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Interesting Bits|

Dan Treanor wrote on Facebook, 1/27/22: The day the music stopped a war. Music was a huge part of everyday life in the 18th century. Entertainment options were limited, music and making music was readily available. Most families had someone that played a instrument. Dancing was a big part of social life.

In 1862, music brought the war to a halt for a short time. Two large armies, North and South, were facing each other outside of Nashville. It was New Years Eve. Several weeks of bloody combat had lead up to this moment. The opposing armies were in a exhausted stalemate. In a effort to lighten the somber mood, one of the bands, nobody really knows who, struck up a patriotic song. The soldiers cheered. Soon the other side answered with a tune of their own. The soldiers on both sides began to cheer, whoop and holler. The armies were so close they could clearly hear the music as it was played.

The Yankees belted out “Yankee Doodle”, the Rebs answered with “Dixie”. Songs from each side grew louder and louder. It was if they were using music instead of muskets to battle their rivals.

After several musical volleys from the bands of both sides, the musicians had wore themselves out. A silence fell over the whole area. Then one band set aside the martial music and began to play the notes of a song everyone in Blue and Grey would know. “Home Sweet Home”.

The band from the other side joined in. Soon, thousands of voices filled the air. “Home, home, sweet, sweet home…..be it ever so humble there is no place like home”…. In that one brief moment soldiers, North and South, were united in that sad song about a place they all longed to be. Home.

As the last notes of the song drifted into the night a deafening silence descended across the battle field as each individual soldier turned their thoughts to family and home.

The next day, the battle of Stones River erupted. Thousands of those soldiers who had sung in unison the night before killed each other. It was one of the bloodiest battle of the war.

For one glorious, fleeting moment, music had stopped the war and untied enemies in a common emotion, Home.

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