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“Music on the Battlefield” Program Presented to UDC

October 11th, 2012 by

The William F. Slemons Chapter 977, United Daughters of the Confederacy, met at the home of Connie Mullis, September 25, 2012, at 2:00 p.m.

Connie Mullis, Vice President, presided over the meeting in the absence of President Beth Thurman.

Diane Mazanti opened the meeting with prayer.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States was read by Connie Mullis. Sue Johnson led the singing of “Dixie.” The UDC Pledge was read in unison, followed by the UDC Ritual and the Lord’s Prayer.

The minutes were presented by Bettye Kellum, acting secretary, and were approved. The treasurer’s report was given by Annette Rawls. The chapter has twenty-six members. Sue Johnson, Registrar, mentioned that Sarah Mathis and Susan Williams had applied for supplement applications.

Sue Johnson, who does an excellent job in selecting the material printed in the books, was reimbursed for her work in printing the year books. Diane Mazanti made a motion to have the minutes of each meeting included in the scrapbook. The motion was approved. A copy of the minutes will go to Ann Burgess, Historian.

Some members will be attending the annual Arkansas Division Convention in Mountain Home, AR, on September 27-29, 2012.

Mullis presented the program, “Music on the Battlefield.” To the soldiers who served on both sides of the war, the songs lived in their hearts for years after the war ended. Soldiers often attached memories of home and the war in which they served, not knowing if they would ever see their loved ones again. Many of the Confederate songs came from the heart as the north had more resources with which to print the music.

Musicians were given special privileges as they had to use the music to boast the morale of the soldiers. On the battlefield, bugles, drums, and fifes were played to issue marching orders, retreat, and recreation. Sometimes the drummer boys were not even in their teens, so the older boys could aid in the war. The drummers had clothing that would identify them from soldiers, and they were required to march to the right of the column. At times the older musicians had to leave the battlefront to assist surgeons.

Each side had its own favorite tune; however, the song “Dixie” was enjoyed by North and South alike. It became the unofficial anthem of the Confederacy. Sometimes at night before a battle, both sides could be heard playing “Home Sweet Home.” Other songs that were sung by both sides were “Amazing Grace” and “Nearer My God to Thee.”

The next meeting will be December 11, 2012, at noon at the camp of Jo Ann and Dale Handly.

The meeting was closed with prayer.

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