The 26th North Carolina Regimental Band made its debut performance as the 26th North Carolina in June 2005 in Lynchburg, VA. In November 2005 they traveled to Winston-Salem, NC, hometown of the original bandsmen of the 26th North Carolina, to perform. Also in 2005, the band participated in a special commemoration on the Gettysburg battlefield, led by the 26th Regiment North Carolina Troops, re-activated. Performances by the 26th North Carolina Regimental Band in 2006 included the Moravian Music Festival in Columbus, OH, and the Vintage Band Music Festival in Northfield, MN.
PRIOR PERFORMANCES BY THE 26TH NORTH CAROLINA REGIMENTAL BAND
June 27-28, 2013 Gettysburg 150th Anniversary Re-enactment
August 2-4, 2013 Vintage Brass Band Festival, Northfield, Minnesota
HISTORY OF THE BAND
The 26th North Carolina Regimental Band is one of the most renowned bands of the Civil War era. Based in Salem, NC, the band was made up of Moravian musicians who enlisted in the early spring of 1862 and served until the last week of the war, when they were captured during the final retreat towards Appomattox Courthouse. They took part in many major campaigns, including Gettysburg, where they are recorded as having performed “polkas and waltzes” during the height of the battle to bolster the morale of the Confederate troops. Their music, from the only known complete set of original Confederate band books in existence today, has enriched the repertoire of dozens of bands since it was re-discovered in the late 1950s and recorded by the late Dr. Frederick Fennell and his Eastman Wind Ensemble.
While many of today’s Civil War bands perform selections from the band books of the 26th North Carolina, The Federal City Brass Band has researched not only the music but also the incredible history of this band, which was said to be one of General Robert E. Lee’s favorites. Concerts by the re- created 26th North Carolina Regimental Band include music of the Moravian heritage of the original musicians and selections from their wartime repertoire, along with excerpts from diaries and other contemporary written accounts of the 26th North Carolina and its band throughout the War Between the States.
The reproduction uniforms worn by the 26th North Carolina Regimental Band are meticulously based on the only known photograph of the original band during the War, taken in July, 1862. We have used contemporary descriptions of the band and museum examples of original Confederate uniforms as additional references.
Uniforms are custom patterned by Alison Ragland of Greenbelt, MD and sewn by Heather Faust. Kepis are by Greg Starbuck of Lynchburg, VA. Buttonholes for the reproduction NC state seal buttons are all hand stitched. Jean cloth (70% wool, 30% cotton, guaranteed to fade just like the original) was produced by Ben Tart of Newton Grove, NC using natural vegetable dyes and actual recipes from the Fries Mill of Salem where the band’s original fabric was produced in 1862.
We are proud to be associated with the 26th Regiment, North Carolina Troops re-enactment unit, which includes many descendants of the original soldiers among its members. For more information on this fine organization, please visit their website . Photos of our 2005 living history event in Gettysburg, PA have now been posted on both their website and ours.
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