Perhaps a clue to what keys songs were sung in (played in?) as recollected by a surviving soldier. Handwritten notes in an 1883 "Vets Who Wore The Blue" pocket songster (see adjacent post "Girl I Left Behind Me")
for Star Spangled Banner - "C"
for Marching Thrugh Georgia - "a"
for Red, White and Blue - "a"
for Tramp, Tramp, Tramp - "g"
for My Country Tis of Thee - "a"
for The Army Bean - "Bb C" (I suppose that meant either ok?)
Attached is a photo of the index pages to that little book. It appears that the songs remembered by soldiers were of a quite common popular variety. We maybe shouldn't try so hard to mine the more obscure sheet music, tutors etc.
It's interesting that more than a few songs in this Old Union compendium were about slavery or even some reb songs - considering how many Union boys supposedly didn't feel they were fighting to free the slave or embrace the Reb.
- Dan Wykes