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  • Confederate Music and the Politics of Treason and Disloyalty in the American Civil War

On June 9, 1862, the New Orleans Bee heralded the arrival of "New Music" from local music-publishing firm Messrs. Blackmar & Co. The timing and content of the news item was provocative. After five weeks of Union army occupation under Major General Benjamin F. Butler and just two days after the execution of William B. Mumford for "tearing down the United States flag," the Blackmar brothers alerted readers to the availability of two already well-renowned Confederate songs: "The Bonnie Blue Flag" and "Maryland, My Maryland." The audaciousness of doing so would have been clear to readers at the time, who need only have diverted their attention two columns to the right to find the Bee's report of Mumford's execution.1 Yet, despite efforts to suppress its use, secessionist music proved to be a stubborn mainstay of resistance to the Federal occupying force. And for many Confederates, the willingness of the United States military to regulate music was confirmation of their belief that the federal government was a threat to their personal liberty and the so-called southern way of life. "Was there ever such nonsense and such a want of pride and dignity," complained diarist Julia Le Grand at the thought of her New Orleans neighbors being put on trial for their singing; "I'm afraid Mrs. Stewart's daughters [End Page 75] next door will be arrested some day, for their piano and mingled voices are continually doing duty to [a] contraband ditty."2

Less than three weeks later, the Democratic-leaning St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican announced the "Arrest of Balmer & Weber, Music Dealers" by order of Provost Marshal George E. Leighton and the closing of their establishment due to their involvement in the trade of "rebel music." The arrest occurred two weeks after Leighton had issued Order No. 834, which, in an effort to curb "malicious manifestations of disloyalty," singled out for rebuke "singing secession songs."3 Balmer and Weber, being vendors of secession songs such as "The Southern Confederacy March" and "Southern Rights Polka," were thus accused of circulating "signs of treason." According to a correspondent for the New York Tribune, the arrest of the well-known music publishers caused "whirls of excitement" in town, and though the correspondent could accept that Balmer and Weber "must suffer the consequences" of their actions, many locals in St. Louis were less convinced. The Daily Missouri Republican, incredulous at the harsh measures, declared the military government's handling of the affair "a musical humbug."4

Both episodes speak to music's now familiar presence in the political combat of wartime experience. But the phenomenon of Confederate musical arrests also raises questions: What made the sensory impact of Confederate music powerful enough to be considered a crime? Why did Confederates think it was a good idea to sing Confederate songs, even after they were banned by an occupying military government? And how did efforts to regulate Confederate airs bear on debates over the balance between rights and liberties in wartime? To answer these questions, I emphasize that ideas about the power of music before the Civil War muddied the boundaries of acceptable political action during the war, that cultural assumptions about gender, class, and music itself characterized how musical arrests played out on the ground, and that the Union army's attempts to suppress Confederate singing did not amount to an unambiguously effective policy. If anything, music-related arrests most clearly succeeded in providing critics of the Abraham Lincoln administration—both at home and abroad—with headline-grabbing evidence that the Union [End Page 76] really was as repressive and unjust as they had feared. In all, Confederate musical arrests, as political reflections of power and its subversion, reveal how Confederate music helped shape the boundaries, experience, and outcome of Union occupation.5

That experiences of Union military occupation crystallized fundamental questions about gender roles, the purpose of a standing army, and the limits of American freedom and treason lies at the heart of an already impressive literature.6 We know that the actions of enslaved people and Confederate women upended long-held assumptions about their incapacity to participate in political action.7 We know that Union soldiers, in response, often chafed at the seemingly pedestrian task of policing noncombatants in garrisoned towns and cities and that they struggled to reconcile the duties of occupation with the ambitions of a citizen-soldier.8 And we know that the Union military's overall shift from a "conciliatory" approach to a more punitive "hard war" policy failed to overcome the animosity of Confederate [End Page 77] civilians.9 At one level, evidence of Union soldiers' responding to incidents involving Confederate music corroborates many of these conclusions. In important ways, the existence of musical protest, particularly from women and children, and the idea that it required suppression exposed the limits of Union military power, challenged the social order, and confounded expectations that Union success on the battlefield would translate into Confederate defeat on the home front. At another level, however, evidence of Union attempts to regulate Confederate musical expression also underlines the extent to which these outcomes were a product of the Union's basic inability to separate the acceptability of Confederate patriotism from its treasonous implications. Music showcased just how difficult it was for the Union to counter the appeal of Confederate cultural symbols without simultaneously giving ammunition to charges of Union tyranny. This history, then, speaks to the deeply emotional terrain on which legal contests over Civil War loyalty played out and attests to the power of those emotions to frame the substance and significance of treason.10

The consideration of incidents regarding Confederate music in Unioncontrolled areas connects attempts to police loyalty in wartime cities to a growing effort to understand music's role in the conflict more broadly. Scholars have done much to highlight how songs worked as remarkably successful and accessible "cultural tools" that facilitated "overlapping communities" of belonging among combatants and civilians and how music could even help Union soldiers make sense of the southern environment by "render[ing] an alien land and people familiar."11 It is clear, in short, that music mattered to all kinds of Civil War Americans regardless of how varied their experiences might have been. However, when it comes to Union occupation, existing characterizations of Confederate music remain oddly uniform: rarely is it portrayed as anything besides a last-ditch means [End Page 78] of wartime resistance. Christian McWhirter, for instance, explains that white southern women used secessionist songs to attack Federal troops because it was "one of the only weapons available to them." E. Lawrence Abel claims that Confederate tunes like "Dixie" and "The Bonnie Blue Flag" constituted a "powerful musical weapon for arousing patriotic and martial feelings." And James A. Davis contends that at moments when military and civilian lives merged (as during periods of occupation), when "the 'old times' were gone," then "the comforting music of the civilian community must become a tool of war."12 Yet, as much as music was capable of becoming a tool of war for disempowered Confederates, this was not its only purpose.13 Confederate music was also patriotic music, and, as a result, Confederate musical arrests were embroiled in contentious debates over the nature of loyalty and sedition, the types of people capable of treason, and the lawful limits of rights and liberties during civil war.

In this sense, an analysis of Confederate music in areas under Union control speaks less to music's inherent ability to enable traditionally less powerful members of society to effect change than it does to the politics of policing disloyalty. To that end, a host of studies on the southern home front have usefully dismantled clear-cut distinctions between combatants and noncombatants and between home fronts and battlefields—even to the point of questioning whether the concepts themselves are appropriate.14 Yet Americans at the time did often talk and act like these distinctions were meaningful. As Amy Murrell Taylor has put it, Civil War Americans "continually defined and redefined, in explicit language, what was 'private' and what was 'public,' what was 'domestic' and what was 'military' or 'political.'" Moreover, as William A. Blair points out, their decisions "invariably broke down the ideological barriers between public and domestic worlds."15 But contemporaries of the war did not necessarily understand [End Page 79] their actions in these terms. When Julia Le Grand expressed indignation at the threat of neighboring women and children being arrested for singing Confederate songs, she was not concerned about being denied a new avenue of political influence; she was concerned about losing access to a form of expression she and her compatriots already felt entitled to use. Accordingly, Confederate musical arrests point to the extent to which boundaries between public and private, and military and civilian, experience were important—not because they technically existed but because their porousness allowed all kinds of Americans to define and redefine their location.

Sixty cases of Confederates being arrested, punished, or getting away with singing, selling, or publishing rebel songs in Union-controlled border towns or occupied cities underlie this story.16 Accounts of these incidents are drawn from a combination of newspaper reports, provost marshal records, and diaries hailing from a total of ten different towns between February 1862 and May 1865. Within these parameters, however, there are notable concentrations of evidence from particular times and places. Most of the arrests included took place after May 1862 and before August 1863—during a portion of the conflict wherein the threat (or the promise) of Confederate victory was most widely felt.17 Confederate music did not stop once chances of battlefield success had dwindled, but the perception of southerners fighting for a lost cause did, ironically, make it less common for Union officials to take the danger of Confederate music seriously.18 Geographically, two-thirds of the musical incidents in question took place in New Orleans. Towns other than New Orleans, particularly St. Louis and [End Page 80] Baltimore, witnessed fewer numbers of the incidents for which evidence is offered, but their significance as measured by the level of national and international debate they attracted was often higher.19 By including material from across these different locations, the evidence speaks to how longstanding assumptions of who and what could wield political power collided with—and sometimes transcended—local variables and wartime contingencies.

Naturally, the sources underlying these musical incidents pose a range of interpretive challenges. Diarist testimony of musical confrontations can be personal, self-serving, and idiosyncratic, while Union military records, though voluminous, were liable to overlook the importance of documenting music-related incidents in the first place.20 Newspaper reports, meanwhile, despite being highly partisan and sensationalistic, help pick up the slack. Court reports in particular—alongside columns advising readers of the arrival of letters at the post office, passengers on the latest ship, marriages, deaths, and new goods for sale—provided readers not only with political knowledge but also with the kinds of fact-based local knowledge (including gossip) that greased the wheels of day-to-day life. Who was in town? Who was in trouble? Who had the best new stock of shoes or sheet music? These details, often relayed cursorily, are capable of pointing to the existence of confrontations, like music-related arrests, that were not necessarily deemed significant enough to produce recoverable official records. Equally, at a national and an international level, newspapers shed light on how news of [End Page 81] these musical arrests, or the musical protests that preceded them, was conveyed to and received by audiences in and outside the United States.

Even given these limitations, it is possible to quantify the evidence at hand to sketch the broad demographic contours of individuals involved in Confederate musical incidents and the results of their cases. First, it was more common for men and adults to be involved in music-related cases than women or children, despite the reputation the latter group has earned for turning to music to express themselves during the war (Figures 1 and 2). In fact, nearly the same proportion of males and females arrested for a musical reason subsequently managed to avoid further punishment. Compared with males, however, women, children, and young offenders were more likely to get away with music-related offenses by not getting arrested in the first place (Figures 3, 4, and 5). Second, the most common outcome of Confederate musical incidents involving Union authorities was for offenders to be both arrested and punished (Figure 6). Yet, when categorized by class, it was more likely for high-class offenders to elude punishment than middling and lower-class persons, who had close to a fifty-fifty chance of being granted leniency (Figure 7). Finally, the scope of punishments levied on musical offenders varied widely. The most popular punishment was thirty days in jail, though sixty days in the workhouse was a possible sentence, as were monetary fines ranging from five to fifty dollars, being paroled or forced to take a loyalty oath, and banishment (Figure 8).21 The total number of musical arrests made during [End Page 82] the American Civil War is elusive and ultimately less important than the fact that only a handful of high-profile cases were needed to spark controversy and debate. However, if estimated conservatively, music-related arrests during the Civil War had to number at least in the hundreds.22

What is certain is that military arrests of civilians for ostensibly political reasons, like singing a Confederate song, were not unusual under Union military governments. And neither were such arrests a new phenomenon: examples of judicial proceedings against "Seditious Songs" in British American colonies can be traced at least as far back as 1734, while the antebellum legal landscape was flush with incidences of individuals who had disturbed the peace with noise or "obnoxious songs."23 But the processes, procedures, and scale of political arrests under martial law during the Civil War remain difficult for historians to recover with accuracy.24 In some cases, military tribunals or commanding officers considered cases where individuals had been charged with patently serious military-related offenses like destroying bridges, engaging in guerrilla warfare, and spying. Other cases brought before the same courts involved seemingly less [End Page 83]

Figure 1. C G N = 60.
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Figure 1.

Cases by Gender

Note: n = 60.

Figure 2. C A N = 60.
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Figure 2.

Cases by Age

Note: n = 60.

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Figure 3. R M C N = 32.
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Figure 3.

Results of Male Cases

Note: n = 32.

Figure 4. R F C N = 25.
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Figure 4.

Results of Female Cases

Note: n = 25.

[End Page 85]

Figure 5. R Y C C N = 13.
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Figure 5.

Results of Youth and Child Cases

Note: n = 13.

Figure 6. R A C N = 60.
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Figure 6.

Results of All Cases

Note: n = 60.

[End Page 86]

Figure 7. C P C N = 60.
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Figure 7.

Cases and Punishments by Class

Note: n = 60.

Figure 8. S P N = 60.
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Figure 8.

Scope of Punishments

Note: n = 60.

[End Page 87] grievous accusations of treason and disloyalty such as displaying portraits of Confederate generals, giving a hurrah for Jefferson Davis, insulting loyalists because of their loyalty, or being in possession of "'treasonable' correspondence."25 Music-related arrests clearly fell into this second category, but theoretically speaking the seriousness of the crime was always the same—sedition by any means was still sedition and could be punishable as such.

The scope and variety of seditious crimes derived from the fact that treason in the Civil War era encompassed a narrow legal definition as well as a more expansive popular one. As the only crime defined by the United States Constitution, treason technically meant to commit an "overt act" of war against the United States or to give "aid and comfort" to its enemies. But the evidence required to prove the charge was high: only a public confession or the corroboration of two witnesses willing to testify in open court could make a treason charge stick. The framers purposely set the bar this high to prevent charges of treason from being used for political reasons to suppress dissent. The problem, however, was that implied treason—that is, to act or speak in ways deemed detrimental to the republic—remained a popular touchstone for Americans, regardless of what the Constitution might have specifically said. So, when Unionists approached the question of how to identify and punish Confederate traitors, many found themselves attracted to the more broadly conceived definition of implied treason. In wartime, they reasoned, it was important to stamp out treasonous intentions before they morphed into treasonous actions.26 Yet Confederate singing proved problematic because as patriotic music it was considered both an indispensable part of a united and harmonious society and an indispensable weapon of war.

By the Civil War, theories concerning the role and purpose of music in wartime were built on long-standing assumptions that music's martial influence was more than symbolic. In 1814, for example, the Baltimore [End Page 88] American contended, "A well written song, to a good popular tune, will do more to excite martial ardour, than the most elaborate essay—There is an old adage, 'set the boys and girls to singing, and you will set the men to fighting.'"27 Similarly, the New York Evening Post explained, "From the earliest days—from the times of Moses down to the present moment—no band of soldiers of any extent has undertaken a march without the enlivening influence of music." By 1854, the Musical World had claimed that "music is wedded to Mars": "In every nation, both in peace and in war, the soldier has sought its influence, and owned its sway." The article, moreover, attested to music's positive influence across every aspect of wartime experience from "peacetime parade[s]" and "country reviews" to the battlefield and the prison cell. "Through its influence," the Musical World concluded, even "the mortification of defeat is mitigated, and men, once hostile, become accordant in the bonds of a common brotherhood."28

The tangible contribution of music in war was predicated not just on assertion but also on a deeper sense that the effects of music—however irrational, subliminal, or emotional—could be harnessed and deployed in calculated and rational ways. As Rebeccah Bechtold has shown, in the Revolutionary era it had been the science of sound, more so than music's artistic qualities, that helped Americans explain its power. And a similar distinction held true during the Civil War. Just as "An Essay on the Nature and Properties of Sound," included in William Billings's The New-England Psalm-Singer (published in 1770), suggested that music wielded power over listeners by vibrating the "auditory Nerve," so too did Louis Moreau Gottschalk, a famed New Orleans pianist, observe in 1865 that music "produces a pleasant momentary irritation of the nervous system" inside humans that "quickens the pulse, incites perspiration," and awakens "reminiscences, souvenirs, [and] associations." Notably, Gottschalk also argued that music was a "complex agent," by which he meant that, in the same way a serpent may be charmed into action by a flute, music possessed the power to have "a physiological action on the instinct, the organism, [and] the forces, of man."29 Music, in [End Page 89] other words, produced physical sensations that could influence human feelings and behavior in predictable ways. Accordingly, in 1860, Robert E. Lee encouraged his daughter not only to learn to "play well" on her piano but also to "take pleasure … in the Science [of music] itself," which, he added, is what "impart[s] true pleasure to those who hear you."30

Importantly, this scientific focus on the involuntary bodily sensations aroused by music had long helped imbue music with democratic potential. For if music were just a set of audible vibrations, then it held that anyone capable of hearing was capable of being moved by it, regardless of one's wealth, status, talent, or taste. To that end, throughout the antebellum period an abundance of articles relating homespun tales about the effects of music on animals, stories of animals with supposedly miraculous talents for playing music, missionary reports of indigenous and exotic music, and testaments to the medicinal benefits of music on humans suffused the corners and columns of newspapers and music journals alike.31 For some, like John Adams's son-in-law William [End Page 90] Stephens Smith, the accessibility of music made "hymns of Union" an attractive tool, as historian Kirsten E. Wood has written, "for captivating the mob."32 Others, however, viewed the utility of music's power less cynically (if no less politically in practice), believing that its sonorous tones could be deployed as part of a broader reformist agenda for national improvement and religious uplift. As Bartholomew Brown, editor of the Boston Musical Gazette, put it in 1838, "[Music] will not literally soften the rocks, or bend the hardy oak; but it will soften the soul;—it will harmonize the affectations, and change the purpose of one, who may be bent on some design most foul and disastrous!" For individuals, as with the nation at large, definitions of right and wrong lay in the eye of the beholder. But the idea of a harmonious nation heralded the prospect that the United States could resolve its differences by enabling its various and conflicting parts to unite in service of the whole.33

On occasion, this connection between musical harmony and political harmony was articulated even more explicitly, particularly as sectional divisions hardened over the course of the 1850s. In May 1853, for instance, when the New York Musical World celebrated the growth of the American piano-making business, it did so not just on financial grounds but also in anticipation of the agreeable influence over public life that the spread of music was bound to have. The journal expected that "the Pianoforte crop of the North will [soon] exceed the Cotton crop of the South. Then, political economists will have a less discordant subject upon which to expend their learning and eloquence, and perhaps our national counsels will present the pleasing spectacle of 'honorable gentlemen,' from all parts of the country, engaged in acoustical, melodic and harmonious discussions and experiments." "When these tuneful [End Page 91] days shall arrive," the Musical World predicted, "it is to be hoped that many of, if not all the discords which now rack the public tympanum, will be so 'prepared' and 'resolved' that they will no longer mar the harmony of our Federal organization, and sectional strifes be superseded by national concord." As idealistic as it sounds, it was at least theoretically possible because musical harmony was so widely thought capable of resolving dissonance in scientifically verifiable ways.34

The power and presence of music during the Civil War were also informed by the fact that musical expressions of patriotism were considered deeply respectable activities. As one New York music journal proposed in its first issue in 1849: "The conservative and ennobling influence of Music upon a people" meant that all efforts to support music in the United States "should be looked upon not as a scientific undertaking merely, but as a philanthropic, nay more, a patriotic enterprise." Similarly, in 1861, Richard Grant White claimed not only that "[m]usic is the universal language of emotion," but also that it was the one expressive form that, "with rare exceptions, … can give vent to excitement, that without it must be repressed." At a time when "Party barriers fell as if by magic; and we all found ourselves side by side with one feeling, one purpose," White explained, there was no nobler "fire" than patriotism and no better means of expressing it than music.35 The Virginia-based Southern Music Advocate and Singer's Friend would have agreed: "patriotism has ever burned the brighter when music fanned the flame, and the human breast has ever throbbed with a holier devotion when the soul of song was stirring at the heart-strings." Indeed, in the South, sufficiently strong patriotic associations could even redeem an otherwise average piece of music. In an 1857 review of a newly released collection of Revolutionary-era songs, Charleston, South Carolina's Russell's Magazine judged, "This volume impresses us with a profound respect for the patriotic fervor of our ancestors—not at all diminished by the quality of their verses, which, to say the truth, are 'curiously bad.'" In this way, the cultivation of patriotism was considered equally alongside morality and religion as a primary benefit derived from the cultivation of music.36 [End Page 92]

Significantly, pre–Civil War associations among music, patriotism, and moral uplift were not limited to individuals (like composers or music teachers) or publications (like music journals) with a commercial incentive to broadcast them. By 1835, the nation's foremost institutional proponent of these ideas, the Boston Academy of Music, could be found corresponding with smaller-scale imitators across the entire country: from Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia to Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, and Ohio.37 Meanwhile, another Boston musical organization, the Handel and Haydn Society, had by 1858 sold up to fifty thousand copies of its signature collection of church music, turning the first substantial profit in the nation from a musical endeavor.38 Though now closely associated with the Northeast, Lowell Mason, the editor of the Handel and Haydn Society's Collection of Church Music, was a resident of Savannah, Georgia, throughout the period of the anthology's creation and publication. In Savannah, Mason worked at a bank and dry goods store, led singing schools, served as organist at the Independent Presbyterian Church, and kept up with musical trends through subscriptions to music periodicals like John Rowe Parker's Boston-based Euterpeiad.39 So, despite the fact that a minority of northern cultural elites tended to be the ones articulating in print these positive understandings of music's power, by the start of the Civil War their message had sunk deep roots in communities throughout the country. In fact, by the 1850s music journals took particular pride in emphasizing the extent to which their subscription base transcended sectional divides. In 1856, for example, New York's Musical Pioneer and Chorister's Budget editor I. B. Woodbury celebrated that his publication "is now read in every State in the Union" and declared his [End Page 93] belief that its circulation would help guide the country back "to the realms of peace."40

This idea that music constituted an appropriate and unifying means of patriotic expression could not be easily dismantled, even by the exigencies of civil war and military occupation. And in it lies the basis for explaining not only why Confederates sang but also why Union punishments for singing and selling Confederate music varied in seemingly inconsistent ways. Since patriotic music was considered an inherently respectable activity, it represented—especially, but not only, for Confederate women—an appropriate and accessible medium through which to defy Union control. In contrast, for Union officials the continuation of Confederate music contributed not just to what Andrew F. Lang has termed a "gender identity crisis" but also to questions over where, when, and how the sheer expression of Confederate ideals posed a treasonous threat to the Union.41

Take the Union army's occupation of New Orleans. In September 1861, when seventeen-year-old Clara Solomon enthused to her diary, "I do love the 'Bonnie Blue Flag,'" few would have judged her sentiments remarkable, given how closely they echoed the collective judgment of her New Orleans peers. On news of the first performances of "The Bonnie Blue Flag" in the spring and summer of 1861, the local press lauded its British author Harry Macarthy as a "true son of genius" and a "remarkable man," whose "concerts are now all the rage." And the tune itself—written as an ode to the unofficial Confederate flag of the same name—had quickly attained a prominent place in New Orleans's civic life as a "feature" at concerts for the benefit of Confederate soldiers and as a favored selection for use in children's singing lessons.42 Lyrically, its verses celebrated the name of every state that had seceded from the Union to join the Confederacy, and its chorus refrain was a literal "Hurrah!" for the cause of "Southern Rights." Consequently, the lyrical directness of "The Bonnie Blue Flag," despite its previous civic associations, had a tendency to get its admirers into trouble once Union occupation began.43

Confederate women in New Orleans, not caring for the Union's military intrusion into their private lives, met the occupation of their city [End Page 94] in open protest of their occupiers. Women emptied chamber pots on the heads of Union soldiers, pointedly lifted their dresses, obviously displayed Confederate iconography and flags, threw jeers and taunts as soldiers passed, and blatantly sang rebel songs. Benjamin F. Butler, who was in charge of the Union army's occupying forces, initially responded to these provocations by issuing his infamous Women's Order, which stated that Union soldiers were to treat any woman who "insult[ed] or show[ed] contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States" as a "woman of the town plying her avocation." Whereas women might have previously assumed they could rely on their gender to exempt them from punishment, Butler's Women's Order raised the stakes by taking their defiance seriously and instructing Union officers to engage with Confederate women not as women, exactly, but as hostile adversaries. From an officer's perspective, however, having the authority to arrest civilians purely on account of their self-expression was not a straightforward power to wield. It meant having to decide, over and over again, whether exercising that power could be reconciled with their identities as men, their ideals as citizen-soldiers, and their conceptions of how best to spread the cause of freedom and liberty.44

Given these considerations, regulating even the most overtly proConfederate songs like "The Bonnie Blue Flag" was no easy task. And one of the most potent examples of this challenge comes from the experience of Claiborne Massey, who appeared in the New Orleans provost court on April 28, 1863, arraigned on the charge of playing "The Bonnie Blue Flag" on the piano inside her parents' house on Bacchne Street. A policeman on the beat had made the arrest and was present in the court as prosecutor. But whereas most provost court defendants had no legal aid whatsoever, Massey's family had the means to procure an unusually high-powered defense from Michael Hahn—a Louisiana lawyer who had just returned from a short stint in the United States Congress. Without denying the charge per se, Hahn proceeded to make five claims in support of Massey's acquittal: first, she had "inadvertently" played the tune "without any intention"; second, she "did not sing the words"; third, the loyalty of her family had never before been questioned; fourth, "gossip of the neighborhood" had led to the arrest, "out of spite"; and fifth, the music itself was not treasonous because "the [End Page 95] tune of 'The Bonnie Blue Flag' did not rightfully belong to the song of that name … [since] the air was an old one, and by itself was not disloyal." In other words, Hahn argued, the crime of playing this socalled Confederate tune should not really be considered a crime at all.45

Both the prosecuting officer and witnesses for the defense confirmed that Massey was not singing at the time of her arrest, and that in their opinion she had most likely fallen into playing "The Bonnie Blue Flag" without meaning to do so. The corroboration of this evidence, combined with there being no history of seditious behavior in Massey's family, the assertion that gossip had sensationalized the episode, and ingeniously, the claim that "The Bonnie Blue Flag" when played without any lyrics reverted back into the old Hibernian air on which it was based, was all to suggest that martial law had overstepped its prerogative, and that the melody, in and of itself, occupied a space somewhere beyond its political associations. The question, at least according to the Bee's court reporter, became less about whether Massey had performed the melody she was accused of than about whether her performance of it constituted a trivial form of entertainment and a legitimate means of self-expression, or whether the tune itself was powerful enough to pose a threat to the maintenance of public order—thereby making any rendition of it worthy of suppression.46

The judge who heard Massey's case, August DeB. Hughes, was already experienced in weighing whether to punish or to protect members of southern society previously considered harmless.47 And, in this case, Hughes was not persuaded by Hahn's argument that a girl's music was beyond the law. Instead, the Bee reported, the court issued Massey a fifteen-dollar fine, with the opinion "that what might be justifiable in one spot was not in another, and as that tune had become obnoxious, the use of it in any house demanded some punishment." Other newspaper reports of the judgment added that Hughes had taken [End Page 96] "the high character of the able gentleman who defended the lady" into consideration and had therefore decided to "be as lenient as the strict requirements of his duties would permit."48 This assertion was not entirely true. Fines imposed for music-related offenses in New Orleans during Union occupation varied anywhere from five to fifty dollars, and acquittal without punishment was nearly as likely as receiving a fine or a sentence of thirty days in jail.49 Nonetheless, Hughes ruled that the performance of this melody was inherently seditious and that the performer must be punished as a result.

Still, the language reportedly used by Hughes in Massey's sentencing is revealing. In fact, many sentences for seditious music were justified precisely on the grounds that a judge felt obliged to dispense at least "some punishment," as Hughes was said to have put it.50 Another such case in New Orleans was the trial of Mrs. Bensadon, "an elderly lady in spectacles," who was sent to jail for thirty days in May 1863 for "exhibiting and expressing secession proclivities," including the keeping of a house "where the Bonnie Blue Flag and shouts for Jeff Davis and [General P. G. T.] Beauregard are often heard." The prosecution's central argument, however, was that Bensadon must be imprisoned not because martial law required it but because the court needed "to give a proper impression." By comparison, many judges, when given the opportunity, were disposed to dismiss altogether charges of singing Confederate music. Just one day after Bensadon was sentenced, five boys who had been arrested for singing a song "with the chorus—'We will fight for Jeff Davis, etc.'" were discharged after the arresting officer, a Lieutenant Duane, pleaded for them not to be sent to prison.51 [End Page 97]

Contributing to the variability of these outcomes was the fact that the legal-military apparatus charged with policing treason and disloyalty in Federal-controlled areas was intimidatingly large and diffuse. In states that had seceded, United States civilian courts could not technically operate, which resulted in the local military commander becoming the source of legal authority, or martial law. The commanding general could then choose to delegate his authority to a provost officer to run the military courts. Within loyal states, the Constitution guaranteed the right of every citizen to a free trial (the "privilege of the writ of habeas corpus") "unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." In April 1861, President Lincoln took the step of suspending the writ of habeas corpus in Maryland after secessionist riots broke out in Baltimore. And a month later, in Ex parte Merryman, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney ruled that only Congress, not the president, had the authority to suspend habeas corpus—a ruling Lincoln defied until March 1863, when the technicalities of the issue were rendered moot by the passage of the Habeas Corpus Suspension Act.52 But once war had broken out, northern jurists like Anna Ella Carroll were making the case that loyalty or disloyalty was a product less of state action than of personal choice: "no man should be implicated in the guilt of an insurrection," Carroll maintained, "unless he actually rebels."53

Meanwhile, a loose and often overlapping network of Union provost marshals undertook the grassroots work of identifying and charging citizens with treason and disloyalty in both the North and the Unionoccupied areas of the South. There were at least three different types of Union provost marshals in any given location: a military provost marshal, responsible for enforcing the discipline of the army corps, division, or brigade with whom he was attached; a civil provost marshal (appointed by military officers), who was responsible for policing disloyalty among the population of a particular geographic area; and a departmental provost marshal, who operated in an oversight capacity over the other two. In practice, distinctions between all three tended to blur, and local members of the community, including the police, were routinely recruited to serve as informants and enforcers. The structure of this provost marshal system meant that centralized policies crafted in [End Page 98] Washington, D.C., were carried out by individuals at a far remove from the administration, which in turn made room for a large degree of variability. Overzealous policemen could easily overreach, and some provost marshals operating without much federal oversight exercised their powers corruptly. Definitions of loyalty, disloyalty, and treason were thus negotiated through interactions between citizens and functionaries of the Union government rather than imposed by the president, the Constitution, or any clearly definable set of rules.54

Within this system, deciphering and enforcing the legal status of patriotic music were never straightforward. For example, in April 1863 Unionists' calls for an airing of "Hail Columbia" disrupted a performance at the Varieties Theater in New Orleans. The theater's manager, Lewis Baker, insisted that he was unable to comply with the request because the license the military authorities had issued the theater specifically forbade the recitation of "political airs." A near riot ensued when a representative of the military government confirmed the validity of Baker's statement: loyalists immediately denounced both men as liars and vehemently disputed the designation of "Hail Columbia" as a political song. As one incredulous audience member put it, "Do you mean to say that the military authorities will not allow the national airs to be played in this theatre?" In response Baker insisted that "'there are, undoubtedly, Confederate as well as Union gentlemen present, and therefore these Union national airs are very unpleasant'"—a disingenuous ploy, thought Unionists, who had long complained of Baker's reputed tendency to substitute "some secesh melody" in place of "national airs." Ultimately, the threat of violence emptied the theater of most patrons before instructions were finally given for the tune to be played. For one commentator, however, the Varieties Theater episode was indicative of the military administration's habitual incapacity to dispense wartime justice appropriately. "Sedition is protected by every quibble of the law," protested a correspondent to the New York Times, "and gross outrages which the laws never contemplated … go unpunished because the Judge, with no limit to his power, can find no law." According to disgruntled Unionists, the idea that Baker's company had literally been licensed to refuse requests to play national airs was "a blistering shame upon the military authorities of the city."55 [End Page 99]

In reality, Baker's attempts to prohibit the presence of loyal airs in his theater were not entirely predicated on the constraints of military law—the orders under which Baker's theatrical license operated emphasized quite plainly that loyalist sentiments were permissible, if not to be encouraged.56 Moreover, it is also true that the majority of male offenders who appeared in the New Orleans provost court on musicrelated charges were convicted and punished, even in cases that lacked clear-cut evidence of their guilt. One man arraigned for preventing a child from singing "The Star Spangled Banner" was fined thirty dollars because the testimony of the young black witness, whom he owned, was upheld over his explanation that he simply had sought to quiet a "great noise" being made next to him. In another case, two men were charged fifty dollars each for singing "The Bonnie Blue Flag" in a cab, despite denying the accusation and stating that they had actually been singing "The Star Spangled Banner" and "Erin Go Bragh." A close inspection of New Orleans newspapers between 1861 and 1864 shows that of a total of nineteen known cases in which adult males were tried in the provost court for seditious singing, thirteen were convicted and punished, as opposed to only six whose cases were dismissed.57 So, while leniency was often practiced, provost court judges did in many day-to-day cases proffer a firmer style of justice than Unionist complaints, particularly those from far-off New York, might have made it seem.58

Of course, the ease with which Confederate sympathizers could be arrested for singing or publishing Confederate songs reflected the fact [End Page 100] that open criticism of the United States government or open support of its enemies inevitably invited suspicion. "It took a perfect dunderhead not to notice," as William Blair memorably puts it, "that hurrahing for Jeff Davis or wishing for the success of the Confederacy brought the provost marshal to one's door." But the question of what should happen next weighed heavily on Union officers, who resented being tasked with what appeared to them as trivial civic assignments, of which the requirement to regulate music sung by women and children seemed particularly demeaning. A military hospital attendant in 1864 contemplated that if his unit were sent to New Orleans, "We shall only have to do the ignoble duty of petty policemen—pick up the little boys who will sing 'The bonnie blue flag' in the streets, and the naughty ladies who stick out their tongues at the soldiers. We shall have to go home ignominiously, without honor, without having struck a blow."59

Union attempts to police the loyalty of the divided population of St. Louis, Missouri, thrust Confederate music into a similarly contested space. Unlike in New Orleans, adjusting to invasion and occupation was not the lot of St. Louisans, and the Union's firm control of eastern Missouri ensured that the threat of a destructive military assault was never especially high. But St. Louis was nonetheless inhabited by a combustive constituency of Confederate sympathizers, conservative Unionists, Radical Republicans, and representatives of a spectrum of opinion in between. City leaders sought to keep the peace by enforcing a "flexible neutrality" that might give the appearance of uniform loyalty while in practice offering enough leeway to Confederate sympathizers to secure their support. The linchpin of the approach lay in the provost marshal's office, which oversaw a complex network of local informants, investigated rumors, surveilled the contents of mail and newspapers, extracted oaths of allegiance, and levied a range of punishments from fines to confiscations and arrests.60 Yet, since its goal was always less about imposing loyalty across the board than about facilitating political and social stability, the task of assessing and responding effectively to traditionally harmless actions like singing or selling Confederate music required a deft hand. Loyalty, in the end, was rarely easy [End Page 101] to measure, despite the fact that adjudicating its presence or absence became a necessary, if sometimes futile, part of making treason charges stick.

Technically, the U.S. military government in St. Louis issued no orders pertaining expressly to seditious music: there was no outline of the punishments that its recitation or distribution were to attract, and there was no clear articulation of the exact law such activities contravened. However, the St. Louis provost marshal, George E. Leighton, did provide a de facto prohibition of Confederate music. In Order No. 834, which was promulgated, as the Daily Missouri Republican reported, "with a view to preserving the peace of the neighborhood," Leighton ruled that three local women had proved themselves to be "disloyal to the Government of the United States" on account of the fact "that they frequently manifest such disloyalty publicly … by displaying secession flags, by singing secession songs, [and] by repeatedly insulting loyal persons because of their loyalty." As a result, the women were ordered to vacate their home within forty-eight hours or face arrest and confinement in a military prison.61 In this example Confederate music, instead of being banned outright, was grouped with an assortment of other activities that combined to form a picture of seditious proclivities, the expression of which was outlawed because of the threat it posed to the maintenance of public order. There was nothing in the language of the law to suggest that a single act of singing secessionist music necessarily amounted to a punishable offense. But music could supplement other evidence in cases where disloyalty seemed obvious but where a singular piece of definitive proof was lacking.

In 1864, however, one of Leighton's successors, Colonel John P. Sanderson, was compelled to reflect more closely on the link between music and disloyalty in response to a music publisher's request to sell a song called "'Stonewall' Jackson's Prayer" in St. Louis. Sheet music for the tune featured a prominent portrait of the Confederate general Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson on its cover, and the lyrics were ostensibly a sentimental ode about Jackson writing to his wife and infant on the night before his last battle. The publisher, Blelock & Co., was based in New York City and boasted commercial ties to many of the most popular and patriotic music publishing firms in the United States, including Root and Cady of Chicago, which was responsible for "The Battle Cry of Freedom." Conveniently downplayed was the fact that Blelock & Co. had only recently moved to New York after fleeing New Orleans once it had fallen to the Union. Nevertheless, Blelock & Co. argued that "'Stonewall' Jackson's Prayer" should be permitted in St. Louis, not just because "the words are very [End Page 102] touching and the melody very pretty," but because "it is not political in any sense whatever." In support of this claim, Blelock & Co. argued that the emotions of a man writing to his family before battle were universal and therefore not applicable to just one side of the conflict. "It might just as well have been called The Battle Prayer," the company reasoned, "or any other appropriate name." And the company maintained, not inaccurately, that if the lyrics were inspected on their own it would be impossible to tell whether the song was written from the perspective of the Confederacy or the Union.62

Sanderson was unmoved by the music publisher's logic. "I see no objection to the circulation of the song itself," Sanderson advised Major General William S. Rosecrans, but "why Jackson's likeness should appear on the cover, and the song be called by his name, I am at a loss to know, unless with the view of securing rebel patronage." Inferring that the request was "an attempt to evade your orders," Sanderson concluded, "I am not disposed to give its circulation any official sanction." The melody of "'Stonewall' Jackson's Prayer" was not itself disloyal, according to Sanderson, and neither were its lyrics. But the associations given to these otherwise neutral expressions by the tune's title and packaging constituted more than enough reason for him to suspect treasonous intent.63 In 1862, an almost identical thought process had also justified the initial arrest of music publishers Balmer and Weber for selling Confederate music. In that instance, a "reliable party" had included Balmer's and Weber's names on a list of disloyal persons, which had been furnished to the provost marshal's office, with the explanation that the "secession music" they had for sale—including titles like "Southern Cross," "Confederacy March," and "State Rights [March]"—"with flags, emblems, and likenesses of Davis, [General Sterling] Price, &c. on them" was enough to conclude that the duo merely "pretend to be Union."64 [End Page 103]

Yet the alleged link between music and disloyalty broke down as soon as news of Balmer's and Weber's arrest was made public. The Daily Missouri Republican, which defended the pair, pointed out that the pieces of music in question were merely "old pieces 'under the shadow of new names.'" "'The Confederacy March,'" the paper claimed, "was formerly published in Utica, New York, under the title of 'The Cayuga March,' and was not then an original publication, having been published years before in Germany." Even "The Southern Marseilles" was "notoriously the old French 'Marseilles Hymn.'" Others were "republished with new vignettes and title pages, vaunting the rebel flag as a lure to secession musicians."65 A few days after the arrest, the newspaper issued a corrective, stating that its reporting should not have been taken to imply in any way that Balmer and Weber "were publishers of part of the contraband." Instead, the paper clarified, all the music under investigation had been published in Baltimore, save for one piece that had arrived from Louisville. All that Balmer and Weber had done was purchase the sheet music "long ago as part of their general varied stock in trade" and, actually, "for some time have had none of them on sale." The editorial went as far as to claim that Balmer and Weber "have never published any music of that character." No evidence survives to indicate the exact argument that Balmer and Weber used in their defense. However, the military authorities in St. Louis quickly proved agreeable and released the pair without punishment just a day after their arrest.66

Performers of Confederate music in St. Louis were treated similarly to its publishers. When J. J. Kendrick, a local man originally from New York, was arrested and imprisoned "for singing a disloyal song on board a Steam Boat," family friend William M. Robinson, captain of the Twenty-sixth Missouri Volunteer Infantry, petitioned Provost Marshal General Franklin A. Dick for Kendrick's release. "I have known [Kendrick] from boyhood," Robinson wrote. "He is a harmless man" who "regrets" his actions, Robinson explained; "As an officer of the U[nited] States I would not urge the release of any one who could be dangerous to the Government."67 In another case, Miss Maria Dee, who had [End Page 104] made a habit of "singing secession songs" while Union soldiers passed by her house, was eventually turned in by a neighbor who was presumably annoyed that the intended targets of Dee's songs had not considered the slight significant enough to warrant taking action themselves.68 Local newspapers, meanwhile, delighted in reporting that a group of "notorious rebel sympathizers" who had made a "custom" of offending loyal people by singing "secession songs and ditties" were finally "suppressed" by a crowd of small boys who surprised them with a hail of "bologna sausage and bad eggs."69 Secession-associated music, then, may have been a cause for excitement and agitation, but to the participants involved at the time it did not necessarily constitute a serious threat to public peace, at least not when it came from supposedly harmless men, women, and children.

A seemingly less ambiguous set of rules regarding music censorship prevailed in Baltimore. In March 1863 military provost marshal William S. Fish issued a ban on selling Confederate music under the authority of Major General Robert C. Schenck, then the commanding officer of the Middle Department. The Baltimore Sun printed the order, which was addressed to the music publishers and dealers of Baltimore: "The publication or sale of secession music is considered by the commanding general and the Department at Washington an evil, incendiary, and not for the public good. You are therefore hereby ordered to discontinue such sales until further orders. Also to send to this office any such music you may have on hand at present." In this formulation, the basis for banning Confederate music was presented as a moral necessity as well as an essential wartime political measure. And, indeed, the existence of the order and the morality of its language were in part a reflection of Schenck's strong support for a Union emancipation policy, which contributed to his adoption of measures aimed at impressing on Maryland's contingent of vacillating Unionists that there could be "'no middleground'" when it came to their loyalty.70 Certainly, the emergence of emancipation as a necessary component of Union victory heightened the stakes of loyalty on the ground. However, Schenck's order did not [End Page 105] represent a significant practical change to Union policy in Baltimore, which had effectively banned Confederate music since at least September 1861, if not before. In a dispatch that month to Major General George B. McClellan, General John A. Dix reported that his soldiers "have been instructed to arrest any person who makes a public demonstration by word or deed in favor of the Confederate Government and I have prohibited the exhibition in shop windows of rebel envelopes and music." Indeed, back in May 1861, Benjamin F. Butler had formulated the initial scope of martial law in Baltimore in conspicuously expansive terms: "No flag, banner, ensign, or device of the socalled Confederate States … will be permitted to be raised or shown in this department"; any use "of them by evil-disposed persons will be deemed and taken to be evidence of a design to afford aid and comfort to the enemies of the country." Safe to say, in July 1862 there was no need for a music-specific provision of martial law to facilitate the arrest and imprisonment of Henry McCaffrey, a well-known Baltimore music dealer and publisher, on account of treason for publishing rebel songs.71 Schenck's music order codified a law that was, for all intents and purposes, already in operation.

Even so, one might anticipate that Schenck's more explicit prohibition of selling rebel-associated music in Baltimore might have succeeded in, if not eradicating, perhaps substantially altering the place of Confederate music in Baltimore thereafter. But despite provoking some fairly indignant reactions, Confederate music bans in Baltimore met with little effect. In the wake of the order, verses protesting the oppressiveness of Schenck's measures circulated in secret. Men like John Pendleton Kennedy complained that Schenck "even forbids the birds to sing 'My Maryland,' a tyranny which has turned all the crotchets into demi-semi-quavers."72 Yet in 1864, in spite of such complaints, one could still hear, according to a London Times correspondent, "the melancholy chant of 'Maryland, my Maryland,'… the livelier strain of the 'Bonnie Blue Flag,' or to the English ears the nobler melody of 'God Save the South,'" all sung publicly "in defiance of the lazy, but perhaps not altogether unsympathizing, policeman." The Times had predicted this outcome at the time of [End Page 106] Schenck's prohibition of Confederate music, claiming that women, in the absence of printed music, would simply circulate Confederate tunes in manuscript form. "General Schenck must be unwise and inexperienced in the ways of the world," concluded the English paper's Baltimore correspondent, "if he thinks he can circumvent the plans, stop the singing, or set bounds to the ingenuity of the ladies" merely by declaring the printed distribution of their favorite tunes to be against the law.73

And to be fair, Baltimore's music order was specifically in reference to selling secession music, not performing it. However, the order did not even succeed in achieving this much. Instead, the regulation of Confederate music publishers that occurred under its auspices devolved into complete confusion. Initially, the ban had gone smoothly: most major music publishers in Baltimore stopped selling the Confederate music they had and turned over their remaining stock to military authorities. However, a week after the music ban had been disseminated, Baltimore's provost marshal, William Fish, summoned a trio of the city's best-known music publishers—Mr. C. W. Miller of the firm Miller and Beacham (who originally published "Maryland, My Maryland" in Baltimore), Henry McCaffrey (who had already been arrested and imprisoned for charges relating to seditious music the year before), and George Willig—to inform them that in order to comply with the music order, Schenck now demanded they surrender not only the Confederate sheet music they had on hand but also the printing plates that could be used to create more copies of prohibited material. Plus, the publishers were ordered to agree to a parole, or oath, that attested to their future intention not to publish or sell seditious music of any kind.74 It is debatable whether the music prohibition order actually required these steps to be taken, but the music publishers consented anyway.

On further reflection, Schenck resolved that he was still not satisfied these measures achieved the purpose of the law and later that day sent word that [End Page 107] the music publishers were to sign another oath, this time also attesting to their loyalty as a "law-abiding citizen of the United States" and their commitment to "neither doing myself [nor] aiding, abetting, or countenancing, any act prejudicial to the good of these United States and its civil and military laws, or speak[ing] insultingly or contemptuously of the same." This went beyond the standard loyalty oath used in St. Louis and proved too much for the music publishers, who refused to sign the oath until it was revised to avoid any suggestion that they had willingly agreed to relinquish their freedom of speech. As the London Times put it, "the doughty music publishers" were "willing to be loyal" but "were by no means willing to resign the cherished right of all who use the English language to speak contemptuously of the Government."75 It is possible that corruption was the underlying cause of all these back-and-forths. Within a year of the episode, William Fish was arrested, imprisoned, fined, and dishonorably discharged from his provost marshal duties for having solicited bribes, or fees, from his defendants in exchange for their acquittal in the provost court (among various other transgressions).76 It is telling that a corrupt official would be involved in one of the war's most vigorous pursuits of music-related offenders in a city that, conveniently for him, boasted the nation's most stringent codification of laws concerning the dissemination of Confederate music.

Regardless of corruption, news of Union military regimes cracking down on Confederate music regularly opened attempts to police disloyalty to criticism. In Schenck's case, when he and Fish shut down the Baltimore Republican newspaper and banished its editors for publishing disloyal material, including a Confederate song called "The Southern Cross," Copperheads in the United States were quick to pounce on the story as evidence that the Lincoln administration's repression of civil liberties had gone too far. "Schenck is a hero," the Philadelphia Daily Age mocked; "No one in the pay of the central despotism at Washington has accomplished so many valorous deeds against unarmed editors and defenceless women and children as this valiant individual." And they predicted that Schenck's decision to single out a Confederate song would backfire: "It may have been very treasonable and wicked for the Republican to publish 'The Southern Cross'—a piece of disloyal poetry, set to music," the Age posited, "but [h]undreds will now seek for it that never heard of it [End Page 108] before. They will read it, in spite of Schenck." Moreover, the Copperhead editors complained, if disloyal songs really were such a problem, then why were similarly disloyal abolitionist songs not treated the same way? The Age claimed that any fair-minded comparison of pro-Confederate and pro-abolitionist lyrics would prove that "an equality of punishment should be meted out in both cases." For the administration's critics, Schenck's "exuberant 'loyalty'" was impossible to justify.77 Indeed, Confederate papers reporting on Schenck's music order rarely felt the need to add to the critical tone of northern accounts, which they passed on word for word, and without comment, to their southern readers.78

Elsewhere, reports that the Union government was using its military powers to punish Confederates for their music were especially prone to attract negative reaction from European observers, whose support was vital to either side's success. European attention to music-related arrests in the United States arose initially in conjunction with the international fallout from Benjamin Butler's Women's Order as well as in response to Butler's consistent disregard for diplomatic niceties during his dealings with foreign nationals. Suspicious of links between foreign consuls and the Confederacy, Butler had used the powers of martial law to confiscate $800,000 in deposits from the Dutch consulate and to require all foreigners resident in New Orleans to swear an oath of allegiance to the United States.79 Once news of Butler's actions reached Europe—with help from Henry Hotze's Londonbased Confederate propaganda machine—reports of music-related arrests from any part of the United States began to be published by way of showing that such habitual abuses of martial law as occurred in New Orleans were indicative of the country's negative trajectory in the estimation of the world.80

One of the cases concerning Confederate music that was most heavily reported on overseas involved a young woman from New Orleans, Isabel M. Brinsmade, who was arrested in Washington, D.C., having been observed singing secessionist songs while visiting relatives in New York. On the suspicion that she was a rebel spy, the New York superintendent of police, John A. Kennedy, ordered an officer to "pipe," or monitor, her journey to [End Page 109] visit more relatives in Washington. Upon her arrival in Washington, Kennedy sanctioned his officer to arrest Brinsmade without a warrant and transport her back to New York, where she was imprisoned for over a month, denied a trial, and deprived of access to friends and family.81 The manner of the arrest provoked condemnation throughout much of the northern press as well as in the South; but it was perhaps most remarkable for the ferocious reaction it elicited abroad, even in relatively obscure British newspapers: "A Shameful Case of Oppression," exclaimed the headline in the Hereford Times. Notably, the fact that the arrest had been based purely on "singing a song" made the treatment that followed seem all the more reprehensible to foreign observers. As the Louth and North Lincolnshire Advertiser described it, "Mrs. Brinsmade had sung a song in private company, the burden of which was sympathy with the Southern cause," meaning that she had been arrested merely because "she was a Southern lady with Southern feelings and the natural openness of youth." The Glasgow Herald went the furthest, detailing the Brinsmade case as evidence that "the Americans are receding in their civilisation much more rapidly than they advanced."82

Sections of the northern press in the United States were similarly outraged. "This case, as presented, is one which concerns not only her [Brinsmade's] liberty, but the liberty and security of every man's wife and daughters," exclaimed the antiwar Philadelphia Public Ledger. The Democratic New York Express agreed: "Certainly a more cruel and indefensible outrage was never before committed upon the rights of the citizen than this." Even Republican papers defending the "bitter assault" on Kennedy's character felt obliged to concede a certain "over-zealous discharge of duty" might have taken place. The Brinsmade case fit perfectly into the narratives of Republican Party adversaries who opposed the suspension of habeas corpus. As the Concord New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette put it—"No other nation under Heaven would tolerate for a day a Government by which such infamous outrages are perpetrated and permitted. Yet hundreds of like character have been committed by the insolent agents of our Government."83 The use of martial law to regulate [End Page 110] seditious singing thus caught international attention and inflamed larger domestic debates across the Union over the rights of citizens in wartime.84

To be sure, the attention-grabbing appeal of secessionist music and the provocative nature of its delivery also led to disagreement among those charged with policing its presence. In July 1863, for example, a woman named Mary Fitzgerald was arrested in St. Louis on evidence that she had been heard singing "Dixie" as well as a number of other rebel songs while at work at a store making wagon covers. Testimonials gathered from her colleagues all painted the picture of an enthusiastically strong-minded and conscientious rebel. Mary Reed testified, "I saw Mary Fitzgerald who said 'that she was a Rebel and that she would live and die a Rebel'" and "said that should she hear anyone say that a Rebel was not as good as a Dog, she would give them to understand that a Rebel Dog could bite."85 However, Provost Marshal General James O. Broadhead rejected his subordinate's recommendation that Fitzgerald "be confined for a time" for her seditious singing, choosing instead to release her after she took an oath of allegiance. The investigation had determined Fitzgerald was a "Rebel," her workmates had testified that Fitzgerald's singing was intentionally inflammatory, and yet these Union officials in St. Louis were still at loggerheads over how best to respond.86 [End Page 111]

In other cases, singing Confederate music under Union martial law clearly offered Confederate sympathizers a way to double down on their even more radical actions. In October 1864, when three women from Missouri—Jane Vestle and two of her daughters, Sarah Childs and Martha Williams—were arrested for having conspired to engage in deadly acts of guerrilla warfare, they reportedly "sung rebel songs all the way from their house to Yates, some four or five miles." Testimonials claimed that Vestle and Childs were both married to guerrilla fighters known to have killed Union soldiers in the past, and that their home was a notorious "rendezvous of Guerrillas and Bushwhackers." Reportedly, Vestle had also recently boasted of a new plot to capture a Union officer and his family and have them turned over to the rebels. While it is possible the charges were exaggerated, these were not women who lacked options for expressing devotion to the Confederate cause. And the timing of their singing in the aftermath of their arrest suggests how Confederate songs may have worked to reaffirm their opposition to Union rule even at a moment of vulnerability—though all three were in fact soon released without punishment.87 In similar fashion, when Belle Boyd, a well-known Confederate spy, was captured and imprisoned at Old Capitol prison in Washington, D.C., fellow prisoners claimed that her performances of "Maryland, My Maryland" were so "'stirring'" that they affected even the guards and those with "'sensibilities which did not sympathize with the cause which inspired the song.'"88 Patriotic melodies in these cases retained a measure of their respectability and redemptive power, even when sung in support of a hostile nation and even when sung from the lips of women known to have directly aided and abetted the rebellion.

Women, of course, were not the only recipients of Union clemency—an outcome that tried to downplay the salience of their actions while offering tacit recognition of their political capacity and importance (Figure 9).89 Union officers routinely turned a blind eye to children they observed [End Page 112]

Figure 9. F C P C N = 25.
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Figure 9.

Female Cases and Punishments by Class

Note: n = 25.

singing secessionist songs as well.90 Even adult defendants facing musicrelated accusations similarly convinced provost court judges to dismiss their charges with surprising regularity (Figure 10).91 But reports of such leniency toward Confederates did bother Unionists further afield, for whom the presence of Confederate music became a barometer of rebel spirit. Elements of the northern press bemoaned the fact that crowds of men in New Orleans could get away with singing "The Bonnie Blue Flag" right in front of the U.S. military's headquarters and that young ladies could get away with letting Yankees into their parlors on the condition that "the stale old Scotch song, set to new words," be played "for the thousandth time." For some, the sheer ubiquity of secessionist songs and the impunity with which they were sung under Union occupation were nothing short of remarkable: "In an evening's ramble" through New Orleans, noted the New York Times, "not only is the ear greeted by disloyal songs from private houses, in every direction, but people even dare to parade the streets, singing [End Page 113]

Figure 10. R A C N = 40.
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Figure 10.

Results of Adult Cases

Note: n = 40.

their treason openly." If such was the result of a hard-fought Union victory, another correspondent figured, "then let us abandon the contest at once."92

Under military rule, then, the limits of political action were drawn with only enough consistency to ensure that Confederate music could be treasonous, not that it would always be treated as such. This ambiguity, however, lay at the core of its allure: the patriotism that enabled Confederate music to seem attractive and effective to Confederates and their foreign sympathizers is precisely what also made it seem threatening and treasonous to their adversaries. Legally speaking, there was no obvious way to judge at what point innocuous expressions of Confederate patriotism spilled over into incendiary acts of sedition. And as a result, although popular-based "implied" definitions of treason helped local Union officials cast musical dissent as treasonous disloyalty, the contests that emerged over such decisions reverberated far beyond the boundaries of the military occupation under which they [End Page 114] occurred. On one hand, Lincoln's critics in the North and pro-southern propagandists overseas joined with disgruntled Confederates in seizing on news of Confederate musical arrests as irrefutable evidence of Union overreach. On the other, Unionists—typically those located at a safe remove from the Confederacy—charged that military victories meant little if the enemy's songs remained free to inculcate sedition and inhibit attempts to maintain law and order in conquered populations of divided loyalties.

A few basic trends are observable: able-bodied men of military age along with individuals of higher social standing or with access to economic resources were generally punished more theatrically, if not always more severely, for musical offenses than were lower-class women and children or the elderly. Yet even these conclusions speak to the difficulties of categorization. Men may have been punished more harshly than women on the whole, but a rich young woman could receive less leniency than a poor old man. Meanwhile, it is also true that many Confederates—including young women—often found it far easier than they might have imagined to get away with brazenly public renditions of Confederate songs. Uniting all such cases, however, was an underlying clash between the desire to preserve preexisting cultural values, political ideals, and social conventions with what turned out to be a competing desire to showcase the justness of the Union's cause and the comprehensiveness of Confederate defeat.

In the process, Confederate musical arrests under Union martial law show how the regulation of Confederate music helped participants on both sides of the conflict define their boundaries of war and occupation. To an extent, the arrests of men, women, and children for singing seditious songs clearly amplified one of the ways traditional distinctions between civilians and soldiers broke down on the Confederate home front. Ironically, however, the justifications and debates over Confederate musical arrests (and non-arrests) also point to the extent that these same distinctions, messy as they were, nonetheless mattered to Americans and foreign observers at the time. Over and over again, arguments about the impropriety or injustice of musical arrests centered not on Confederate music itself but on competing interpretations of whose political expressions actually carried the weight of political consequence. The politics of musical sedition, then, pivoted on the purported moral need to uphold distinctions between public and private, home fronts and battlefields, and civilians and soldiers in the face of wartime conditions that continually muddled them together. In turn, contests over the legality of Confederate songs and secessionist singing were proxies for engaging in more abstract disputes over how to adjust to, and take advantage of, an expanding scope [End Page 115] for political action. And they emphasize how critical those attempts to define the boundaries of war were to the experience of their destruction.

Looking forward, wartime debates over Confederate music continued to have important repercussions. The legal difficulties of determining treasonous intent in cases of Confederate singing—and the domestic and international blowback elicited from doing so—accurately foreshadowed the risks and complications that shaped subsequent attempts to prosecute Confederates for treason after the war.93 Meanwhile, Unionist complaints about Confederate singing in the South continued to be published long into the postwar period, usually as evidence that reconciliationist reconstruction policies were allowing the spirit of rebellion to survive military defeat.94 However, the notion that patriotic songs—even Confederate ones—naturally worked to facilitate national harmony also remained influential, and its persistence blurred the treasonable status of Confederate music far beyond the existence of the Confederate state. Indeed, Lincoln's oft-quoted call for the Union to reclaim "Dixie" in the wake of the Confederate surrender at Appomattox was but an early postwar reflection of the prewar notion that patriotic songs reflected the extent to which Americans had always been united, despite their differences, by a common patriotic impulse.95 In this way, the ongoing appeal of Confederate symbols, the belief that expressing an allegiance to the Confederacy is a matter of free speech and civil liberties (not treason or disloyalty), and the enduring cultural power of the Lost Cause itself all have roots in the inability of Union military regimes to combat Confederate cultural expressions without being obliged to extend them a measure of legitimacy at the same time. [End Page 116]

Billy Coleman

Billy Coleman is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia.

Footnotes

1. "New Music" and "The Execution of Wm. B. Mumford," New Orleans Bee, June 9, 1862, p. 1. The author would like to thank Adam I. P. Smith, Axel Körner, Skye Montgomery, Jay Sexton, Erik Mathisen, Richard Carwardine, Daniel Peart, Joanne Freeman, and the anonymous readers for the Journal of Southern History for their critiques and encouragement. Earlier versions presented to the Association of British American Nineteenth Century Historians (BrANCH), Yale Early American Historians (YEAH), Queens University Belfast, and the Maryland Historical Society benefited from engaged feedback and animated conversations. Integral assistance was provided by Amanda Kenney at the Missouri State Archives. All these readers, audiences, and archivists helped immensely. Financial support is gratefully acknowledged from the BrANCH Peter Parish Memorial Fund, the University College London (UCL) Hale Bellot Fund, the UCL Doctoral School Research Fund, the Royal Historical Society, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Maryland Historical Society.

2. Kate Mason Rowland and Mrs. Morris L. [Agnes E. Browne] Croxall, eds., The Journal of Julia Le Grand, New Orleans, 1862–1863 (Richmond, Va., 1911), 233.

3. "Arrest of Balmer & Weber, Music Dealers," St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, June 28, 1862, p. 3 (first and second quotations); "Disloyal Females," St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, June 15, 1862, p. 3 (third and fourth quotations). See also "Evidences of Disloyalty," St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, June 4, 1862, p. 3.

4. "From Missouri," New York Daily Tribune, July 5, 1862, p. 2 (first through fifth quotations); "A Musical Humbug," St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, June 29, 1862, p. 3 (sixth quotation).

5. This approach is influenced broadly by the concept of "acoustic battlefields" in Mark M. Smith, Listening to Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill, 2001), 195. On music as a reflection of power more generally, see Jacques Attali, Noise: The Political Economy of Music, translated by Brian Massumi (Minneapolis, 1985), esp. 6–9.

6. Works covering the Union military's relationship with Confederates in its full breadth include Andrew F. Lang, In the Wake of War: Military Occupation, Emancipation, and Civil War America (Baton Rouge, 2017); and Stephen V. Ash, When the Yankees Came: Conflict and Chaos in the Occupied South, 1861–1865 (Chapel Hill, 1995). But see also William A. Blair, With Malice Toward Some: Treason and Loyalty in the Civil War Era (Chapel Hill, 2014), chap. 5; LeeAnn Whites and Alecia P. Long, eds., Occupied Women: Gender, Military Occupation, and the American Civil War (Baton Rouge, 2009); David T. Ballantyne, "'Whenever the Yankees Were Gone, I Was a Confederate': Loyalty and Dissent in Civil War–Era Rapides Parish, Louisiana," Civil War History, 63 (March 2017), 36–67; and Judkin Browning, Shifting Loyalties: The Union Occupation of Eastern North Carolina (Chapel Hill, 2011). On the politics of loyalty across the North and the South, see Jörg Nagler, "Loyalty and Dissent: The Home Front in the American Civil War," in Jörg Nagler and Stig Förster, eds., On the Road to Total War: The American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification, 1861–1871 (Washington, D.C., 1997), 329–56; and Erik Mathisen, The Loyal Republic: Traitors, Slaves, and the Remaking of Citizenship in Civil War America (Chapel Hill, 2018). For specific stories of cities in border states and occupied areas, see Gerald M. Capers, Occupied City: New Orleans under the Federals, 1862–1865 (Lexington, Ky., 1965); Harry A. Ezratty, Baltimore in the Civil War: The Pratt Street Riot and a City Occupied (Charleston, S.C., 2010); Louis S. Gerteis, Civil War St. Louis (Lawrence, Kans., 2001); and Adam Arenson, The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War (Cambridge, Mass., 2011). On issues related to loyalty in the North, see Melinda Lawson, Patriotic Fires: Forging a New American Nationalism in the Civil War North (Lawrence, Kans., 2002); J. Matthew Gallman, Defining Duty in the Civil War: Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front (Chapel Hill, 2015); and Judith Giesberg, Army at Home: Women and the Civil War on the Northern Home Front (Chapel Hill, 2009), esp. chap. 5.

7. Stephanie McCurry, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South (Cambridge, Mass., 2010); Whites and Long, eds., Occupied Women; Drew Gilpin Faust, Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War (Chapel Hill, 1996); Catherine Clinton and Nina Silber, eds., Divided Houses: Gender and the Civil War (New York, 1992).

8. Lang, In the Wake of War; Browning, Shifting Loyalties.

9. Lang, In the Wake of War; Ash, When the Yankees Came; D. H. Dilbeck, A More Civil War: How the Union Waged a Just War (Chapel Hill, 2016); Blair, With Malice Toward Some, chap. 5; Mark Grimsley, The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861–1865 (New York, 1995), 3 (quotations).

10. Music, in this sense, links contests over loyalty and disloyalty during the Civil War to wider efforts to emphasize the fundamental emotionalism of Civil War–era political culture. See Michael E. Woods, Emotional and Sectional Conflict in the Antebellum United States (New York, 2014); Joanne B. Freeman, The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War (New York, 2018); and Adam I. P. Smith, The Stormy Present: Conservatism and the Problem of Slavery in Northern Politics, 1846–1865 (Chapel Hill, 2017).

11. Christian McWhirter, Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War (Chapel Hill, 2012), 4 (first quotation); James A. Davis, Music Along the Rapidan: Civil War Soldiers, Music, and Community during Winter Quarters, Virginia (Lincoln, Neb., 2014), 17 (second quotation); Peter C. Luebke, "'Equal to Any Minstrel Concert I Ever Attended at Home': Union Soldiers and Blackface Performance in the Civil War South," Journal of the Civil War Era, 4 (December 2014), 509–32 (third quotation on 510).

12. McWhirter, Battle Hymns, 105; E. Lawrence Abel, Singing the New Nation: How Music Shaped the Confederacy, 1861–1865 (Mechanicsburg, Pa., 2000), 54; Davis, Music Along the Rapidan, 149.

13. On culture, including songs, as a tool of patriotic sentiment and subversive politics in the Confederacy, see Drew Gilpin Faust, The Creation of Confederate Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil War South (Baton Rouge, 1988); and Drew Gilpin Faust, "Altars of Sacrifice: Confederate Women and the Narratives of War," Journal of American History, 76 (March 1990), 1200–1228, esp. 1206–12. On the power of elites, as well as disempowered people, to politicize culture more broadly, see also Richard L. Bushman, The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (New York, 1992), 405; and Lawrence W. Levine, Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America (Cambridge, Mass., 1988), esp. chaps. 2–3.

14. The literature here is extensive. For a recent and strongly argued review of this scholarship that calls for scholars to scrap the "home front" concept altogether, see Lorien Foote, "Rethinking the Confederate Home Front," Journal of the Civil War Era, 7 (September 2017), 446–65.

15. Amy Murrell Taylor, The Divided Family in Civil War America (Chapel Hill, 2005), 7 (first quotation); Blair, With Malice Toward Some, 128 (second quotation).

16. All sixty of the incidents included in this tally involved Confederates being arrested or let off by Union officers for singing Confederate songs except for one outlier, wherein Dan Ruffin, a free person of color, was sentenced to twenty lashes for being drunk and singing "Maryland, My Maryland" in Richmond, Virginia. Although Ruffin's case did not involve Union military officials, I include it in the data set since it remains an example of someone being arrested and punished on account of singing a Confederate song. See "Local Matters," Richmond (Va.) Daily Dispatch, February 20, 1862, p. 3.

17. On loyalists taking a harder line toward the disloyalty of Confederates once the human toll of the conflict had become clear, see Mathisen, Loyal Republic, 98–99.

18. For example, one Connecticut regiment surgeon told a would-be rebellious songstress, "'We don't care what ye sing, as long as we can lick ye!'" Homer B. Sprague, History of the 13th Infantry Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers, during the Great Rebellion (Hartford, Conn., 1867), 249–50 (quotation on 249). Another more quizzical take came from a correspondent for the New York World who thought it was sad to hear Confederates continuing to sing the songs of their nation after its defeat. See "Raleigh," New York World, April 29, 1865, p. 2. On the timeline of Confederate music being interpreted less seriously as a tool of war, by both Unionists and Confederates, after the battle of Gettysburg, see James A. Davis, Maryland, My Maryland: Music and Patriotism during the American Civil War (Lincoln, Neb., 2019). Naturally, the meaning of individual songs could change over time, from person to person and from place to place. However, the medium of music itself also had a message that informed contemporary assumptions about musical power in a broader sense. For relevant "song biographies," see Davis, Maryland, My Maryland; John Stauffer and Benjamin Soskis, The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song That Marches On (New York, 2013); and Marc Ferris, Star-Spangled Banner: The Unlikely Story of America's National Anthem (Baltimore, 2014).

19. The sixty incidents in the data set occurred in New Orleans (40); St. Louis (6); Baltimore (5); Washington, D.C. (2); Winchester, Virginia (2); Augusta, Georgia (1); Frederick, Maryland (1); Front Royal, Virginia (1); Richmond, Virginia (1); and Yates, Missouri (1).

20. The provost courts or military generals who heard these cases proved to be notoriously poor recordkeepers and often deemed musical issues not important enough to relay to superiors in Washington. These issues of omission, combined with the sheer scale of military records available, place a comprehensive examination for musical material beyond the scope of this research. The largest repository of relevant official papers is the War Department Collection of Confederate Records, Record Group 109 (National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.), specifically the subseries of Papers Relating to Citizens, 1861–1867. Microform versions of this series span two publications: Union Provost Marshals' File of Papers Relating to Individual Civilians, National Archives Microfilm Series (NAMS) M-345, hereinafter cited as Union Provost Marshal Individual Civilians File, M-345; and Union Provost Marshals' File of Papers Relating to Two or More Civilians, NAMS M-416, hereinafter cited as Union Provost Marshal Two or More Civilians File, M-416. An extremely useful effort to index the Missouri portions of these records (hereinafter cited as Missouri's Union Provost Marshal Papers [Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City, Mo.]), undertaken by the Missouri State Archives, took ten years to complete; see Missouri Provost Marshal Database, https://s1.sos.mo.gov/records/archives/archivesdb/provost/Default.aspx. However, military records are not exhaustive. Challenges in using them to account for the numbers and definitions of civilian military arrests during the Civil War are documented exhaustively in Mark E. Neely Jr., The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (New York, 1991), chap. 6. See also Thomas W. Helis, "Of Generals and Jurists: The Judicial System of New Orleans under Union Occupation, May 1862–April 1865," Louisiana History, 29 (Spring 1998), 143–62.

21. Notably, perhaps the most widely cited case, that of Armand E. Blackmar, a Confederate music publisher in New Orleans who was arrested, imprisoned, and fined $500 for producing "The Bonnie Blue Flag," is not included in these figures. The alleged size of this fine and the popularity of the song undoubtedly would have attracted attention, but there is no contemporaneous source to confirm the veracity of this story. Modern references to Blackmar's arrest invariably trace back to Lost Cause literature from the late nineteenth century (from which it appears this particular tale originated). The author conducted an extensive search of local newspapers, including a manual analysis of every surviving English edition of the New Orleans Bee from May 1862 until October 1863 and keyword searches covering all available issues of the New Orleans Daily Picayune, New Orleans Daily Delta, New Orleans Daily True Delta, New Orleans Times, and Baton Rouge Daily Advocate from 1861 to 1864. There is no mention of Blackmar's arrest. Papers relating to the name Blackmar do not appear in the Union Provost Marshal Individual Civilians File, M-345, reel 27 (Bis–Blal), and the name Blackmar does not appear in the Union Provost Marshal Two or More Civilians File, M-416, reel 6 (May–June 1862), in any capacity during the entire month of June 1862. It is worth noting that $500 in 1862 would be roughly equivalent to the purchasing power of almost $13,000 in 2018. See http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/. Lost Cause literature cited by modern scholars as evidence of the Blackmar story includes Mildred Lewis Rutherford, The South in History and Literature: A Hand-Book of Southern Authors from the Settlement of Jamestown, 1607, to Living Writers (Atlanta, 1907), 254–55; Brander Matthews, "The Songs of the Civil War," Century Magazine, 34 (August 1887), 619–30, esp. 625; and Lizzie Cary Daniel, Confederate Scrap-Book (Richmond, Va., 1893), 190. For examples of modern works that cite this story as fact, see Steven H. Cornelius, Music of the Civil War Era (Westport, Conn., 2004), 41; Abel, Singing the New Nation, 55, 265; Willard A. Heaps and Porter Warrington Heaps, The Singing Sixties: The Spirit of the Civil War Days Drawn from the Music of the Times (Norman, Okla., 1960), 57; McWhirter, Battle Hymns, 109; and Davis, Maryland, My Maryland, 95. Similar claims that General Benjamin F. Butler ordered all copies of "The Bonnie Blue Flag" to be destroyed and that he threatened anyone who sang, played, or whistled the tune with a twenty-five-dollar fine likewise struggle to stand up to scrutiny. None of Butler's orders made specific reference to Blackmar, the use of Confederate music, or "The Bonnie Blue Flag" song, and there is no evidence that this level of conformity in treating music-related cases existed in New Orleans courts or elsewhere (see Figure 8). Jessie Ames Marshall, ed., Private and Official Correspondence of Gen. Benjamin F. Butler During the Period of the Civil War (5 vols.; Norwood, Mass., 1917).

22. Challenges involved in recovering evidence of musical arrests discussed in note 20 make more specific estimates difficult to assert with accuracy. The substance of this claim, however, is extrapolated from the author's collection of evidence for sixty music-specific incidents, combined with Mark E. Neely's broader estimate that more than 38,000 arrests of civilians occurred in the North during the war without the benefit of habeas corpus, most of which involved Confederate sympathizers. See Neely, Fate of Liberty, 113. Thomas P. Lowry has estimated that 5,460 military commissions were held during the war in border states and Union-occupied areas and tried almost two hundred women, but his sources only cover general courts-martial, which were convened specifically for serious and capital offenses. See Thomas P. Lowry, "New Access to a Civil War Resource," Civil War History, 49 (March 2003), 52–63, esp. 52, 54; and Thomas P. Lowry, Confederate Heroines: 120 Southern Women Convicted by Union Military Justice (Baton Rouge, 2006).

23. Arthur M. Schlesinger, "A Note on Songs as Patriot Propaganda 1765–1776," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 11 (January 1954), 78–88 (first quotation on 78); State of Missouri v. Henry Swan et al., 1858, Cape Girardeau Circuit Court, Missouri Judicial Records, reel C21018 (Missouri State Archives) (second quotation). Stacy Pratt McDermott estimates that between 1837 and 1860 "crimes against the public welfare"—such as "disturbing the peace"—accounted for almost a quarter of the criminal cases worked by circuit lawyers in Illinois. Stacy Pratt McDermott, The Jury in Lincoln's America (Athens, Ohio, 2012), 103.

24. For an overview of the broader legal framework surrounding Union regulation of martial law, see Neely, Fate of Liberty. Full instructions for the rules and conduct of Union martial law were articulated in General Orders No. 100 ("Lieber's Code"), April 24, 1863, especially Section I and Section X, Article 156. See John Fabian Witt, Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History (New York, 2012), 375–94.

25. Neely, Fate of Liberty, 137 (quotation); Lowry, "New Access to a Civil War Resource." For an example of an arrest and twenty-five-dollar fine for painting and exhibiting Confederate portraits, see "Arrest for Painting Confederate Portraits," New Orleans Bee, December 30, 1862, p. 1; and "Provost Court," New Orleans Bee, December 31, 1862, p. 1. For "hurrahing for Jeff. Davis," see "Provost Court," New Orleans Daily Picayune, July 6, 1862, p. 3; "Provost Court," New Orleans Bee, July 7, 1862, p. 1 (quotation in note); "Seditious Women," New Orleans Bee, August 23, 1862, p. 1 (quotation in note); "Later News from New Orleans," Philadelphia (Pa.) Inquirer, January 7, 1863, p. 1; and "The Horrors of New Orleans, by a Native Historian," Cleveland (Ohio) Morning Leader, May 24, 1862, p. 2. For arrests on the grounds of "insulting loyal persons because of their loyalty," see "Disloyal Females," St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, June 15, 1862, p. 3.

26. U.S. Const., art. 3, §3. On the distinction between treason "expressed or implied" in the American Civil War, see Blair, With Malice Toward Some, 36–65 (quotation on 37). On the origins of American treason law, see Blair, With Malice Toward Some, 13–35; Bradley Chapin, "Colonial and Revolutionary Origins of the American Law of Treason," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 17 (January 1960), 3–21; James Willard Hurst, The Law of Treason in the United States: Collected Essays (Westport, Conn., 1945); and Charles F. Hobson, The Aaron Burr Treason Trial ([Washington, D.C.,] 2006), 1, https://www.fjc.gov/sites/default/files/trials/burrtrial.pdf.

27. "National Music," Baltimore American and Commercial Daily Advertiser, August 17, 1814, pp. 2–3 (quotation on 3); and reprinted as "National Music," Harrisburg (Pa.) Chronicle or Harrisburgh Visitor, September 5, 1814, p. 4. On the War of 1812 as a watershed moment for musical patriotism in the United States, see Brian Roberts, Blackface Nation: Race, Reform, and Identity in American Popular Music, 1812–1925 (Chicago, 2017), chap. 2.

28. "War Songs and War Music," New York Evening Post, May 25, 1859, p. 2 (first quotation); "War Songs and War Music," Concord New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette, July 13, 1859, p. 4; "Music as It Is—Its Threefold Aspect,—Social, Martial and Sacred," Musical World and New York Musical Times, 9 (July 8, 1854), 111 (second through seventh quotations).

29. Rebeccah Bechtold, "A Revolutionary Soundscape: Musical Reform and the Science of Sound in Early America, 1760–1840," Journal of the Early Republic, 35 (Fall 2015), 419–50, esp. 427–35; "An Essay on the Nature and Properties of Sound," in William Billings, comp., The NewEngland Psalm-Singer: or, American Chorister. Containing a Number of Psalm-Tunes, Anthems and Canons. In Four and Five Parts (Boston, 1770), 3–9 (first quotation on 6); Louis Moreau Gottschalk, "Notes of a Pianist," Atlantic Monthly, 15 (February 1865), 177–81 (second, third, and fourth quotations on 179; fifth and sixth quotations on 181).

30. Robert E. Lee to Mildred Childe Lee, October 22, 1860, Lee Family Papers, 1824–1918, Section 14 (Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va.), and available online in the Lee Family Digital Archive, http://www.leefamilyarchive.org (emphasis in original).

31. See, for example, "The Effects of Music Upon Man and Animals," Philadelphia North American and Daily Advertiser, December 10, 1842, p. 1; "Power of Music Upon a Rattlesnake," New Haven (Conn.) Columbian Register, August 31, 1813, p. 4; "The Power of Music [on a mouse]," Boston Herald of Freedom, August 13, 1790, p. 175; and "Power of Music over Animals," Concord New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette, December 17, 1851, p. 4. For examples of anecdotes about musical cats, pigs, birds, mice, and hares from music journals, see "A Musical Cat," New York Saroni's Musical Times, January 18, 1851, p. 169; "A Musical Cat," New York Musical Pioneer and Chorister's Budget, October 1, 1858, p. 3; "A Singing Mouse," New York Musical Pioneer and Chorister's Budget, November 1, 1858, p. 19; "Mr. Editor (for the Musical Gazette)," Boston Musical Gazette, June 13, 1838, p. 26; "The Parrot as Musician" and "A Musical Owl," Southern Musical Advocate and Singer's Friend, 1 (August 1859), 32; and "Effects of Music on Animals," Euterpeiad; or Musical Intelligencer, 3 (March 1823), 192, 197. On indigenous and exotic music, see, for example, "Missions and Music," Boston Musical Visitor, April 17, 1843, p. 126; "Interesting Letters: From Mr. [A. C.] Farnham, who is now laboring among the Shawnee," Boston Musical Visitor, February 9, 1844, p. 228; "The New Zealanders," Boston Musical Gazette, October 17, 1838, p. 104; and "Music of Nature: Music on the Nile," New York Musical Pioneer and Chorister's Budget, December 1867, p. 3. Florence Nightingale's observations on the power of music to either alleviate or exacerbate sickness in hospital patients during the Civil War were preceded by decades of analogous accounts in music journals, which also emphasized the contribution of music and singing to bodily health. See Florence Nightingale, "Effect of Music on the Sick," Living Age, October 19, 1861, p. 135; McWhirter, Battle Hymns, 19; "Music as a Medicine," New York Musical Times, March 13, 1852, pp. 291–92; "Singing as a Medicine," New York Musical Pioneer and Chorister's Budget, October 1, 1858, p. 3; "Dress—Health—Music," Musical World and New York Musical Times, 8 (February 18, 1854), 76; "Extracts from a Report on Vocal Music, by T. B. Mason, Esq., Professor of Music in Cincinnati College," Boston Musical Gazette, January 9, 1839, p. 147; "Sensibility to Music," Boston Musical Gazette, September 19, 1838, p. 85; "Health of Musicians," Boston Musical Cabinet, April 1842, p. 148; and "Philosophical Thoughts on Music, and Its Astonishing Effects Illustrated," Lyre, 1 (July 1824), 17–18.

32. William S. Smith to Alexander Hamilton, March 5, 1800, Founders Online (National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.), https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-24-02-0229 (first quotation); Kirsten E. Wood, "'Join with Heart and Soul and Voice': Music, Harmony, and Politics in the Early American Republic," American Historical Review, 119 (October 2014), 1083–1116 (second quotation on 1098). On the top-down power of music in the early republic, see William Coleman, "'The Music of a well tun'd State': 'The Star-Spangled Banner' and the Development of a Federalist Musical Tradition," Journal of the Early Republic, 35 (Winter 2015), 599–629.

33. Boston Musical Gazette, July 25, 1838, p. 53. On how an elitist-inspired sense of patriotic unity could be conveyed through a different artistic medium in the antebellum period, see Gail E. Husch, "George Caleb Bingham's The County Election: Whig Tribute to the Will of the People," in Mary Ann Calo, ed., Critical Issues in American Art: A Book of Readings (Boulder, Colo., 1998), 77–92; John Demos, "George Caleb Bingham: The Artist as Social Historian," American Quarterly, 17 (Summer 1965), 218–28; William T. Oedel and Todd S. Gernes, "The Painter's Triumph: William Sidney Mount and the Formation of a Middle-Class Art," Winterthur Portfolio, 23 (Summer–Autumn 1988), 111–27; and Christopher J. Smith, The Creolization of American Culture: William Sidney Mount and the Roots of Blackface Minstrelsy (Urbana, 2013).

34. "Pianofortes," Musical World and New York Musical Times, 6 (May 7, 1853), 3–4 (quotations on 3); Wood, "'Join with Heart and Soul and Voice'"; Bechtold, "Revolutionary Soundscape."

35. "Prospectus," New York Message Bird, August 1, 1849, p. 6 (first and second quotations; emphasis in original); Richard Grant White, National Hymns: How They Are Written and How They Are Not Written, a Lyric and National Study for the Times (New York, 1861), 11–15 (third, fourth, and sixth quotations on 14; fifth quotation on 12). For further discussion, see McWhirter, Battle Hymns, 36–41.

36. "National Songs," Southern Musical Advocate and Singer's Friend, 1 (June 1860), 187 (first quotation); "Songs and Ballads of the American Revolution," Russell's Magazine, 2 (October 1857), 96 (second quotation). On the equal significance of music to patriotism, morality, and religion, see especially "Music," Knickerbocker, 9 (January 1837), 76–81.

37. James H. Stone, "Mid-Nineteenth-Century American Beliefs in the Social Values of Music," Musical Quarterly, 43 (January 1957), 38–49, esp. 41n4. On the Boston Academy of Music, see Michael Broyles, "Music of the Highest Class": Elitism and Populism in Antebellum Boston (New Haven, 1992), esp. chap. 7; and Bruce Dunbar Wilson, "A Documentary History of Music in the Public Schools of the City of Boston, 1830–1850" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan, 1973).

38. James A. Keene, A History of Music Education in the United States (Hanover, N.H., 1982), 105. Sales of The Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music (first published in 1822) accounted for 50 percent of the society's entire revenue stream and by 1839 had paid the publication's editor, Lowell Mason, a total of $12,000—a sum roughly equivalent in 2018 to purchasing power of $337,000 and an income value of over $9 million. For more details on the earnings from this publication, see Broyles, "Music of the Highest Class," 167, 329; and Scott Gac, Singing for Freedom: The Hutchinson Family Singers and the Nineteenth-Century Culture of Reform (New Haven, 2007), 88. For contemporary currency value conversion (comparing $12,000 in 1830 to its value in 2018), see http://measuringworth.com/uscompare.

39. Broyles, "Music of the Highest Class," 62–91; Henry Lowell Mason, Lowell Mason: An Appreciation of His Life and Work, Papers of the Hymn Society of America, No. 8 (New York, 1941), 4–5; Lowell Mason to John Rowe Parker, March 6, 1819, May 2, 1821, and June 21, 1821, Lowell Mason Letters, MS 548 (Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Ga.).

40. New York Musical Pioneer and Chorister's Budget, September 1, 1856, p. 181.

41. Lang, In the Wake of War, 67.

42. Elliott Ashkenazi, ed., The Civil War Diary of Clara Solomon: Growing Up in New Orleans, 1861–1862 (Baton Rouge, 1995), 142 (first quotation), 182 (fifth quotation); "Harry Macarthy's Entertainments," Baton Rouge Daily Advocate, April 3, 1861, p. 2 (second and third quotations); "The Arkansas Comedian's Entertainments," New Orleans Daily Picayune, August 15, 1861, p. 2; "Harry Macarthy at the Academy of Music," New Orleans Daily Picayune, August 10, 1861, p. 2 (fourth quotation). On Confederate anthems and the status of "The Bonnie Blue Flag" alongside "Dixie" and "Maryland, My Maryland," see McWhirter, Battle Hymns, chap. 3.

43. Harry Macarthy, The Bonnie Blue Flag (New Orleans: A. E. Blackmar and Bro., 1861).

44. General Orders No. 28, May 15, 1862, in The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (70 vols. in 128; Washington, D.C., 1880–1901), Ser. 1, Vol. 15, p. 426; hereinafter cited as Official Records. This interpretation of the order is drawn from Jacqueline G. Campbell, "'The Unmeaning Twaddle about Order 28': Benjamin F. Butler and Confederate Women in Occupied New Orleans, 1862," Journal of the Civil War Era, 2 (March 2012), 11–30, esp. 15; Faust, Mothers of Invention, 207–14; and Lang, In the Wake of War, 67.

45. "Provost Court—A. DeB. Hughes Presiding (Tuesday Morning)," New Orleans Bee, April 29, 1863, p. 1 (quotations); "A Young Lady Fined $15 for Playing a Secesh Tune on the Piano," Madison Weekly Wisconsin Patriot, May 16, 1863, p. 2. On Michael Hahn, see Amos E. Simpson and Vaughan Baker, "Michael Hahn: Steady Patriot," Louisiana History, 13 (Summer 1972), 229–52. Macarthy based "The Bonnie Blue Flag" on a Hibernian air known as "The Irish Jaunting Car." Notably, the practice of attaching existing tunes to new words (producing what musicologists call a contrafactum) was typical of the time, even though charges of "'musical plagiarism'" were still made on occasion. See Davis, Maryland, My Maryland, 57–63 (quotation in note on 59); and Glenda Goodman, "Transatlantic Contrafacta, Musical Formats, and the Creation of Political Culture in Revolutionary America," Journal of the Society for American Music, 11 (November 2017), 392–419.

46. "Provost Court—A. DeB. Hughes Presiding (Tuesday Morning)," New Orleans Bee, April 29, 1863, p. 1.

47. Elisabeth Joan Doyle, "Civilian Life in Occupied New Orleans, 1862–65" (Ph.D. dissertation, Louisiana State University, 1955), 92–94, 236–37; Helis, "Of Generals and Jurists."

48. "Provost Court—A. DeB. Hughes Presiding (Tuesday Morning)," New Orleans Bee, April 29, 1863, p. 1 (first quotation); "A Young Lady Fined $15 for Playing a Secesh Tune on the Piano," Madison Weekly Wisconsin Patriot, May 16, 1863, p. 2, quoting the New Orleans Era, April 29, 1863 (second and third quotations).

49. Evidence for this claim is derived from provost court reports published daily in the New Orleans Bee as well as in selected issues of the New Orleans Daily Picayune, New Orleans Daily Delta, New Orleans Daily True Delta, New Orleans Times, and Baton Rouge Daily Advocate between 1861 and 1864. Punishments for conviction ranged in every instance from five to fifty dollars or thirty days in jail, except for a single case where a music-related offense was punished with a sixty-day sentence in the workhouse. See "Police Provost Court—Judge Atocha—(Wednesday Morning)," New Orleans Bee, September 3, 1863, p. 1.

50. "Provost Court—A. DeB. Hughes Presiding (Tuesday Morning)," New Orleans Bee, April 29, 1863, p. 1. It is worth noting that the New Orleans Bee was politically sympathetic to the Confederacy. On these grounds, at least, the Bee had no cause to deliberately downplay Massey's punishment as a reluctant necessity. By contrast, it may be the case that the Bee's Confederate sympathies explain its willingness to report on her trial at greater length than usual.

51. "Provost Court—A. DeB. Hughes Presiding (Sunday Morning)," New Orleans Bee, May 18, 1863, p. 1 (first through fourth quotations); "Provost Court—Judge Peabody—(Monday)," New Orleans Bee, May 19, 1863, p. 1 (fifth quotation).

52. U.S. Const., art. 1, §9 (quotations); Ex parte Merryman, 17 F. Cas. 144 (1861); Habeas Corpus Suspension Act, 12 Stat. 755 (March 3, 1863). On suspending the writ of habeas corpus, see Neely, Fate of Liberty; and Gerteis, Civil War St. Louis, chap. 5.

53. Anna Ella Carroll, The War Powers of the General Government (Washington, D.C., 1861), 8. On Carroll, see Janet L. Coryell, Neither Heroine nor Fool: Anne Ella Carroll of Maryland (Kent, Ohio, 1990); and Mathisen, Loyal Republic, 93–94.

54. An unparalleled explanation of the Union provost marshal system is in Blair, With Malice Toward Some, chap. 4.

55. "Department of the Gulf: Affairs in New Orleans," New York Times, May 10, 1863, p. 2 (first and third through eighth quotations); "The Varieties," New Orleans Daily Picayune, April 23, 1863, p. 2 (second quotation). See also John S. Kendall, The Golden Age of the New Orleans Theater (Baton Rouge, 1952), 393–94. For a similar incident a couple of weeks later, see "Excitement at the Opera House," New Orleans Bee, May 9, 1863, p. 1; and "M'lle Bournos's Benefit [at the Opera House]," New Orleans Daily Picayune, May 9, 1863, p. 1.

56. C. W. Killborn, Provost Marshal, Orleans Parish, to Lewis Baker, March 18, 1863, reprinted in "Loyal Airs in New Orleans," Boston Daily Advertiser, May 5, 1863, p. 2. The order states, in part, that "there must be nothing in the whole or any part of the performance which would not meet the approval, so far as its political bearing is concerned, of the most loyal part of the audience which may be present."

57. "Seditious," New Orleans Bee, May 12, 1863, p. 1; "Provost Court—A. DeB. Hughes Presiding—(Tuesday Morning)," New Orleans Bee, May 13, 1863, p. 1 (quotation); "Provost Court—Judge Peabody—Tuesday Morning," New Orleans Bee, April 24, 1863, p. 1. Data for these arrests was sourced from provost court reports published in the full extant run of the New Orleans Bee as well as all available issues of the New Orleans Daily Picayune, New Orleans Daily Delta, New Orleans Daily True Delta, New Orleans Times, and Baton Rouge Daily Advocate between 1861 and 1864.

58. Northern reporting of this dispute over loyal airs in New Orleans came predominantly from newspapers published in New York, where antiwar sentiment was notoriously strong. See, for example, "Exciting Night in a New Orleans Theatre," Albany (N.Y.) Evening Journal, May 4, 1863, p. 2; "Department of the Gulf," New York World, May 4, 1863, p. 1, and May 18, 1863, p. 1; "From New Orleans," New York World, May 23, 1863, p. 1; and "Theatrical: Varieties, New Orleans," New York Herald, May 16, 1863, p. 3. However, limited notices of the events were also made in a few other locations. See, for example, "Theatrical and Political Row at New Orleans," Cleveland (Ohio) Daily Plain Dealer, May 12, 1863, p. 1; and "Loyal Airs in New Orleans," Boston Daily Advertiser, May 5, 1863, p. 2.

59. Blair, With Malice Toward Some, 159 (first and second quotations); James K. Hosmer, The Color-Guard: Being a Corporal's Notes of Military Service in the Nineteenth Army Corps (Boston, 1864), 74 (third quotation).

60. Union provost marshal regimes set up to maintain order in the divided urban centers of tenuously loyal border states like Missouri were in practice little different from those operating in Union-occupied areas within Confederate states. For comparisons, see, for instance, Arenson, Great Heart of the Republic, esp. 132–35 (quotation on 132); Barbara Jeanne Fields, Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland during the Nineteenth Century (New Haven, 1985), 90–100; and Blair, With Malice Toward Some, 156.

61. "Disloyal Females," St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, June 15, 1862, p. 3.

62. Blelock & Co. to Major General W. S. Rosecrans, April 28, 1864, Union Provost Marshal Individual Civilians File, M-345, reel 28, or Missouri's Union Provost Marshal Papers, reel F1466 (quotations; emphasis in original); Blelock & Co. to Colonel J. P. Sanderson, May 6, 1864, ibid.; "Stonewall" Jackson's Prayer (New York: Blelock & Co., 1864), Confederate Sheet Music Collection (Florida State University Digital Library), http://fsu.digital.flvc.org/islandora/object/fsu%3A108728; Mark E. Neely Jr., Harold Holzer, and Gabor S. Boritt, The Confederate Image: Prints of the Lost Cause (Chapel Hill, 1987), 117. On Root and Cady and "The Battle Cry of Freedom," see McWhirter, Battle Hymns, 50–55; P. H. Carder, George F. Root, Civil War Songwriter: A Biography (Jefferson, N.C., 2008); and George F. Root, The Battle-Cry of Freedom (Chicago: Root and Cady, 1862), Civil War Sheet Music Collection (Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.), https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200001814/.

63. J. P. Sanderson to William S. Rosecrans, May 8, 1864, Union Provost Marshal Individual Civilians File, M-345, reel 28. Sanderson, when he made this decision, was in the midst of what later became a notoriously overenthusiastic pursuit of disloyal conspiracies in St. Louis. See Gerteis, Civil War St. Louis, 196–201.

64. List of disloyal citizens, June 1862, Union Provost Marshal Two or More Civilians File, File no. 1342, M-416, reel 6, frames 936–37 (first quotation on 936; second through seventh quotations on 937).

65. "Arrest of Balmer & Weber, Music Dealers," St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, June 28, 1862, p. 3; "A Musical Humbug," St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, June 29, 1862, p. 3 (quotations). The paper here was referring to "La Marseillaise."

66. "Balmer & Weber's Arrest," St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, July 1, 1862, p. 3 (quotations); W. R. McCracken, by order of George E. Leighton, Provost Marshal, to Captain Bishop, June 28, 1862, Union Provost Marshal Two or More Civilians File, File no. 1351, M-416, reel 6, frame 957, or Missouri's Union Provost Marshal Papers, reel F1585.

67. William M. Robinson to Franklin A. Dick, March 7, 1863, Union Provost Marshal Individual Civilians File, M-345, reel 153, or Missouri's Union Provost Marshal Papers, reel F1194. Such testimony is also indicative of how divided the citizenry was. See Dennis K. Boman, Lincoln and Citizens' Rights in Civil War Missouri (Baton Rouge, 2011), 93–114.

68. Mrs. Lydia Spaulding sworn testimony, September 13, 1862, Union Provost Marshal Individual Civilians File, M-345, reel 70, or Missouri's Union Provost Marshal Papers, reel F1298.

69. "A Sortie on Secesh," St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, June 22, 1862, p. 3.

70. "A New Military Order," Baltimore Sun, March 10, 1863, p. 1 (first quotation); Fields, Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground, 121–23 (second quotation on 122). Schenck was a noted member of the Unconditional Unionist movement in Maryland politics, which supported immediate and uncompensated emancipation of all enslaved people in the state (the Emancipation Proclamation had no effect in Maryland, as a loyal state).

71. John A. Dix to George B. McClellan, September 4, 1861, Official Records, Ser. 2, Vol. 1, pp. 591–92 (first quotation on 591); Proclamation of General Benjamin F. Butler, May 14, 1861, Official Records, Ser. 1, Vol. 2, pp. 30–32 (second and third quotations on 31); "Sent to Fort McHenry," Baltimore Sun, July 25, 1862, p. 1; Alexandria (Va.) Gazette, July 25, 1862, p. 4. Charles H. Kehr, the comparatively less well known composer of the music in question, "The Stonewall Quickstep," was also ordered to be arrested at the same time. See William D. Whipple to W. A. Van Nostrand, July 23, 1862, Official Records, Ser. 2, Vol. 4, p. 271.

72. Charles B. Clark, "Suppression and Control of Maryland, 1861–1865: A Study of Federal-State Relations during Civil Conflict," Maryland Historical Magazine, 54 (September 1959), 241–71, esp. 267; Henry T. Tuckerman, The Life of John Pendleton Kennedy (New York, 1871), 314 (quotation).

73. "The Presidential Contest in America," London Times, June 21, 1864, p. 7 (first and second quotations); "The Civil War in America," London Times, April 3, 1863, p. 8 (third and fourth quotations).

74. "The Military Authorities and Music Publishers," Baltimore Sun, March 12, 1863, p. 1; "The Music Publishers Have More Trouble," Baltimore Daily Gazette, March 12, 1863, p. 1, available via 150 Years Ago This Week: Historical Scans from the Periodicals Department of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, http://prattlibrary.org/locations/periodicals/civilwar/index.aspx?id=5308. For further coverage, see also "Secession Music and Pictures in Baltimore," Augusta (Ga.) Daily Constitutionalist, March 22, 1863, p. 2; "Secession Music and Pictures in Baltimore," Macon (Ga.) Telegraph, March 24, 1863, p. 3; "Suppression of Photographs of Distinguished Rebels," Hartford (Conn.) Daily Courant, March 17, 1863, p. 3; "Big Thing," Camden (N.J.) Democrat, April 4, 1863, p. 2; and "Major General Schenck," Washington (D.C.) Daily National Intelligencer, March 17, 1863, p. 3. A manuscript duplicate of Schenck's order that Baltimore's music publishers also hand over their plates can be found enclosed in R. C. Schenck to J. I. Clark Hare, March 11, 1863, Item no. 234, Series II, Hare-Willing Family Papers (American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pa.).

75. "The Music Publishers Have More Trouble," Baltimore Daily Gazette, March 12, 1863, p. 1 (first and second quotations); "The Civil War in America," London Times, April 3, 1863, p. 8 (third, fourth, and fifth quotations).

76. See "Arrest of a Provost Marshal," Washington Daily National Intelligencer, January 26, 1864, p. 3; and New York Tribune, July 8, 1864, p. 4. The Tribune called Fish "one of the most unprincipled scoundrels in the country."

77. "Schenck Again Victorious," Philadelphia Daily Age, September 14, 1863, p. 2.

78. See, for instance, "Secession Music and Pictures in Baltimore," Macon Telegraph, March 24, 1863, p. 3; and "Secession Music and Pictures in Baltimore," Augusta Daily Constitutionalist, March 22, 1863, p. 2. The Alexandria Gazette, operating in a city under Union occupation itself, printed Schenck's order banning the sale of secession music without any commentary. See "Sale of Secession Music," Alexandria Gazette, March 10, 1863, p. 2.

79. Campbell, "'Unmeaning Twaddle about Order 28,'" p. 18; Capers, Occupied City, 101–2.

80. See, for instance, Glasgow (U.K.) Herald, December 9, 1862, p. 2. On Hotze, see Lonnie A. Burnett, ed., Henry Hotze, Confederate Propagandist: Selected Writings on Revolution, Recognition, and Race (Tuscaloosa, 2008); and Robert E. Bonner, "Slavery, Confederate Diplomacy, and the Racialist Mission of Henry Hotze," Civil War History, 51 (September 2005), 288–316.

81. "The Brinsmade Difficulty," Elwood (N.J.) Atlantic Democrat and Cape May Register, November 29, 1862, p. 2 (quotation); "The Brinsmade Case," Boston Daily Advertiser, November 26, 1862, p. 2. William Blair provides a detailed overview of this case, though he never specifies that Brinsmade's arrest was actuated by the charge of singing seditious music. See Blair, With Malice Toward Some, 120–23.

82. "A Shameful Case of Oppression," Hereford (U.K.) Times, December 6, 1862, p. 11 (first quotation); "A Lady Imprisoned for Singing a Song," Burnley (U.K.) Advertiser, November 29, 1862, p. 3 (second quotation); "A Shocking Story," Louth and North Lincolnshire (U.K.) Advertiser, December 6, 1862, p. 2 (third and fourth quotations); Glasgow Herald, December 9, 1862, p. 2 (fifth quotation).

83. "Mrs. Brinsmade and Habeas Corpus," Philadelphia Public Ledger, November 25, 1862, p. 2 (first quotation); "The Unwarrantable Arrest of Mrs. Brinsmade," New York Evening Express, November 26, 1862, p. 4, reprinted in "The Brinsmade Difficulty," Elwood Atlantic Democrat and Cape May Register, November 29, 1862, p. 2 (second quotation); "The Mrs. Brinsmade Case," Albany Evening Journal, November 21, 1862, p. 2 (third and fourth quotations); "'Scandalous Outrage,'" Concord New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette, November 19, 1862, p. 2 (fifth quotation).

84. The international controversies associated with punishing Confederate music also extended to dealing with foreigners who engaged in or encouraged it in Union-controlled areas. Men from the British war steamer H.M.S. Rinaldo were the most notable culprits in New Orleans. By throwing Confederate parties where southern belles could indulge in singing and dancing to their favorite secessionist tunes free from the jurisdiction of United States martial law, they reminded women like Julia Le Grand of just "what a life of suppression" she led onshore. When Benjamin Butler and his military administration demanded the sailors stop, the Rinaldo's captain, W. N. W. Hewitt, insisted that "a British boat was part of the British soil, which was a free country, and British sailors might sing what songs they pleased." The provocative behavior of foreign officers who facilitated Confederate singing only served to confirm Unionist suspicions that many European nationals actually did harbor southern sympathies. Rowland and Croxall, eds., Journal of Julia Le Grand, 52 (first quotation in note); "British Liberties at New Orleans," Cupar (U.K.) Fife Herald, July 2, 1863, p. 2 (second quotation in note); "How About This," New Orleans Daily Delta, October 31, 1862, p. 2; "Provost Court—Major Jos. M. Bell Presiding," New Orleans Daily Delta, November 18, 1862, p. 2.

85. United States v. Mary Fitzgerald, statements of Kate Merrick, Mary Reed (quotation), and Mary Begley, July 11, 1863, Union Provost Marshal Individual Civilians File, M-345, reel 92, or Missouri's Union Provost Marshal Papers, reel F1318. For evidence that their workplace was engaged at making wagon covers, see United States v. Harry Stoddard, statement of Mary Begley, July 11, 1863, Union Provost Marshal Individual Civilians File, M-345, reel 258, or Missouri's Union Provost Marshal Papers, reel F1270.

86. "Mary Fitzgerald, Rebel," cover sheet in the case of United States v. Mary Fitzgerald, July 11, 1863, Union Provost Marshal Individual Citizens File, M-345, reel 92, or Missouri's Union Provost Marshal Papers, reel F1318.

87. Statement of T. J. Howard, November 1, 1864, frame 640 (first quotation); Statement of Sylvester Hainline, November 5, 1864, frame 641 (second quotation); Statement of B. F. Larkin, November 2, 1864, frame 638; Cover sheet for United States v. Jane Vestle, Sarah Childs, and Martha Williams, November 1864, frame 635, all in File no. 21240, Union Provost Marshal Two or More Civilians File, M-416, reel 78, or Missouri's Union Provost Marshal Papers, reel F1657.

88. James J. Williamson, Prison Life in the Old Capitol and Reminiscences of the Civil War (West Orange, N.J., 1911), 49–51; Davis, Maryland, My Maryland, 173–77 (quotations on 174).

89. See McCurry, Confederate Reckoning, chap. 3. Wealthy women and children caught singing did tend to be most successful in avoiding punishment. Six of the ten cases involving high-class women included in this study resulted in no punishment (in one case the outcome is unknown), and seven of the eleven cases involving young adults and children in which the legal consequence is known resulted in no punishment (in two additional cases the outcome is unknown) (see Figures 9 and 5). Meanwhile, of the seven cases involving lower-class women, four resulted in punishment, and three did not (see Figure 9). Evidence of the class status of the offenders in question was unclear in 27 percent of all cases (see Figure 7). Overall, men were punished in 50 percent of cases, and women in 36 percent of cases (see Figures 3 and 4).

90. See Figure 5; and Ashkenazi, ed., Civil War Diary of Clara Solomon, 356–57, 367.

91. Fifteen of the forty cases found for this study concerning adults involved an arrest but ultimately no punishment, a total equal to the number who were arrested and punished. A further seven adult cases involved both no arrest and no punishment. See Figure 10. A British correspondent observed this pattern at the time, specifically in relation to music. See "Sentiments of the Southerns," Sheffield and Rotherham (U.K.) Independent, April 28, 1863, p. 7.

92. "Our New-Orleans Correspondence," New York Times, February 4, 1863, p. 1 (first, second, and fifth quotations); "The Banks Expedition," New York Times, January 30, 1863, p. 1 (third and fourth quotations).

93. See Blair, With Malice Toward Some, chap. 8.

94. See, for example, "'Loyalty' of Louisiana, Illustrated by Facts," New Orleans Tribune, December 27, 1866, p. 1; "The Cleveland Farce," Delaware (Ohio) Gazette, September 7, 1866, p. 2; "Georgia: The State of Feeling in the South," Boston Daily Advertiser, July 20, 1868, p. 1; ["Harry Macarthy's Troupe"], Galveston (Tex.) Flake's Semi-Weekly Galveston Bulletin, April 17, 1869, p. 5; "A Significant Feature," Yankton (S.Dak.) Press, July 17, 1872, p. 2; and "The Rebel Yell in Baltimore," Helena (Mont.) Weekly Herald, November 16, 1876, p. 3. Many reports negatively noted that Jefferson Davis was regaled by a rendition of "The Bonnie Blue Flag" during a March 1868 visit to New Orleans. For just two examples, see "From Louisiana," Des Moines (Iowa) Daily State Register, March 6, 1868, p. 4; and "New Orleans: Rebel Honors to Jeff Davis," Chicago Republican, March 6, 1868, p. 5. However, these accounts of Davis's visit to New Orleans were disputed. See "Contradiction by the President of the Associated Press," Washington (Pa.) Review and Examiner, March 25, 1868, p. 2.

95. On Lincoln's call to reclaim "Dixie," see McWhirter, Battle Hymns, 171–76. For a selection of further examples beyond Lincoln and "Dixie," see "A Desperate Appeal," Cleveland Daily Plain Dealer, July 14, 1862, p. 1; "Miscellaneous War News," Springfield (Mass.) Republican, April 8, 1865, p. 4; and Baton Rouge Weekly Advocate, June 19, 1869, p. 3. For detail on postwar reconciliation and its political and racial implications, see David W. Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Cambridge, Mass., 2001). For music in Civil War commemoration and memory, see McWhirter, Battle Hymns, chap. 8.

Additional Information

ISSN
2325-6893
Print ISSN
0022-4642
Pages
75-116
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-17
Open Access
No
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