Civil War

The American Civil War started in April, 1861 and ended in May 1865. It was fought over many issues. People from all ethnicities fought on both sides.

A total of 618,222 Men, women and children lost their lives during this bloody conflict in America

Music the voice that we all share.

Though some of the songs are listed as North or South, it is well known that both sides played them and they where being played before the inception of the Civil War

Confederate Song "Dixie" "I Wish I Was In Dixie"     Union Version

"Dixie", also known as "Dixie's Land", "I Wish I Was in Dixie", and other titles, is a popular song in the Southern United States. It is one of the most distinctively Southern musical products of the 19th century and probably the best-known song to have come out of blackface minstrelsy.

It was not a folk song at its creation, but it has since entered the American folk vernacular. The song likely cemented the word "Dixie" in the American vocabulary as a nickname for the Southern United States.

Most sources credit Ohio-born Daniel Decatur Emmett with the song's composition, although other people have claimed credit, even during Emmett's lifetime. Compounding the problem are Emmett's own confused accounts of its writing and his tardiness in registering its copyright. The latest challenge has been made on behalf of the Snowden Family Band of Knox County, Ohio, who may have collaborated with Emmett to write "Dixie".

"Dixie" had originated in the minstrel shows of the 1850s and quickly became popular throughout the United States. During the American Civil War, it was adopted as a de facto national anthem of the Confederacy. New versions appeared at this time that more explicitly tied the song to the events of the Civil War.

The song was a favorite of President Abraham Lincoln; he had it played at some of his political rallies and at the announcement of General Robert E. Lee's surrender.


Union Song "Battle Hymn Of The Republic"

At a flag-raising ceremony at Fort Warren, near Boston, on Sunday May 12, 1861, the "John Brown" song was publicly played "perhaps for the first time". The American Civil War had begun the previous month.

The "Battle Hymn of the Republic", also known as "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory" outside of the United States, is a lyric by the abolitionist writer Julia Ward Howe using the music from the song "John Brown's Body". Howe's more famous lyrics were written in November 1861 and first published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862. The song links the judgment of the wicked at the end of the age (through allusions to biblical passages such as Isaiah 63 and Revelation 19) with the American Civil War. It is an extremely popular and well-known American patriotic song.


Popular Song "Battle Cry of Freedom"

The "Battle Cry of Freedom", also known as "Rally 'Round the Flag", is a song written in 1862 by American composer George Frederick Root (18201895) during the American Civil War.

A patriotic song advocating the causes of Unionism and abolitionism, it became so popular that composer H. L. Schreiner and lyricist W. H. Barnes adapted it for the Confederacy.

A modified Union version was used as the campaign song for the Lincoln-Johnson ticket in the 1864 presidential election, as well as in elections after the war, such as for Garfield in the 1880 U.S. presidential election.

The song was so popular that the music publisher had 14 printing presses going at one time and still could not keep up with demand. It is estimated that over 700,000 copies of this song were put in circulation. Louis Moreau Gottschalk thought so highly of the song that in his diary he confided that he thought "it should be our national anthem"


Popular Song "When Johnny Came Marching Home"

The lyrics to "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" were written by the Irish-American bandleader Patrick Gilmore during the America Civil War. Its first sheet music publication was deposited in the Library of Congress on September 26, 1863.

The melody was previously published around July 1, 1863, as the music to the Civil War drinking song "Johnny Fill Up the Bowl". It was a topical drinking song that commented on events in the American Civil War. It was frequently refitted with new words by soldiers and other publishers.

"When Johnny Comes Marching Home" was immensely popular and was sung by both sides. It became a hit in England as well.


For more great music from the Civil War Era please visit:


Here are some great resources about the Civil War era.


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