Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Buglers and self defense

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Buglers and self defense

    Im sure this has been discussed, but Ill ask anyway. What did Buglers do for self defense? did they carry a weapon?

    Peter Smith
    Founder of the Unionville Rifles
    A Western NY Progressive Group

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Old Northwest


    Comrade Smith,

    It depends on the branch of service, and the rank of the bugler. From my research a Chief Bugler (serving regimental, brigade or divison) was protected by those units riflemen. Cavalry trumpeters were issued a sword and pistol (Kautz-Customs of the Service). Sharpshooters fielded two buglers per company (you can find them listed on the descriptive-muster rolls as 'musician's' directly below the names of the corporals). Sharpshooter buglers were first required to 'make the string' (pre-requisite marksmanship trial of 10 shots at 200 yards-rest or 100 yards-off hand) same as the rest of the recruits before being mustered into service. The Ordnance records I have show these men were armed with the weapon carried by that regiment (Sharps, Spencer breechloaders). While very rare--Mounted Infantry buglers appeared to be similarly armed (Wilder's 'Lighting Brigade'; 1st Michigan Mounted Infantry>>5th Michigan Cavalry). Artillery buglers I know very little about. While they may have retained a personal arm (pistol), I don't have any historical reference for you. The heavy and cumbersome artillery sword originally designed for defense-in the age of rifled artillery with significantly increased range and power--were most likely sent to the Washington (or other theater) Arsenal for storage.

    But the primary duty of a bugler is to relay orders issued by the commanding officer--not to fight . Don Troiani's great painting of the 124th New York 'Orange Blossom's at Gettysburg ((The Men must see us Today) shows a nicely detailed image of the regimental bugler waiting to sound the charge.

    Hope this helps.

    Bill Skillman
    Bugler-Hudson Squad-USSS
    Last edited by NM1859; 05-11-2013 at 12:00 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Near Hanover, PA


    An infantry bugler would hang our with the officer he was assigned to, and like the officer, and the rest of the battalion, he would run like all he11, if the situation called for it. I've never seen or read anything about a bugler or drummer carrying a weapon.

    "Grumpy" Dave T.

    "Biggest problem is, at most "reenactments," nobody knows what their "historical" job was. And, in most cases the privates are worse off than the NCO's and Officers." - Deceased

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    I've seen a few pictures of drummers in the field with musician swords. Not sure about infantry buglers, but wouldn't they (in theory) been issued those as well?


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts