View Full Version : Stage musicians who enlisted

11-14-2008, 03:04 PM
From a list in "Brown's Burnt Cork Biography" (c) 2005, are professional stage Minstrels who became soldiers in the CW, in alpha order:

- Tommy Bull (William Howe), jig dancer but drummer for the 25th
Missouri volunteers

- Tom Christian (S.B. Siddings) a Christy's minstrel but Corporal in
the 2nd Conn. Battery and blind by 1863 from sickness in the field

- Tom Craig, minstrel but orderly Sgt. 18 mos. in campaigned with 22nd
Massachusetts volunteers

- H.W. Egan, minstrel but soldier killed at Bull Run July 1861

- "Col." Alvin Lloyd, originally with "Sable Harmonist" once challenged
by Dave Wambold who was going to "kick his head off", became a
Confederate "Col." for a short time but galvanized to the Union Army
and shot lame by a Rebel officer who recognized him, and after the war
he was horse-whipped by Dan Bryant in an altercation

- Marshal S. Pike, one of first female impersonators and a song writer,
but as a soldier taken prisoner in 1861 and paroled

- Thamas B. Prendergast, first-class ballad singer but as soldier in
N.Y. 71st stepped into Alexandria, was at Aquia Creek and Bull Run and
recommended for bravery

- John Pemberton Smith, bones player and jig dancer with Joe Sweeney,
not actually a soldier but gutsy enough to perform in the Confederacy
during the war til it "got too hot" and he returned to New York city.

- Well known as a soldier is Sam Sweeney, offically a courier for Jeb Stewart who died during the war, but who was a minstrel banjoist before enlisting

- Thomas Vaughn, banjoist but soldier in the N.Y. 165th (Second Durea
Zuaves), "never quite right after the war"

- William M. Whitlock, called a "banjoist and banjo maker" there, learned from Joe Sweeney and observed plantation blacks himself. He became a volunteer Confederate soldier and became paralyzed in 1862, though surviving til 1878. (Note: another good source lists Whitlock as a Union soldier, so someone with time can check muster lists).

Dan Wykes