Most of the time I have to hunt for material that I use in my blog, but the information for this particular post came to me, which I must say is a nice change of pace. My last blog entry concerned the filming of a group of Confederate veterans giving the Rebel Yell in 1932. The first veteran that was filmed was James Dinkins, who served in Company C, “Confederates,” 18th Mississippi Infantry.
One of my readers, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted me after reading the blog, and told me that he had in his possession an original piece of sheet music dedicated to the “Confederates,” which was purchased by his ancestor in Vicksburg during the Civil War.
The original owner of the sheet music was William Oliver, who lived in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. The front page even has a pencil notation on the cover, “Oliver, May 3, 1862.” William Oliver enlisted in the 31st Louisiana Infantry on July 2, 1862, serving as captain & quartermaster in the regiment.
The “Confederates” mustered into state service at Canton on April 22, 1861. The first captain of the company was Otho R. Singleton, who was a Mississippi representative to the United States Congress when the Civil War started. When the conflict began he explained why Mississippi had made the decision to leave the Union, saying: “Submission to such dictation and insult is not a term to be found in her vocabulary. To her vision there floats in the breeze but two banners – Upon the one is inscribed ‘Disunion,’ upon the other ‘Dishonor.’ Under the former she has ranged herself, prepared to take the consequences.”
William Oliver purchased the sheet music from Moody & Kuner in Vicksburg, who owned a jewelry store on Washington Street in Vicksburg. Both of these men are well known to me; Daniel N. Moody joined the 21st Mississippi Infantry in 1861, starting out as the captain of Company A, the “Volunteer Southrons.” He quickly showed his aptitude for the military, moving up to major, lieutenant colonel, and eventually colonel of the 21st Mississippi. He was wounded three times during the war, but survived the conflict and returned home to Vicksburg in 1865. Max Kuner was born in Bavaria in 1824, and he eventually immigrated to the United States and settled in Vicksburg. He lost everything he owned during he war, but he survived and began to rebuild in 1865. He left Vicksburg in the 1870s, and by the 1880s he had moved to Colorado, where he founded the Kuner Pickle Company and became a very successful businessman.
I can just imagine the Confederates marching out of Canton, Captain Singleton at their head, to the strains of the “Confederates Grand March.” The only problem is that I don’t want to just imagine it, I want to hear what the music sounded like. If one of the readers has some musical talent, and a camera, please contact me. I can send you high resolution scans of the music, and hopefully we can get a video of someone playing it on piano that we can upload to Youtube.