Band
63rd Pennsylvania Infantry

The Regimental Band was recruited from New Brighton, Steubenville, and Pittsburgh, the New Brighton squad being composed of Jacob and Ralph Covert, Emanual and James C. Evans, Thomas F. and Jacob Johnston, Henry Noss, Moses Umstead, Myron Webb and Ferdinand A> Winter; while from Steubenville came Robert C. and Benjamin E. Hawkins, Lyman and William Priest, George F. Lyman, and George Stamm; Pittsburgh furnishing Thomas W. Baker, WIlliam Beardsley an Robert Neely.

The band was organized in Camp Wilkins, Pittsburgh, where they only remained a few days, proceeding to join the regiment, then in Washington, D.C., where they were mustered in August 25, 1861.

For some weeks they had no instruments, and their time was put in drilling and arranging their music. Finally after many delays the insturments, which had been contributed by citizens of Pittsburgh, arrived at Camp Johnston, and the band got down to constant practice, under the leadership of Robert C. Hawkins, a gifted musician, being quartered in the rear of headquarters, where they had their own mess and cook. Their daily duties embraced the music for guard mount in the morning, brigade drill in the afternoon, and dress parade in the evening. Occasionally they played for entertainments given by the regiment, and at General Kearney's and General Jameson's headquarters. Colonel Hays and General Kearney had little ear for music, but both seemed fond of it, so General Kearney on one occasion requested Colonel Hays to send his band down to headquarters for an evening concert. The colonel duly issued orders for the band to report at General Kearney's headquarters which at once raised a howl of protest, the musicians stating that their leader was absent, as were several other leading players, and that they had no drums, but the colonel was firm, and they were marched down to General Kearney. Such awful music was seldom heard, but the boys fought it out, having for an audience in part many members of some of the excellent bands of other regiments connected with the division, who were generous in their somewhat personal criticism of those who were playing.

The next morning Colonel Hays appeared before the band, saying, "I thought you fellows said you could not play last night? Why, General Kearney was delighted, and said it was the best d- - - music he had heard in the army, and wants you to go down again tonight", and for about a week the band, bad as it was, repeated their program.

In time of action members of the band served in connection with the ambulance corps, carrying off the wounded from the field, and assisting the surgeons in operations, their duties compelling them to be under fire frequently, although none were ever wounded or killed.

Under General Order No. 151, issued by the War Department, all regimental bands were discharged, and the Sixty-third band was mustered out at Harrison's Landing, Va., August 9, 1862, proceeding to Baltimore, where they received their pay, and thence returned to their homes.

ROBERT C. HAWKINS, Leader Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band, on General Order 151, August 9, 1862. Died at Steubenville, Ohio, April 3, 1902. Buried Union cemetery there.

THOMAS W. BAKER Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band. Died at Pittsburgh, Pa., March 25, 1907.

WILLIAM BEARDSLEY Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band. Died since the war.

JACOB COVERT Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band, August 9, 1862.

RALPH COVERT Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band, August 9, 1862. Died since the war.

EMANUEL EVANS Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band, August 9, 1862.

JAMES C. EVANS Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band, August 9, 1862. Died at Beaver Falls, Pa., April 4, 1903. Buried Grandview cemetery there.

BENJAMIN E. HAWKINS Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band. Died since the war.

JACOB M. JOHNSTON Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band.

THOMAS F. JOHNSTON Mustered in August 25, 1861. at the age of 14 years 2 months, the youngest man in the regiment. Mustered out with band.

GEORGE F. LYMAN Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band.

ROBERT NEELY Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band. Died since the war.

HENRY NOSS Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band. Re-enlisted June 27, 1863, in Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania Militia. Discharged August 13, 1863. Re-enlisted September 8, 1864, in Fifth Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery. Discharged June 13, 1865.

LYMAN PRIEST Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band. Re-enlisted.

WILLIAM T. PRIEST Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band.

GEORGE STAMM Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band. Re-enlisted in Seventy-fourth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers; discharged August 9, 1865.

MOSES UMSTBAD Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band. Died since the war.

MYRON S. WEBB Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band.

FERDINAND A. WINTER Mustered in August 25, 1861. Mustered out with band.

 

Source: Gilbert Adams Hays, Captain. Under the Red Patch: Story of the Sixty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1864. Published by the 63d Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment Association. Pittsburgh: Market Review Publishing Company, 1908.

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