Home Sweet Home

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from http://civilwarband.com:

Home Sweet Home 

This song comes from the opera, Clari or The Maid of Milan, which opened in London on May 8, 1823. The music was composed by Henry Bishop and the lyrics by John Howard Payne.

On the eve of the Battle of Murfreesboro/Stones River, the Federal and Confederate bands serenaded the troops. Each band strove to outdo the other. As remembered by Sam Seay of the 1st Tenn.: “Finally one of them struck up Home Sweet Home. As if by common consent all other airs ceased, and the bands of both armies, as far as the ear could reach, joined in the refrain.”

The soldiers of both sides lifted their voices and joined the bands. Some began to shed a tear as their thoughts turned to home. In a similar situation, a few weeks after the Battle of Fredericksburg, as the combatants encamped on opposite banks of the Rappahannock River, both Union and Confederate military bands took turns serenading the armies.

The impromptu concert ended when a Federal band struck up Home Sweet Home and thousands of Northerners and Southerners pondered if they would see their homes again. When the Federal band ended a Confederate band repeated the tune. Then one regimental band after the other in both armies joined in. Some soldiers began to sing the lyrics.

Leander Cogswell of the 11th New Hampshire wrote, “As the sweet sounds arose and fell on the evening air all listened intently, and I do not believe there was a dry eye in all those assembled thousands.” Confederate Joseph Brown pondered how “Men who faced each other but a few weeks ago in one of the bloodiest battles of the world could unite on a mere suggestion of a song.”

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One Response to “Home Sweet Home”

  1. Jim Says:

    Stumbled on this blog that says playing of this song was banned in the union army.
    http://historicaldigression.com/2011/01/02/auld-lang-syne-banned/

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