Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Primary Sources: Music and letters connect us with the Civil War

Posted on: August 29, 2011

Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! the prisoner's hope. Sheet music. America Singing, Nineteenth Century Song Sheets

Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!  Musicians from Wisconsin’s First Brigade Band   brought 150 year-old Civil War brass instruments, a drum, stories, and songs to the Winona County History Center and made the Civil War come alive at an August program.  We heard the sounds and stories of brass instruments representing over 200 in a collection at  a Watertown, Wisconsin museum.  A coffin case lined with butternut denim was used to store one instrument; another was saved from theft when a Union soldier wrapped it in his bedroll as he was taken prisoner.  The musicians sang songs such as  “America,” “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp ” and  “Hamilton’s Badger Boys,” a song whose appearance coincided with the Battle of Bull Run.

President Lincoln greeted the audience;  a local Civil War expert read letters from Winona residents including Charley Goddard who served in Minnesota’s Company K and fought at the Battle of Gettysburg  (Goddard is the central character in Gary Paulsen’s young adult novel A Soldier’s Heart.)  The program ended with the arrival of pork and bean cake and hardtack.

Charles Goddard, Winona. Minnesota Company K.

Music from two Library of Congress collections,  Civil War Band Music  and Nineteenth Century Song Sheets can help you help your students connect with the Civil War.  Learn  how to find and use music, letters, photos, maps and stories to develop engaging, critical thinking activities!

Teaching with Primary Sources, an online class for teachers of all content areas and students of all ages
begins the end of September.
Register Online: http://www.uwstout.edu/soe/profdev/register.cfm
Comments from past students


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