Talk:Music of the American Civil War

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Good article Music of the American Civil War has been listed as one of the Music good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
October 19, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
December 8, 2008 WikiProject peer review Reviewed
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on October 22, 2008.
Current status: Good article

Stonewall Brigade Band[edit]

I know quite a bit of them; should the Stonewall Brigade Band, "the nation's oldest continuous community band sponsored by local government and funded by tax monies," receive a mention? Cake (talk) 05:48, 16 July 2013 (UTC)


Anyone have any ideas how to divide this into sections?--Gen. Bedford his Forest 10:07, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Sectionized, but I'm not big on the section titles.--Gen. Bedford his Forest 23:00, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I think I've found the best sectionization.--Gen. Bedford his Forest 05:26, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Can we add the unofficial, official (where appropriate) and popularised anthems of union and confederacy for clarity? Ginister (talk) 21:40, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Music of the American Civil War/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

I'll be reviewing this article using the GA Criteria. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions during the process please let me know. I'll be back with my initial readthrough and thoughts of the article. --Banime (talk) 00:16, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Initial readthrough[edit]

In my initial readthrough, I checked for the basic problems and criteria. The article contains reliable sources, the topic is not treated in an obviously non-neutral way, there are no cleanup banners, and it is not about a current event. The projects it is in have rated it Start Class and C Class, which is slightly concerning, but its possible that it has not been reviewed recently. Article seems very stable and there are not any edit wars to speak of. Also, one large thing I noticed that will need definite improvement is the lead needs expansion. I see no reason for a quick fail, and I will now go much more in depth in my review. --Banime (talk) 00:24, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

In Depth Review[edit]

I'm back with my complete review. I will use the GA Criteria as a guideline for my review to help with making improvements and focusing on what needs fixing. I also made a few fixes myself, which you can see by checking the edit history.

Well Written[edit]

  • The introduction is needs expansion as I stated above. You've made decent progress already. Read WP:LEAD and try to expand it with all of the points covered throughout the article. The article is pretty small so 1-2 paragraphs should do it, but more than the few sentences it is now.
  • I think it would be better just to state the drummer boy's age of 12 in the picture of the drummer boy, instead of saying he's underaged. I think people will realize he's underage when you say he's 12 and it'll be more specific.
  • In the Regulations section: The July 1861 requirement would lessen as the war dragged on. Does this mean he requirements became less strictly enforced, or did the requirements actually decrease officially? Clarify that, and if its "officially" a source wouldn't hurt.
  • In the In camp section: A similar situation occurred in Fredericksburg, Virginia in the winter of 1862-3 Maybe explain exactly what happened there too?
  • In the songs published by year section: It was hard to make out what w. or w.m. stands for in the context, maybe another reader wouldn't be able to either. Can you spell it out or somehow make it more clear? It is words/music, right? Haha.

Factually accurate and verifiability[edit]

  • In the Regulations section: In May 1861 the United States War Department officially approved that every regiment of infantry and artillery could have a brass band comprised of 24 members, while a cavalry regiment could have one of sixteen members. Is there a citation for this, it seems pretty specific?
  • In the same section: A survey in October 1861 found that 75% of Union regiments had a band. Citation needed for most statistics.
  • In the On the battlefield section: The survivors of the disastrous Pickett's Charge returned under the tune Nearer My God to Thee. At the Battle of Five Forks, Union musicians under orders from Sheridan played Nelly Bly while being shot at on the front lines. Samuel P. Heintzelman, the commander of the III Corps, saw many of his musicians cowering at the back lines at the Battle of Williamsburg, and ordered them to play anything, as it appeared it was all they were good for. Do yo have citations for all/any of these claims? I think it'd be good with specific examples like these.
  • In the homefront section: United States President Abraham Lincoln said he loved Dixie and wanted to hear it played, considering it duly "captured". This quote will need a citation.

Broad in its coverage[edit]

  • This article is sufficiently broad for a GA and covers every major aspect about music in the American Civil War.
  • I am wondering if a sound could improve this article, though? Not necessary for GA but for anything above I think it might help.


  • In the Regulations section: It was not always easy to be a musician; buglers had to learn forty-nine separate calls just for infantry, with more needed for cavalry. The more I think about that the more I think it sounds slightly POV. Maybe just tell the reader all what buglers have to do and they can decide if its easy or not. To expand maybe go into detail about how often they play and when and how much, like you've already started to do.


  • The article seems very stable. There are no back and forth edit wars.

Illustrated, if possible, by images[edit]

  • The images are used well and are all public domain or have been released under a free license.


Overall the article had some well written parts. The main concerns are listed above. Work on improving the general prose of the article as well and making it flow better. Addressing the concerns above will help towards that as well. I will put the article on hold for about a week or until these concerns are addressed, then make the final decision. I believe it can be improved sufficiently to attain GA status. Also, I welcome more comments from other reviewers to help with the article's improvement. Good work --Banime (talk) 14:55, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

I believe I have corrected all your nits, save for the w's and m's. As 8th Ohio Volunteers put that section in, I asked him to elaborate, as he knew what it meant for sure.--Gen. Bedford his Forest 22:59, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
w = words' m = music' a = arrangement I simply copied the standard format used in Wikipedia for the "YEAR in Music" articles (i.e. 1861 in Music, 1862 in Music, etc. 8th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (talk) 02:11, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks; for the reader's benefit I put a description at the top. I've lengthened the intro somewhat, but it'll be hard to add anymore without adding significantly more material.--Gen. Bedford his Forest 02:26, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Here are some things I noticed about the intro. Due to the article naming and bold type, American Civil War is not linked, nor is it linked anywhere in the article besides the template on the bottom. Also the intro lacks wikilinks to the participates of the war - the Union and the Confederate States. All of these I feel are necessary links for non-U.S. readers to clarify the time and context. I agree the intro should be broken into one or two additional paragraphs highlighting the meat of the article. And I would add "music in camp also helped soldiers deal with homesickness and boredom" or such wording if possible.
As for general comments, I would say 1: Expansion is needed on the bit about the 20th Maine's musicians, 2: Adding some detail about lyrical changes on both sides (like Battle Hymn with John Brown's Body lyrics), and 3: I think the last paragraph in the Homefront Section would fit better in the Legacy Section, as it is more of a summary/general statement than directly relating to the home lives of Americans then. Hope this helps! Kresock (talk) 04:47, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I finished Kresock's recommendations. I think it looks good; even the intro. How about it?--Gen. Bedford his Forest 07:55, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Another quick thing from above, in the section Homefront: United States President Abraham Lincoln said he loved Dixie and wanted to hear it played, considering it duly "captured". You didn't add a citation for that. Did Lincoln not say it, were you just trying to say "captured" was a different use of the verb or something? I think if that was the case it would confuse readers into thinking Lincoln actually said that and you can take away the quotes without affecting the meaning. Or if he did say that, it'll need a citation. --Banime (talk) 13:37, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
It's taken cared of.--Gen. Bedford his Forest 15:52, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

GA Pass[edit]

I have decided to pass this article as a GA in accordance with the GA Criteria. All of my concerns above have been met. I'd like to thank Kresock for helping in the review, as well as Bedford and 8th Ohio Volunteers for helping to get the article ready. To further improve the article, please look at improving the prose and ensuring the lead meets WP:LEAD as that is often the hardest part of any article. If you have questions please ask, and thank you for all of your hard work. Good luck on future edits. --Banime (talk) 16:02, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks.--Gen. Bedford his Forest 16:11, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

A few things that you might want to look at for further improvements:

  1. Left-aligned images should not be placed directly under level 2 (==) headers.
  2. Consistency is needed in the "Songs published per year" section: either all song titles should be followed by a comma, or none of them should. The spacing after titles is also inconsistent. Some have only one space, while others seem to have three or four.
  3. The "References" section would be more useful if the authors were listed as "Last name, first name", since readers would be searching for their last names. GaryColemanFan (talk) 16:49, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. All three have been done.--Gen. Bedford his Forest 17:05, 19 October 2008 (UTC)