SIDNEY – The 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment Band will return to Sidney for the Civil War Living History Weekend. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17, and Sunday, Sept. 18 in Sidney’s Tawawa Park.
This will mark the band’s third appearance at Sidney’s Civil War Living History Weekend, and fourth appearance in Sidney. The band performed at the inaugural Civil War Living History Weekend in 2016, returned in 2018, and played for the rededication of the statue atop the Monumental Building in 2020 when the Civil War Living History Weekend was cancelled.
On Saturday morning, the band will perform at 10:15 a.m. in downtown Sidney on the sidewalk in front of the Monumental Building. The building’s tablet room, which contains the marble tablets on which the names of the more than 300 Shelby Countians who gave their lives in the Civil War are engraved, will be open for visitors from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.
The band will also play in concert at 8 p.m. Saturday evening in the Geib Pavilion located at Baumgardner Basin in Tawawa Park. Concert goers are invited to bring lawn chairs and enjoy a program of Civil War era music.
The band will also provide limited musical selections Sunday morning, Sept. 18 during a brief period worship service for reenactors and visitors to the park. That worship service will begin at 8 a.m. and will be held in the “education tent” located in Wagner Glade. The worship service will include a brief memorial service for Jim O’Moore, a long-time reenactor who attended and participated in both previous Sidney reenactments.
When the Civil War broke out, there were few military bands. The U.S. Marine Band, the U.S. Military Academy Band, and a handful of Regular U.S. Army regimental bands existed. Nearly every state militia had a band, and these bands were highly prized as they participated in local parades and ceremonies.
As the state militias were mustered into service, they naturally brought their bands along with them. Within a few months after the start of the war, Congress authorized the creation of bands for every Regular Army regiment.
On July 31, 1861, the War Department issued General Order Number 48, which provided for two field musicians (fifes and drums) per company (100 soldiers), and a band of as many as 24 musicians per regiment (1000 soldiers). This led to the formation of hundreds of bands and the enlistment of thousands of musicians.
The 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment Band, in its current form, was established in 2011. The organization exists for the purpose of enriching and entertaining the modern public with historically authentic music and playing techniques contemporary to the time period of the War of the Rebellion.
The music presented by the 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment Band is presented, whenever possible, through performance with instrumentation typical of authentic military regimental brass bands of the Civil War era. Directed by John Huffman, Jr., the 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment Band is based in Waverly, Ohio. Members of the band hail from throughout Ohio.
Info from Mike Barhorst