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Press Release

April 10, 2018

Contact: Adam Lynn
Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 918-473-5572

19th-Century/Civil War Musical Instrument Educational Program at Honey Springs Battlefield Visitor Center

CHECOTAH, Okla. — Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center is excited to announce a fun and educational 19th-century instrumental music program to be held at the battlefield’s new Visitor Center on Saturday, April 28, at 1 p.m. Preston Ware of the Oklahoma Historical Society will present the historical importance of musical instruments used in the early, middle and late 19th century, including the Civil War.

The demonstration will include examples of instruments such as rhythm bones, jaw harp, jaw bone, French harp, 1820s fiddle, cigar box fiddle, fretless banjo, bowl back mandolin and early guitar. This will be a fun and educational day for children and adults alike! Everyone is welcome to wear their favorite Civil War attire to show off during the program. For those who do not have Civil War attire, the Visitor Center sells Civil War hats, shirts, coats, canteens, games, musical instruments and much more! The presentation is free to the public, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Music played a major role before, during and after the Civil War. During the Civil War musical instruments were played on both the Union and Confederate sides. While, bugles, drums and fifes were played on both sides to issue orders on and off the battlefield, many instruments were brought from home and played at camps to pass time and boost morale. Banjos, fiddles and guitars were popular instruments played among soldiers. Often, bands representing the Union and Confederate sides would duel the night before battle. The 19th century, particularly the Civil War era, brought together a mixture of different instruments and sounds that would lead to new types of music and musical traditions, such as the bugle call “Taps.”  

After the program, visitors will have the opportunity to tour the battlefield and learn about key aspects of the engagement and those who fought at Honey Springs. Visitors also can tour the new Visitor Center, purchase items from the gift shop, and learn about the new exhibits that will open in the near future.

For more information regarding the presentation and the Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center, please email honeysprings@okhistory.org or alynn@okhistory.org, or call 918-473-5572. Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center is located east of U.S. Highway 69 between Oktaha and Rentiesville. The Visitor Center is located on the northeast corner of the intersection of East 1030 Road and 11th Street, diagonal from the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame.

Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.


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