Sheet Music of the Week: Anderson and Beauregard Edition

"Major R. Anderson's grand march" by Ch. Grobe. New Orleans: A. E. Blackmar, 1861.

The following is a guest post from Head of Acquisitions & Processing Denise Gallo.

April 12 marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of Battle of Fort Sumter, the first major conflict of the Civil War. Having seceded from the Union four months earlier, South Carolina had been demanding that the Union evacuate the fort. Final negotiations came down to two men: Brigadier General P. G. T. Beauregard, the first Confederate officer to hold that rank, and Major Robert Anderson. In the end, cannon fire forced the decision. No matter how resolute, Anderson and his men had no chance against Beauregard’s firepower. When Anderson surrendered the following day, he was allowed to take Fort Sumter’s battered Stars and Stripes with him.

The Music Division’s rich collection of Civil War sheet music demonstrates how citizens from both sides celebrated their heroes in song. The Southern Beauregard garnered a polka march subtitled “Fort Sumter” in honor of his first victory. A rousing Grand March was “Respectfully dedicated to the gallant” Major Anderson. In essence, sheet music took on the role of genteel propaganda, bringing patriotism into the parlor.

In time, Beauregard would be the subject of other songs as would Fort Sumter when it once again became the site of battle. Ah, but those are the subjects for other blogs as the Music Division follows the Civil War in song.

Highlights from the Civil War Sheet Music Collection are now available on iTunes U.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.