Pigtail and bugle

Original Civil War Period Bugle


Original Civil War Period Bugle – This bugle is an American made instrument, not the oft-found French M1832 Clairon d’Ordonnance which was used by both U.S. troops during the Civil War and after, and by French soldiers into WWI. This single twist bugle definitely dates to the pre-Civil War era or war period as it was constructed in the mid-19th century mode that utilized hammering of the brass over a form, then dovetailing and hand soldering and finishing the formed instrument; mid-19th century craftsmen did not have the technological ability to utilize the process of extruding a pipe mechanically, so they relied upon a more complex and time consuming manufacturing process that required hammering over a form, then dovetailing and soldering to join the end product. The dovetailing in this bugle is very obvious, beginning in the bell and extending the length of the horn. This bugle’s bell does not have, nor did it ever have, a garland; although many Civil War bugles had garlands, some did not.  The length of this bugle conforms to the length of most of the wartime horns – approximately 14.5” (not including the mouthpiece); 18” (including mouthpiece). The mouthpiece, which appears to have been originally nickeled, is the typical Civil War era type, exhibiting a very flat rim and is attached to the curled extension or pigtail; this extension was utilized to lower the pitch of the bugle possibly to the key of Bb from the key of C.


Condition: Overall the bugle is in good condition, exhibiting a several use dings; the brass presents a pleasing, unpolished, aged patina.

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