A correspondent, writing from the army of the Potomac, in June, 1862, says: “Speaking of the spirit of the men reminds me of an incident, both grand and beautiful, which took place in Butterfield’s brigade. For months there has been a standing order against the playing of bands in camp, and in not one instance of the numerous late battles have our splendid bands been allowed to inspire the heart of the brave soldier by the strains of patriotic music. A great mistake, all will say. During the fight yesterday afternoon, an order came for Morell’s division to repair to the hill near where the battle was going on, and act as a support for the reserve artillery. The men obeyed the order to fall in promptly, though the weather was scorching hot, and they had been four days without rest or sleep.
“A happy thought struck Captain Thomas J. Hoyt, of General Butterfield’s staff, who saw that the men looked weary and exhausted. He immediately gathered all the regimental bands, placed them at the head of the brigade, and oedered them to play. They started the ‘Star-spangled Banner;’ and the first note had hardly been struck when the men caught the spirit, and cheer after cheer arose from regiment after regiment, ans was borne away upon the bosom of the placid river, The band continued to play, and other regiments and other brigades caught the spirit, and the air resounded with tumultous applause at the happy hit, until all the columns on that vast plain were vying with each other to do homage to the inspiriting strains of the band. After several tunes, Major Welch, of the Sixteenth Michigan, in a brief speech, proposed three cheers for the hero of the command, General Daniel Butterfield, which were given in magnificent style. To add to the enthusiasm, General McClellan happened to ride through the field just then, and was received with an outburst that fairly astonished him.
“The scene was continued, the brigade moved off with the band playing, and had there been a fight in the next field, the men would have gone into action on the double-quick to the tune of Yankee Doodle, if every one had known that death would be his fate.”