George F. Root, Civil War Songwriter

A Biography

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About the Book

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, “The Battle Cry of Freedom” became perhaps the most common patriotic song echoing throughout the North. The author of that famous tune was George F. Root, and his many other patriotic songs established him as “the musician of the people.”
This biography follows Root’s dual career as a nationally-known traveling teacher and a composer of popular songs. His wartime songs expressed the emotions of the soldiers and of the people at home. His later songs document such events as the assassination of President Lincoln, the settling of the West, the literature and humor of his day, and the many reform movements that defined the values of that era. His biography reveals how he became the musician of the people and how his critics responded.

About the Author(s)

P.H. Carder is retired from the music department of Silver Burdett Company. She lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

P.H. Carder
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 247
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3374-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8317-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Introduction      1

1. Sheffield, Willow Farm and Boston 1820–1844      5

2. New York and Paris 1844–1851      22

3. Public Taste at Mid-Century 1851–1855      37

4. Music for the Popular Market 1855–1861      67

5. The First Gun Is Fired 1861–1863      101

6. Rally Once Again 1863–1865      129

7. A Future Full of Promise 1865–1871      165

8. Music for the People 1871–1895      185

Appendix: Songs      199

Chapter Notes      211

Bibliography      227

Index      233

Book Reviews & Awards

“a praiseworthy biography…thoroughly readable…most valuable”—The Washington Times; “a very engaging text…very readable…written in a historical and biographical style…a detailed, interesting biography”—The Journal of Southern Religion.