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Civil War Re-enacting for the Bugler




The uniform of the musician varies almost as greatly as that of the infantry. Brass bands were ornately uniformed with laced frocks, white gloves, and plumed, decorated shakos. Field musicians wore frock coats, sack coats, shell jackets, forage caps, and civilian hats and coats. The uniform of the musician, as per regulations, was “the same for enlisted men of their respective corps, with the addition of a facing of lace 3/8 of an inch wide on the front of the coat or jacket, made in the following manner: bars of 3/8 of an inch worsted lace placed on a line with each button 6 1/2 inches wide at the bottom and thence gradually expanding upward to the last button, continuing from the waist up, and contracting from thence to the buttons of the collar where it will be 6 1/2 inches wide with a strip of the same lacing following the bars at their outer extremity-the whole presenting something of what is called the herring bone form, the color of the lace facing to correspond with the color of the trimming of the corps.” In other words, a bird cage pattern of blue lace for infantry, red for artillery, or yellow for cavalry on the front of the coat.

Cavalry Bugler

Musicians were issued swords like that of the NCO sword, but 4 inches shorted,and without the guard at the top of the hilt.

However, many field bands did not follow this regulation. Photos show that bands were a mish-mash, just as infantry, with sacks, frocks without the facing, shells, and civilian garb intermingled. Band members wore both issued forage caps and civilian hats. Some opted not to carry swords.

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  1. Craig Flick Craig Flick July 22, 2019

    Thank you for putting together the “School of the Bugler” portion, as a new bugler it’s invaluable.

  2. Tapsbugler Tapsbugler Post author | May 15, 2019

    It was put together as a guide for re-enactors since there was no “bugle manual” of the time.
    It uses material from the School of The Soldier” but adapted for buglers.


  3. Marc Speed Marc Speed May 11, 2019

    I am curious about the “School of the Bugler.” Is it from Hardee, or did you compose it?

    In either event, it is most useful.

  4. JohnnyReb JohnnyReb September 26, 2013

    Seeing as the confederate army was modeled exactly the same way as the union army, regulations are the same.

    They use the same calls for EVERYTHING.
    You must remember most if not almost all officers in the Confederate Army resigned from the Union army to join the confederates.

  5. Kate Kate September 18, 2012

    Hi Great article and quite informitive. Do these regulations apply for the Confederates as well as the Union? Are the calls mostly the same? The type of Buge? The Uniform? Do you know if there is a list and music of Confederate calls?


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