ fraternal bond that sustained them emotionally and ensured they would continue to serve their comrades in battle.

About the Author(s)

James A. Davis is a professor of musicology and chair of the Music History Area at the State University of New York, Fredonia. His articles have appeared in American Music, The Journal of Military History, North & South, and the Journal of Band Research.

Bibliographic Details

Charles George, Herbert George, Jere George and Osman George
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 300
Bibliographic Info: 39 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6686-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8910-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

“The 10th Vermont in Dixie”      viii
Acknowledgments      ix
Introduction: Civil War Musicians Charles, Jere, Osman and Herbert George      1

1. September to December 1862: Enlistment; Military District of Washington; Offutts Crossroads; and Poolesville, Maryland      15
2. January to June 1863: Poolesville, Maryland      46
3. June to December 1863: Pursuit of Lee; Bristoe Campaign; Mine Run Campaign; and Brandy Station      75
4. January to May 1864: Winter Quarters, Brandy Station; The Wilderness; and Spotsylvania      115
5. May to July 1864: North Anna River; Cold Harbor; Petersburg, Virginia; and Monocacy, Maryland      145
6. August to November 1864: Shenandoah Valley Campaign      176
7. December 1864 to April 1865: Petersburg, Virginia      206
8. April to June 1865: Sailor’s Creek; Appomattox Court House; Danville, Virginia; and Burlington, Vermont      229

Chapter Notes      261
Bibliography      277
Index      287

Book Reviews & Awards

“important…well-written…highly recommended”—Blue & Gray Magazine; “a thoroughly researched scholarly work…Kudos to James Davis for a fine book on a very important area of band research”—Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association; “an important contribution…yet another of McFarland’s superb additions to the field of Civil War literature. A well written narrative interspersed throughout the book places the letters in the overall context of the war. The letters add great insight into the role bands played in the Civil War…highly recommended”—Civil War News; “fascinating…well-researched”—H-Net Reviews.