Issue 8-24-14 Website - page 11

NoMore The Bugle Calls
widevarietyof hands-on-history
programs for the students at the
Wolcott Street School and this
next year, we hope to expand
some of the programs.
One of the programs is based
on the Civil War and we hope
to offer the students a brief look
at what it was like when 240
men from LeRoy were gone to
fight what was known as the
“War of the Rebellion.” Every
familywas touchedbywhatwas
going on. Women and children
were scrapping lint and rolling
bandages. Others were packing
small boxesof foodandclothing
to send to the soldiers while
otherswerewriting letters.
MyronPierson’s sisters sewed
aflag that theyflewat theirhouse,
while other women sewed a
flag that was carried into battle.
Soldiers were billeted in the
buildings at the end of Church
Street and they drilled and
marched inpreparation forbeing
called toduty. Theyalsowalked
into town and serenaded the
younggirlsat InghamUniversity
and attended services at the
News from the front was
reported in the
LeRoy Gazette
and families waited for lists of
wounded and fatalities. We will
haveeachstudentwrite thename
of one soldier ona ribbonand tie
it toaflag. Then theflagswill be
displayed around the Soldier’s
Monument atTrigonParkas they
goback toschoolasa reminderof
thesacrifices that thiscommunity
made topreserve theunionand to
guarantee freedom forallpeople.
In the meantime, I have
learned that both my grandsons
are participating in the music
programat school.One isplaying
the trumpet and the other the
drums. A hundred and fifty
years ago, theywouldhavebeen
learning the buglemusic and the
cadences to send soldiers into
battle, and boys just a few years
olderwouldhave liedabout their
age and enlisted asmusicians.
It’s a sobering thought. The
importance of the musicians
might be overlooked today,
but in the 1860s, the need for
communication to the thousands
ofmenon thebattlefieldwaswith
the young buglers. The drums
were fine for setting the cadence
formarching, but once the battle
broke out, only the bugle could
be heard above the din. And
it was the bugle that regulated
army life incamp.Therewere49
different signals for getting up;
for assembly; for sick call; for
lights out and for end of day as
well as all the battle formations.
It was during the Civil War
rewritten and became a part of
militarymusic. It is also curious
tonote thatConfederateunitshad
tohavedifferent bugle signals so
theywouldnot be confusedwith
theUnionbugles. Itwasbecause
of experiences during the Civil
War that General Emory Upton
(from Batavia – whose statue
stands on themonument in front
of the Court House) proposed a
complete revision of the tactics
of theUnitedStatesArmy.
His revisions included
standardizedbuglecalls.A recent
article in the
Western New York
Heritage Magazine
by David
Neth, gives a good glimpse of
the life and times ofGen.Upton,
who is considered a military
Military musicians also
included military bands. In
1861, each regimentwasallowed
to have a band of twenty four
musicians. Calvary units were
allowed to have 16musicians in
their units. The mission was to
for the soldiers. One account
mentions that returning soldiers
from a disastrous defeat were
met with the hymn “Nearer My
God toThee.” AndGeneral Lee
said that the war could not have
been fought without music. For
the Union, the “Battle Hymn of
theRepublic”and the“BattleCry
of Freedom” rallied soldiers and
citizens to the cause.
In nearby Caledonia, John
McNaughton wrote a poem that
was set to music.
The Faded
Coat of Blue
told the sad story
of a Union soldier who died in
a southern prison. (Perhaps you
have noticed the historicmarker
in front ofhishouseonyourway
toAvon. I noticed lastweek that
the house is for sale.)
From the second verse of
FadedCoat of Blue
Nomore thebuglecalls theweary
Rest, noble spirit, in thy grave
the good and true
Whenarobeofwhite isgiv’en for
the faded coat of blue
Photo courtesy
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