Re: Authentic Guitar Music?
Classical style is the best bet for our period. But the real question should be: what method was used for the different tunes? Is it better to play chords or arpegios?
These questions can be best answered by going right to a period source. Septimus Winner wrote (or lent his name to) a guitar instruction manual. The Septimus Winer Guitar Instructor ( if I remember the name correctly) was published in 1864. Winner wrote many of the ACW period tunes we know and love like:
Listen to the Mocking Bird
Der Deitchers Dog ( Where OH Where has my little dog gone? ) 1864
It should be noted that he also publiched under the name Alice Hawthorne and had mane sucessful tunes under that pen name.
These and other popular tunes are in the instructor and written as they were to be played in the most popular style of the day . If you follow this style then you have a well documented method. If you can not find a copy, the Library of Congress can copy it for you. I have seen and held their copy.
As for the correct nature of the guitar in the field. I have seen images of the guitar in camp bands during the ACW. Although not as popular as fiddles and banjos, they did exist. While I would not use one for campaigning, there are proper uses. The important thing is to have a period guitar with gut strings. There are good guitars still made in the parlor style ( some dealers will call it the "Panormo" style after the famous builder of the 1st quarter of the 19th century). There are also good European guitars from the 1940's and 50's that were still made in a style correct for the ACW.
As for period guitar performers I do not know of many. Bob Kilham of the Amoskeag players does period style guitar as do seveal of his band members. He may know of others. I believe you can find him through a Google search.
I hope this helps.
National Museum of Civil War Medicine and
The Letterman Institute