Civil War Regulation Copper Bugle by Horstmann



Civil War Regulation Copper Bugle by Horstmann – This Civil War issue or “pattern”, copper bugle is a less commonly encountered Key of G horn, which exhibits two coils and added bracing. Most Civil War bugles or trumpets were Key of C instruments which were structured with a single coil. Key of G bugles or trumpets were first issued by the U.S. Army in the 1840s. The earlier introduced, Key of C horns were first utilized by the U.S. military in the mid-1830s. According to an article by Jari Villanueva in Taps Bugler: “… the United States started using G-trumpets in the 1840s, in the Cavalry … the first known regulation or ‘pattern’ bugle incorporated by the U.S. military appeared around 1835. This instrument was a large single coil, copper bugle in the key of C. By 1861, there were three basic regulation patterns specified for trumpets and bugles, a large C-bugle, with or without a B-flat tuning crook, a G-trumpet and an F-trumpet. There were many variations of these instruments and until the end of the 19th century, the United States used various types of trumpets and bugles pitched in a variety of keys.”

“During the late 19th century, some interchangeability or possible confusion existed in terminology or definition of trumpets and bugles.  For example, Army Regulations, 1863 (Paragraph 232) cites drum and trumpet signals (no bugles mentioned), while the War Dept’s Cavalry Tactics, 1864 (UE160A5) contains a section of music notes entitled “Bugle Signals.” Although the first 1867 edition of Upton’s Tactics for infantry contains a section entitled bugle music, the 1874 edition changed the section title to “Trumpet Signals–Infantry.”  Thus, trumpets for infantry and bugles for cavalry seemingly reverse the previous arrangement.  Adding to the apparent confusion is War Dept General Order 48 of 1877 (mentioned previously as the first post-Civil War reference specifically to bugles), which directed the Quartermaster’s Department to “supply bugles to foot troops, in addition to drums and fifes.” Five years later, GO 12 (21 Jan 1882) directed that issues for field music should be confined to “trumpets, drums, and fifes” (no bugles!). Furthermore, the order authorized the “F” trumpet with a “C” crook for mounted troops and the same trumpet without crook for foot troops.  Although AR1889 confirmed the trumpets-only situation, amendments soon appeared in GOs 9 & 35 of 1892 to furnish “small brass Bb bugle” for light artillery.  No change in this pattern of crooked trumpets for cavalry, trumpets for infantry, and bugles for light artillery was found through 1910. Incidentally, if the Army’s orders and regulations in fact were followed, does this mean that the popular 20th century image of a cavalry charge could be erroneous?  No bugles sounded “Charge.” Trumpets did.” –  From the U.S. Army Military History Institute Aug 84 “Bugles A Working Bibliography

 By 1861, various bugle or trumpet calls were enumerated in the four branch of service manuals of the times – Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Naval Service. Generally, the Infantry used the calls adopted from the French Infantry; the Cavalry calls were a mixture based upon those of the French Cavalry; the Artillery calls utilized some of the Cavalry signals adapted to their own usage. The Civil War proved to be the zenith for bugle and trumpet call usage by the U.S. military, with over 50 calls in the Infantry and over 30 each in the cavalry and artillery. The 1860 manuals of Casey and Hardee presented instructions for the Chief Bugler and Drum Major, provided music for beats of the drum and fife, and music for 25 general bugle calls and 23 calls for skirmishers. – article by Jari Villanueva in Taps Bugler

This Civil War, U.S. Regulation or “Pattern” bugle was either manufactured or, more likely, brokered by the well-established, 19th century, military goods dealer Horstmann Brothers & Company of Philadelphia, as indicated by the stamped, brass escutcheon affixed to the bell of the bugle, that reads:






Indicative of this bugle having been manufactured and used during the Civil War is the period dovetail construction, clearly visible in the interior and on the exterior of the bell; makers of brass instruments, in the early and mid-19th century, were unable to simply extrude a completed, instrument piping; in lieu of that inability, a large sheet of copper was hammered, over a form, into the bugle’s shape, then joined via dovetails that were affixed via soldering. In addition, issue or pattern, military bugles usually had, as does this example, a “floating” garland or reinforcing rim encircling the bell. The entire body of this bugle, to include all the tubing and various connectors, is constructed of copper, with the exception of the brass garland and mouthpiece; the latter, like all Civil War bugles, is detachable.

The bugle remains in very good condition; there are some areas of dings and dents, induced by period field use. The copper exhibits some spots of tarnish, but still retains a pleasing, mellow patina. Overall length – 15.25” (including mouthpiece); 14” (to the point of insertion of the mouthpiece).