Reviewed in Civil War Times Illustrated!
An album celebrating the Celts in America! Music from a brave and noteworthy regiment in Federal service during the Civil War! The field music, brass band and bagpipers that served with the 79th New York Volunteer Infantry! Recorded on period and reproduction instruments under the direction of noted historical musicians, this album will become a classic documentation of U.S. military music!
This is “Kilted Warriors”!
The music associated with the 79th New York Volunteer Infantry was unique. It encompassed a range broader than most units that served during the Civil War. There were over 50 men on the 79th muster rolls who served
as musicians of some form or another. There were the usual “field musicians”: fifers, drummers and buglers that performed the daily regimental and company duty calls, signals and cadence on the march. These young men, generally under the age of eighteen, learned their instruments by rote or were trained at “Schools of Instruction” such as Governor’s Island in New York Harbor.
There was also a “regimental band” complete with the saxhorn ensemble that were so popular by the mid - 1800’s. The 79th boasted a 17- member brass band under the leadership of Lt. Wm. Robertson. Until July 1862, when General Order 91 called for the mustering out of regimental bandsmen, concerts, parades and other musical events provided a needed morale boost and a respite from the business of war. This brass band made at least one more appearance when, in July 1865, the final companies of the 79th were mustered out from war service, escorted by “Robertson’s full band.”
Whether on the muster rolls as musicians or as regular soldiers, the men of the 79th would also entertain themselves by singing and performing on any variety of handy instruments. Lively folk pieces, mournful ballads and a saucy song or two was heard in camp and around an evening fire.
Undoubtedly, the most unique aspect of music in the 79th New York Infantry was an addition of at least 4 highland bagpipers! It has been documented that the New York Caledonian Club provided these pipers during many of the 79th regimental parades and other military functions. A stereocard in the McAfee collection features the 79th, as militia, marching by company front at a Fourth of July parade, (Tryon Row, NYC), in 1860. Clearly, one can see a brass band at the front of the unit followed by 4 pipers! Although there is, of yet, no evidence to link the pipers with the official muster rolls, their association with the 79th New York Infantry plays an important part in “Kilted Warriors”.
Authors note: Please know that “Kilted Warriors” is a compilation of music from a particular time period, showcasing Celtic traditions as they became part of the American landscape. To date, research has revealed pipers accompanying the "Highlanders" at parades in New York & Philadelphia as they made their way to Washington, D.C. at the start of North/South hostilities, (May, 1861 editions of the New York Herald & Philadelphia Inquirer). Although there is a known association between the New York Caledonian Club’s highland bagpipers and the 79th New York when it was a state militia organization, there is no record of pipers following the 79th into battle or campaign.
A Brief History of the 79th New York Volunteer Infantry...
(AKA) Seventy-ninth Militia; Highlanders; Cameron Rifle Highlanders; Highland Guard; Bannockburn Battalion
The 79th New York Volunteer Infantry was originally formed and chartered by the State of New York as a militia unit in June 9, 1859. Sponsored by the Caledonian Society of New York City for Scots and Scottish immigrants and American-born descendants, the regiment was chartered finally with 256 men and officers.
At the outbreak of the war on April 11, 1861 with the shelling of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, President Lincoln called for volunteer troops from all the northern states. The 79th was one of the first state militia regiments to answer the call being called into federal service in May, 1861. By May 29th, the ranks of the 79th were brought up to nearly full regimental strength being open to all nationalities during the enlistment period. Irish and German enlistments were particularly high.
They marched proudly out of New York City, 795 strong, on June 2nd led by pipers and their new regimental colors provided by the Caledonian Society of New York. Many of the officers wore kilts on ceremonial occasions and the men pantaloons (trews) of the Cameron tartan. Under the command of James Cameron, they were then sent to Washington, DC to join General William “Billy” Sherman’s Brigade of Tyler’s Division. By August, the 79th got their “baptism” of fire at 1st Bull Run (Manassas) and were credited with preventing a total disaster of the routed Union forces by forming part of the rear guard against confederate cavalry.
Having lost their original commander at Bull Run, the 79th was placed under Colonel Isaac Ingalls Stevens rather than choosing their own commander. A tough disciplinary regimen was instituted, the unit reorganized and then ordered to set aside their traditional uniforms for regular Federal issued army dress. While restricted to camp without furloughs, low in morale, angered over the restrictions (and with access to alcohol), the 79th mutinied. The Army of the Potomac commander, General George McClellan responded by ordering the 79th surrounded by regular troops and artillery with order to prepare to open fire thus ending the short-lived mutiny. The “Highlanders” soon proved their valor and worth by exemplary participation in engagements at James Island (South Carolina), and again at 2nd Bull Run where Stevens then division commander was killed while taking the regimental colors from the sixth color bearer who had fallen in battle. The 79th then fought in Chantilly, South Mountain, Antietam, Fort Sanders, the Knoxville siege, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, and finally were present at Appomattox. The regiment participated through most of the war as part of the IX Corps under General Ambrose Burnside. They were associated with a number of well-known armies such as the Army of the Potomac, the Ohio, and the Tennessee’s earning the distinction of being one of the most traveled units of the Union army. They served as the Provost Guard until May 1865 after which they were re-designated as a National Guard unit serving until they were formally disbanded in 1876.
(Submitted by Dr. Thomas Ricks)
Andy Redmond (percussion)
Andy began drum lessons at the age of twelve, receiving instruction in the highland drum method pioneered by Alex Duthart. He went on to enjoy competitive success in corps and individual drumming, later becoming an instructor for many Eastern U.S. pipe bands. After receiving his A.A., (music/theater), from Bucks County Community College, Andy enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and successfully auditioned for bandsman (percussion). Unfortunately, a medical condition kept him from continued service. Andy then performed with rock & pop groups throughout the U.S. until a lifelong fascination with military “field music” led him to the study of 18th & 19th century American rudimental styles. Andy is the co-founder of the Mifflin Guard Field Music, a founder alumnus of The 28th PA Regimental Brass Band (Philadelphia Brigade Band), a member of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), the Company of Fifers & Drummers and the US Association of Rudimental Drummers. He was music consultant, (audio books), for historical author Shelby Foote and currently performer/producer with Na’Bodach, an internationally recognized Celtic music group.
Andy's Official Site: http://www.andyredmond.net
Caywood Jones (fifes & bagpipes)
Caywood started playing highland bagpipes at fourteen years of age under the tutelage of Pipe Major Donald Leslie, Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders (Ret.). In 1964, Caywood began his military career with The United States Air Force Pipe Band, performing worldwide at such venues as the Cardiff Military Tattoo, Edinburgh and NATO Music Festivals and many military functions at home and abroad. After retiring from national service to teach the art of piping throughout the Eastern U.S., he developed an interest in military fife music. That interest led him to found Capt. Barney’s Flotilla Crew, an 1812 era fife and drum corps. Along with Andy, Caywood is also a performing member of Na’Bodach.
Robert Philbin (brass)
Robert has been playing brass instruments since 1960 and is a 1968 graduate of Glassboro State College (now Rowan University). He was at college with Paul Maybery, the outstanding researcher and historical arranger of Victorian band music. Robert served with the 75th Army Band at Ft Belvoir 1969-70 as a bandsman (euphonium). After discharge, he taught music at every level in the Pitman NJ schools for 31years, specializing in beginning band. He is an arranger of music for elementary and middle school bands through The American School Music Institute, with over 500 arrangements extant.
Robert is a founder and bandleader/arranger for the Philadelphia Brigade Band/ Beck's Band (formed in 1991 as a Civil War brass band, the 28th PA Regimental Band). He is also a founder of the Tri-County Symphonic Band at Camden County College and a number of brass ensembles in the South Jersey area.