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Did Quakers Bugle?

TIA 16 Jul 09 - 07:53 PM
InOBU 16 Jul 09 - 08:45 PM
Stringsinger 16 Jul 09 - 09:20 PM
Bill D 16 Jul 09 - 10:46 PM
InOBU 16 Jul 09 - 11:06 PM
InOBU 16 Jul 09 - 11:10 PM
InOBU 16 Jul 09 - 11:11 PM
Penny S. 17 Jul 09 - 04:01 AM
mattkeen 17 Jul 09 - 04:34 AM
Penny S. 17 Jul 09 - 04:43 AM
InOBU 17 Jul 09 - 06:50 AM
TIA 17 Jul 09 - 07:31 AM
catspaw49 17 Jul 09 - 07:45 AM
InOBU 17 Jul 09 - 09:40 AM
TIA 17 Jul 09 - 02:36 PM
Penny S. 18 Jul 09 - 04:19 AM
SharonA 18 Jul 09 - 06:03 AM
InOBU 18 Jul 09 - 06:42 AM
mattkeen 24 Jul 09 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,TIA 04 Aug 09 - 11:03 PM
GUEST 05 Aug 09 - 07:49 PM
BusyBee Paul 06 Aug 09 - 01:25 PM
BusyBee Paul 09 Aug 09 - 06:53 PM
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Subject: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: TIA
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 07:53 PM

Been playing strings with a Civil War era (re-enactment) group. No problem for pacifist me since I dress as a civilian (Quaker). Now another group has learned that I was a bugler (in Boy Scouts) and brass student back in the day, and they want me to bugle.

Buglers were exclusively military. I can't wear the uniform....unless...I know in later wars Quakers served un-armed as medics, etc. Was this true in the Civil War also? If so, did they wear an armband or other markings?

Thanks history buffs!


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: InOBU
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 08:45 PM

There was a lot of controversy in Quaker meetings during and after the war about the Friends who joined the Union Army because of the anti-slavery issue. A large number of young Friends joined to fight.
My wife and I attended a Meeting at Solebury (Bucks Co. Pa) where they read minutes from business meetings for many of Solebury's two hundred years. The most memorable was the one after the end of the Civil War. It restated the peace testimony and said that it was wrong that so many young people of their meeting fought in the civil war. It went on to say it did not excuse their taking part in killing, but asked that history understand, though not excuse, understand what it was to be invaded, as Pa was, and to fight back in such a crusade as the fight against slavery.
Tom Fox, who was killed by one side or the other, tortured to death in Iraq after being instrumental in exposing Abu Greb, was an army musician as his Vietnam era alternative service. I have never heard of a Friend as a bugler in the Civil War, but it would not have been impossibility.
Remember it is only history, remember that we felt it wrong, though asked forgiveness for that which was humanly understandable, and teach peace.
No rights were gained by war, as we are told in the Army adds today, we won our right to freedom of religion through the martyrdom of Friends like Mary Dyer leading to the eventual Flushing Remonstrance, the civil war did not put an end to slavery, a hundred years of peaceful struggle against Jim Crowe is doing that… we win rights in the face of war, not through war.
Have fun, and remember to use thee and thy but not thou (by 1858…. We used thee and thy as they used the singular of the verb to be, when speaking to one person, "you" and "are" when speaking to more than one. Speaking to one person, thee is taller than I thought thee would be; take thy hat; give me thy hand; can thee direct me to, Friend do not point thy cannon into my face…
Thine in the light,
Lorcan Otway
15th Street Monthly Meeting
Religious Society of Friends
Commonly known as "Quakers"
PS I am a plain dressing Friend, feel free to ask me about where to find plain clothes… and please don't get into fist fights dressed as a Friend… except with River Brethren… (Just kidding… … it is Mennonites we hit…. Only kidding… stop me… someone!)


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 09:20 PM

Re-enactment groups are always sketchy.   Sometimes they are not as accurate as they could be.

I don't think Friends would go with the military bugle. There is a history of Friends doing
lots of different things but adherence to the military would be anathema to a true Quaker.
"Undue distinction among men" I think was an earlier statement.

I guess some Quakers were 1-A-0 status which means that they would have served as medics but I think the larger proportion were 1-0's (full conscientious objectors to serving in any capacity in the military).

Could you play a peace song on the bugle?

Frank


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 10:46 PM

"Could you play a peace song on the bugle?"

Depends on the bugle maybe...like songs you couldn't play on The Old Orange Flute"


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: InOBU
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 11:06 PM

Hi Frank, I don't think they had objector status classes, during the Civil War, as we did during Vietnam... but many Quakers were well off and could pay their way out of the draft. However, many joined the Union Army, and many of those were read out of meeting for so doing, while many others were forgiven by their meetings, and returned to the peace testimony after the war.
Our work with the Underground Railroad made that war difficult for many Quakers ... unlike most of the other American wars, though objection in the face of most wars is difficult for most Friends. In our meeting, for several months after 9\11, one member of our meeting, who had been a Vietnam era CO, had a great deal of conflict of faith, until he realized he was being called to be the Quaker at home he expected others to be, in their nations at war, and he found himself centered in peace again.


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: InOBU
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 11:10 PM

Oh... I noticed the end of thy question, Friend, a Quaker bugler, whould have certainly worn a uniform. Thee may wish to rent, "Friendly Persuasion" written by a Quaker author, the companion book is "Except for thee and me..." I am embarassed to say I am blanking on her name... will get right back with the name, worth reading to help understand Quakers and the Civil war...


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: InOBU
Date: 16 Jul 09 - 11:11 PM

Jessamyn West... do rent the film. Thine in the light, Lorcan


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: Penny S.
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 04:01 AM

From ignorance - I could understand a Friend being drawn to fight in that war, but bugling is a different issue. Fighting is a choice for oneself. Bugling is directing others to fight. Would that not be an issue for conscience?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: mattkeen
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 04:34 AM

Cos its the same thing Penney - just that you not prepared to do the violence yourself.
In fact in some ways its more abhorent
"I couldn't possibly kill that guy, but you get over there and blow his brains out".

Matt
Member of Britain Yearly Meeting of Quakers


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: Penny S.
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 04:43 AM

Friend, it was my intention to draw out that conclusion. But I remain in ignorance of the situation in the American Civil War.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: InOBU
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 06:50 AM

I would write to the historian of the Solebury Friend's Meeting, not sure of the zip code, you might find it on Quakerfinder, and ask if they might send you a copy of the post civil war minute which was read at thier 200th aniversery.
I remember that early, even in the Vietnam war, there were young Friends drawn to fight, and in "View From the Backbenches" I am pretty sure this is mentioned, I set copied and set up that remarkable pamphlet written in 64 or5 as a blog, if you use Quaker and from the backbenches, you should be able to find it on line... as it might be letter from the backbenches, my memory is less than sharp early in the AM.
As to calling others to fight, some Friends have done, well, odd alternative service in that regard. A late fFriend who was in our Meeting in NYC, had been a member of Britain Yearly Meeting, not sure which monthly Meeting, but during WW II Leslie was at Blenchly House, in Turin's inner circle in the Enigma Project. This always struck me as war by proxy, but, I also feel it is in our present tradition, especially as I grew up Hicksite, to allow other Friends their own light... generally... there are always one or two, that deep in our hearts, we would LOVE to read out of Meeting =)
but those thoughts pass,
I would say, most North Eastern Quaker Meetings, during the Civil War had some young people who went to fight, some of them leaving their Meetings to so do.
I strongly recomend watching Friendly Persuasion - talk about anacronisms, it is a Quaker Musical, but, the Quaker aspect is very true to history, and the Meetings on the issue of war are very good indeed. At one point, a Friend says anyone who does not condemn the war should be read out, and of course, when their corner of Indiana is invaded by the south, he is the first to grab a gun. Whereas, the star, Gary Cooper, says he does not know what he would do... and is led into deeper personal conflicts over the war.
In the book, he is faced with conflicts over dressing "gay" not plain, in order to work on the Underground Railroad. Both are good for the reinactor, to begin to get the feel.
One of my First Day school teachers Anna Curtis was the grand daughter of a conductor on the UA. So, these times never felt far away from me... one of her stories is posted here as my ballad, The Ballad of Richard Murray.
All the best, Friends,
Yours in the light
lor


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: TIA
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 07:31 AM

Great, great help.
And lots of reading for me.
Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 07:45 AM

I'd always heard they preferred Fritos to Bugles......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: InOBU
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 09:40 AM

The real question, Spaw, is did Friends bungle...? I am writing a book on famous Quaker bunglers, like the fellow who came up with the idea for the Penitentury... we had a lot to say "whoops" about for that! Then there is whale fishing, a good idea at the time, possibly, but we have been a little red faced about that one over time... and then there is helping end slavery but not granting Black folks membership in Meetings... yup, we bungled it... (Kidding about the book, but then again... maybe a good idea...)
Cheers
Lor
PS as to me personally being red faced about our whale fishing... I am like my friend who calls himself an unrepentant Stalinist... I rather think we should save the whales, just in case we Friends ever need them again to restore Quakerism as a successful ecconomic force, be peaceful to each other, yes, but a dead whale or a stove boat... - Now, before I get death threats from other Friends... I am just kidding, but I do think the Quaker whale fisheries were a great part of our history... and the degree to which having Black captains over White crews during slavery days was a statement of our progressive ideas, well, I am happy we hunted whales when we did, and am happy we stopped when we did.
PPS Now the question is, where there Buglers on the whale ships?


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: TIA
Date: 17 Jul 09 - 02:36 PM

Matt and Penny;

Good point. Been pondering that all day (and at times before as well). It may apply to all types of non-combat support roles. There is a continuum of level-of-participation in violence between pulling the trigger, driving a truck that carries tools to repair triggers, maintaining the truck that carries the tools, repairing the grease gun that is used to maintain the truck, etc....

Interestingly, my pacifist great uncle was a telephone lineman for the army in WWII. No combat, but orders to kill certainly went down those wires - he agonized over this. Buglers were the signal corps men of their day. Luckily I am only struggling with a "let's pretend" issue, not real life (death).


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: Penny S.
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 04:19 AM

TIA, that reminds me of an incident when I was at college in East Anglia. The college Christian Union (a group to which I was not drawn*) had a visit from some USAF men from a fairly nearby base. I was a bit interested in this, and passed the door to hear one giving his testimony. Thia not being of the tradition I was comfortable with (Congregationalist at the time), I stayed out, but later went to the bar, where the guys were being entertained. The college Students Union President asked one of them how he reconciled his Christianity with being involved in SAC and its nuclear warheads. His answer was that he wasn't involved with flying and potentially dropping the bombs (this was back when these things were a very present terror), but only in loading the planes.

He clearly recognised that there was a problem, and had found his own way to deal with it.

(*Background for those not aware of it. The CU was set up when some Christians found that the ecumenical Students Christian Fellowship was not rigorously Protestant enough. Persons of a quakerly leaning would not be comfortable, or possibly, welcome.)

I used to like the idea of re-enactment. Couldn't get involved when I did, as women had no part in it. Then I went to a performance (careful choice of word) of the Battle of Hastings. I became very unhappy about it being presented, on site, as a jolly day out, when one of the features of the battle was William declaring that the English should lie their unburied as they had rebelled against their rightful liege, and the pronouncements of the pope, and their bones were visible there many years later. It was, in a sense, dancing on the graves (or non-graves) of men who had been prepared to put their lives, and possibly their souls, on the line to defend the right.

I used to explain the battle to children at school. I used a plan of the field, and little slips of paper marked "foot soldiers", "cavalry" etc, and remove them as there were casualties. Then I put the removed slips on the table at the end. I remember the reaction of one class, an indrawn breath as they realised what those words stood for. It was totally unexpected or unplanned for by me, and deeply moving. There was nothing of that at Battle that day.

I avoid that sort of thing now. Please don't take this as criticism, it is just my position.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: SharonA
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 06:03 AM

Would a Quaker have played a musical instrument at all at the time in question? According to Quakersong.org, "Traditionally (i.e. until the late 19th century) Quakers didn't believe in group singing or playing musical instruments." The Civil War occurred during the MID-19th century, of course. I suppose that if a mid-19th century Quaker would break tradition to enlist in the Union Army -- and many did, as InOBU attests -- then he could have broken tradition to play a bugle and rally others to fight.

Here's the contact info for the Solebury (Pennsylvania) Friends Meeting:

Solebury Friends Meeting
2680 N. Sugan Rd
New Hope, PA 18938-1070
(215) 862-5866‎
(215) 862-1419‎

For those not familiar with the area, it's in the southeastern part of the state, close to the Delaware River (the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey), not very far upstream of where George Washington crossed the Delaware in 1776.

SharonA
(native of Bucks County and currently residing down the highway from Solebury!)


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: InOBU
Date: 18 Jul 09 - 06:42 AM

Thanks Sharon!
We used to do a concert for our library committee called "Taking the piano down from the attic..." Keeping the piano in the attic, was a term from the past which Jess West makes real in Friendly Persuasion, where the family does keep a piano in the attic, where the visiting elders will not see it. Though playing music was not a Quakerly thing to do, many families "kept the piano in the attic" had music at home, in much the same way the advice against drink is a tender subject today in Friendly 8 gatherings, some I have been involed in were not glass of wine fFriendly - another, fFriendly 8, one very tring day, the host, without a wink, handed me a tall glass of water, which turned out to be the vodka and tonic, I really wished for that day, (one needs Friends who know and love you warts and all...) The phrase "Martini Friends" is sometimes bandied about our Meetinghouse in the same tone as Cadalac Communists is heard among red diaper babies.


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: mattkeen
Date: 24 Jul 09 - 09:53 AM

Sharon wrote: Would a Quaker have played a musical instrument at all at the time in question?


You will find it hard to come up with a rule that all Quakers stick to Sharon. Bit like herding cats.

Though the adherence to the peace testimony is probably the most likely one.


The most comfortable job in war time for Quakers seems to be stretcher bearing, ambulance service that sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 04 Aug 09 - 11:03 PM

Just finished reading "The Friendly Persuasion". Thanks for the tip InOBU.

A bit like the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, but better (IMHO).

Given my age and stage in life, I was fascinated by the way the seemingly-unrelated chapters tracked through the life of the Birdwells - from young parents to old empty nesters. Many of the chapters were very O Henry. Not all sweetness and light.

And there was a lot of music - in different degrees of suppression and exultation.

And, I presume it is fiction, but the stories certainly and emphatically reinforce mattkeen's observation that trying to characterize Quakers is herding cats.

Funniest chapter is the buggy race to meeting! (with the female preacher in the lead buggy). Almost peed my pants.

OMG, I'm doing "Oprah's Book Club" talk. AAAARRRRGGGGHHH.


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Aug 09 - 07:49 PM

Do get the film... If sparkling cider is Quaker champain, this film is Quaker heroin. I used to love to watch it, with a big bowl of pop corn and a certain Plain and Tall fFriend...

Ah, sigh...


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 01:25 PM

On the strength of TIA's review, I've ordered the book!

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Did Quakers Bugle?
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 06:53 PM

The book has arrived and I'm over half way through it. It's a great read.

:-)


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