SAU CFDD
May 142015
 

Civil War music
To the Editor,
I appreciated Timothy Walch’s essay on Civil War music in the May 7 issue of The Catholic Messenger. I agree with his statement “Music was an integral part of the war from recruitment to battle to bereavement and, finally, to homecoming.”
In October of 2013 I attended a concert of Civil War music performed by the Red Cedar Chamber Music duet at the Washington, Iowa, community theatre. The narrator gave a running history of the songs and added lots of tidbits of information.
They played “Sherman’s March to the Sea” which Walch mentioned. The musicians played on a gut-string guitar and a wooden flute, both authentic Civil War instruments.
I was very surprised when one of their offerings was a ballad titled “Just Before the Battle, Mother.” They passed out the sheet music to the audience. It was a soldier’s thoughts of his mother before going into battle. The refrain went like this:
Farewell mother, you may never
Press me to your heart again;
But Oh, you’ll never forget me, mother,
If I’m numbered with the slain.
My mother used to sing that to me back in 1934 when I was 5 years old. I don’t know where she learned it; she was born in 1902, long after the Civil War. Hearing it again after almost 80 years brought back old memories. And Walch’s article brought them up again.
Teresa Mottet
Fairfield

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Facebooktwittermail

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

Copyright © 2009-2017 The Catholic Messenger
Site Map
Send feedback to messenger@davenportdiocese.org. All rights reserved. This material may not be broadcast, published, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.