A correspondent with Sherman’s army recorded this incident.
Memorable the music “that mocked the moon” of November of the soil of Georgia; sometimes a triumphant march, sometimes a glorious waltz, again an old air stirring the heart alike to recollection and to hope. Floating out from throats of brass to the ears of soldiers in their blankets and generals within their tents, these tunes hallowed the eves to all who listened.
Sitting before his tent in the glow of a camp fire one evening, General Sherman let his cigar go out to listen to an air that a distant band was playing. The musicians ceased at last. The general turned to one of his officers:
“Send an orderly to ask that band to play that tune again.”
A little while, and the band received the word. The tune was “The Blue Juniata,” with exquisite variations. The band played it again, even more beautifully than before. Again it ceased, and then, off to the right, nearly a quarter of a mile away, the voices of some soldiers took it up with words. The band, and still another band, played a low accompaniment. Camp after camp began singing; the music of “The Blue Juniata” because, for a few minutes, the oratorio of half an army.
Originally posted 2009-01-05 14:12:31.