Monday, December 14, 2009

Trombonist under Fire

Taken from the article Civil War Bands and their Music.

Performing under fire became commonplace for bands under the command of General Philip H. Sheridan. Sheridan loved music and took a personal interest in his bands. This was shown in the equipment, mounts, and uniforms he accorded his bandsmen. To pay for these privileges, his bands performed at the front during battle playing the liveliest airs in their repertory.


At Dinwiddie Court House, Sheridan massed all his musicians on the firing line with the order to "play the gayest tunes in their books .... Play them loud and keep on playing them, and never mind if a bullet goes through a trombone, or even a trombonist, now and then." General Sheridan paid tribute to Army bands when he remarked, "Music has done its share, and more than its share, in winning this war."


Alan said...

Cool story, Chuck. I never knew being in the band could be so dangerous.

George said...

I realize that I'm commenting on this late, but I actually saved this in my Google Reader to research later on. I learned a couple of interesting things about General Sheridan. First, he was not only at the Battle of Chickamauga but in the midsts of that bloody battle that killed young Priv George Schumpert.

Second, later in his military career he championed the protection of Yellowstone National Park. here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:

"As early as 1875, Sheridan promoted military control of the area to prevent the destruction of natural formations and wildlife."

So his priorities were to protect natural formations and wildlife, risk trombonists, and kill confederates. I guess one out of three aint bad.