Regimental Band

Like many early war regiments, the 28th Massachusetts was authorized to recruit a regimental band during the fall of 1861 to serve alongside the rest of the regiment. Judging by the names represented below, there seems to have been little effort to recruit Irish musicians. Most of the regimental band hailed were from the Boston area, although five were from East Douglas and four from Gardner, Massachusetts. Virtually all stated that they were professional musicians prior to their enlistment. Samuel Curry, a 27- year old professor of music from Boston was the leader of the band throughout its attachment to the regiment.

In July 1862, the Adjutant General of the U.S. army issued an order calling for a reduction in the number of military bands attached to the volunteer regiments. Henceforth, each brigade was entitled to only a single band funded and supported by the government. Any regiment that wished to retain its band would have to support it through its own finances. In response to this order, the entire band of the 28th Massachusetts Infantry was mustered out of the service of the United States on August 17, 1862, just a week after they had arrived in Virginia after five months' service in South Carolina.

The only member of the band who would remain with the regiment was George L. Mitchell, a 22-year old trader from Boston who served as Drum Major. It may be that he had no choice, since drum majors often were selected from the ranks of enlisted soldiers. He eventually was promoted to 1st Sergeant of Company A, and then commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in September, 1862. Just days after Fredericksburg, he was commissioned 1st Lieutenant. Less than a year later, he resigned in May, 1863 to accept a commissioned rank in the U.S. Colored Troops.

Roster of The 28th Massachusetts Regimental Band

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