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Id’d Cribbage Board Carried during the Civil War by Prof. Frederick Nicholls Crouch – Bugler of the Richmond Howitzers

$750

Id’d Cribbage Board Carried during the Civil War by Prof. Frederick Nicholls Crouch – Bugler of the Richmond Howitzers – Civil War period cribbage board with a period note indicating that this game board and two original pegs, were the wartime possessions of the renown 19th century composer, Professor Frederick Nicholls Crouch. The acclaimed composer of over 2000 ballads and two operas, Crouch was born in England in 1808; he emigrated to America, in 1849 where he found employment at Richmond, Virginia’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. At the start of the Civil War, he joined the Richmond Howitzers Battalion, in the Army of Northern Virginia and served as a bugler throughout the entire war. Crouch composed his most famous and haunting song, “Kathleen Mavourneen” which quickly became a favorite of the Confederates and was sung around the soldiers’ campfires almost nightly. The song was featured in the 1994 film “Gettysburg”, and it was sung in the Confederate camp the night before Pickett’s Charge. Following the war, Crouch went on composing as well as teaching music and singing. There has been controversy about the authorship of the song “Oh how I hate to get up in the morning”, some saying that Irving Berlin composed it and others equally adamant that Crouch had the honors. Recent research has shown that Crouch was the actual composer, writing the song to cheer up his fellow Confederate soldiers. Frederick Nicholls Crouch moved his residence to Portland, Md., shortly after the war’s end. He died there on August 18, 1896 and was buried with honors on Confederate Hill in Baltimore’s Loudon Park Cemetery.

This traveling cribbage board, constructed of wood and steer bone inlay, as well as various, attractive woods. Two original, red, bone or ivory pegs remain. The woods exhibit a pleasing, aged, mellow patina. There is a hook and eye closure device for the lid of the box; the inner cavity, once a vessel for the playing cards needed for playing cribbage, is lined in a decorative paper, somewhat water and age stained.

The board measures 10-1/2″ long by 3-1/2″ across by 2″ tall; each scoring peg measures 1-1/2” long. In overall excellent condition, the wooden box has some stress cracks and minor wood loss.

Frederick William Nicholls Crouch emigrated from England to America in 1849, abandoning a career as a musician of no small repute. He sang in the choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, played viola and cello before royalty, and composed operas and Irish melodies. Crouch eventually settled in Richmond, and when the War Between the States began, the 52-year-old musician took up arms in defense of his adopted country. He enlisted in the Richmond Howitzers and served the entire four years of the conflict.

Crouch relocated to Baltimore around 1871 and took up choral conducting. He is buried on Confederate Hill in Baltimore’s Loudon Park Cemetery.

Acclaimed composer of over 2000 ballads and two operas. Born in England in 1808, he emigrated to America in 1849 where he found employment at Richmond, Virginia’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. At the start of the Civil War, he joined the Confederacy and he was in the Confederate Army throughout the entire war, serving with distinction. Crouch composed his most famous and haunting song, “Kathleen Mavourneen” which quickly became a favorite of the Confederates and was sung around the soldiers’ campfires almost nightly. The song was featured in the 1994 film “Gettysburg” and it was sung in the Confederate camp the night before Pickett’s Charge. It is still heard frequently to this day. Following the war, Crouch went on composing and he also taught music and singing. There has been controversy about the authorship of the song “Oh how I hate to get up in the morning”, some saying that Irving Berlin composed it and others equally adamant that Crouch had the honors. Recent research has shown, however, that Crouch was the actual composer, writing the song to cheer up his fellow Confederate soldiers. Frederick Nicholls Crouch was buried with honors on Confederate Hill in Baltimore’s Loudon Park Cemetery.

 

CROUCH, Frederick Wm. Nicholls–authored Kathleen Mavourneen and 2,000 ballads, 2 operas. Was a musician of note in London; came to America in 1849; lived a time in Portland, Maine; was in Richmond 1861 and at age 53 joined First Richmond Howitzers; went through to Appomattox; moved to Baltimore, MD 1871 and remained here but visited Portland, and died there August 18, 1896; a niece accompanied his body to Baltimore where he is buried at Confederate Hill in Loudon Park Cemetery; estimated 500 attended burial services at which “Kathleen Mavourneen” was sung. Married 4 times; 16-17 children, or 27, according to various sources. Death notice in Baltimore paper came from a Portland source and cited “memoir” Professor Crouch had written.

 

Frederick Crouch

Frederick Nicholls Crouch (30 July 1808 – 18 August 1896) was an English composer and cellist.

Crouch was born in Marylebone in London. He emigrated to the United States in 1849 and settled in Richmond, Virginia. During the Civil War, Crouch took up arms for the Richmond Grays and the 1st Richmond Howitzers, Confederacy.

Crouch was noted as a fine cellist, having played in the King’s Theatre as well as St Paul’s Cathedral in London, before coming to the United States, but the majority of his compositions were not successful. His most famous song is “Kathleen Mavourneen“. During his years in the United States, Crouch composed two operas and unsuccessfully tried various musical undertakings (i.e., conducting, singing and teaching). Well traveled after the Civil War, Crouch eventually settled in Baltimore, Maryland.

He died 18 or 19 August 1896 in Portland, Maine, and was buried on Confederate Hill in Baltimore’s Loudon Park Cemetery