Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

U S Civil War Musician (rank)

« Back to Projects Dashboard

Project Tags

view all


  • Musician (USA), George Washington Hackman (1845 - 1937)
    Military marker with flag.NOTE: The 1920 Census in Lititz, Lancaster Co., PA lists a George W. Hackman (DOB: about 1844, born in PA) living with Son-in-law and daughter; John & Annie Bender.Civil War R...
  • Corp. (USA) William C. Cocker (1842 - 1872)
    Cocker, William BATTLE UNIT NAME: 121st Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry SIDE: Union COMPANY: I SOLDIER'S RANK IN: Musician SOLDIER'S RANK OUT: Corporal ALTERNATE NAME: FILM NUMB...
  • Mus. (USA) Norman W. Earl (c.1833 - 1917)
    Civil War Veteran Affiliation: Union Rank: Musician Co.: K Regt.: 16th Vt. Branch: Infantry Age: 28, credited to Chester, VT Unit(s): 16th VT INF, 1st VT BGD Band Service: enl 9/15/62, m/i ...
  • Pvt. Marcus T. Carpenter (1844 - 1908)
    Marcus T. Carpenter served in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War as a Private and a Musician in Company A and F&S of the 1st Mississippi Light Artillery Regiment. He enlisted in Company...
  • Prin. Mus. Orson Nichols (1806 - 1876)
    Orson Nichols, was born in Hamilton, Dec. 2, 1806, and died in Lonoke, Ark., Sept. 23, 1876. Mr. Nichols was a farmer. He resided in Schoolcraft, Mich., until 1855, then moved to Galesburgh, Ill., and ...

United States

The rank of Musician was a position held by military band members, particularly during the American Civil War. The rank was just below Corporal, and just above Private. In some units it was more or less equal to the rank of Private.

During the American Civil War, military leaders with the Union and Confederate Armies relied on military musicians to entertain troops, position troops in battle, and stir them on to victory — some actually performing concerts in forward positions during the fighting.

There were two types of historical traditions in military bands. The first was military field music. This type of music included bugles, bagpipes, or fifes and almost always drums. This type of music was used to control troops on the battlefield as well as for entertainment. One example of controlling the troops was the drum beats setting the march cadence for the troops. Following the development of instruments such as the keyed trumpet or the saxhorn family of brass instruments, a second tradition of the all brass military band was formed.

During the American Civil War most Union regiments had both types of groups within the unit.


Several U.S. Army Musicians were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War. These recipients include:

William J. Carson (Musician)

John Cook (Bugler)

Richard Enderlin (Musician)

Benjamin F. Hilliker (Musician)

William H. Horsfall (Drummer)

Orion P. Howe (Musician)

Willie Johnston (Musician)

John S. Kountz (Musician)

James P. Landis (Chief Bugler)

J. C. Julius Langbein (Musician)

William Lord (Musician)

William Magee (Drummer)

Robinson B. Murphy (Musician)

George H. Palmer (Musician)

John T. Patterson (Principal Musician ) Charles W. Reed (Bugler)

Ferdinand F. Rohm (Chief Bugler)

Charles Schorn (Chief Bugler)

Julian A. Scott (Drummer)

James Snedden (Musician)

Alason P. Webber (Musician)

Thomas M. Wells (Chief Bugler)