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Saber and Scroll

Abstract

Revolutionary War military musicians have not been the sole focus of a great deal of historical research and as such, historians tend to reference the work of several experts to describe the role that these soldiers played in the American Revolution. Historians of the Revolutionary War often quote the research and writings of Raoul F. Camus, professor of music at Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York, particularly his work Military Music of the American Revolution. Baron Friedrich von Steuben’s Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States is also frequently cited, as he provided specific directions for the actions and duties of all military personnel, including the musicians. American and British military leaders’ letters, as well as the memoirs and pension applications of the officers and soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War, frequently illuminate the past with small, telling details, some of which describe the actions of steadfast drummers, fifers, trumpeters, and buglers. Through these and other records, pictures of the past unfold to help interested historians reconstruct the contributions of early American military musicians.

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