Question about a regulation trumpet for mounted troops

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I have an all brass regulation trumpet for mounted troops passed down to me from my Father. It belonged to my Great, Great Grandfather. He was in the Fourth Pennsylvania Calvary. The trumpet is said to have been hit by some type of artillery during the war. I also have a booklet titled "Fourth Pennsylvania Calvary", that was passed down along with the trumpet. It is in very good condition, and I am trying to find out what it may be worth. I may be interested in selling it. Does anyone know where I should start?
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Ralph Heinz

Corporal
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Feb 14, 2016
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257
Location
Pacific Northwest
Additional photos showing closeups of the mouth piece and also the bell would help. Does the trumpet have a dovetail seam that runs from the edge of the bell the full length of the rest of the trumpet? This dovetail soldered seam can look like a dovetail joint on early furniture or a zipper and they vary from one maker to another. You should be able to see this by looking inside the bell or look for it on the outside of the bell.

Also, is there a "garland" -- a separate brass flat donut shaped piece that goes around the rim of the bell to strengthen it? This is usually about 3/4" wide.

What is the overall length from the edge of the mouthpiece all the way to the edge of the bell? What is the diameter of the bell?

I own two time period bugles and have owned a third. One of my ancestors was a bugler in Co. I, 1st Vermont Cavalry so this is an area of great interest for me.
 
Joined
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Mr. Heinz,

I would have never noticed the 'zipper' like stitch inside of the bell, but yes, it does have one. I've added a photo for reference. It does have a thicker part around the edge of the bell, but I wouldn't consider it a garland and it is nowhere near 3/4" thick. It just looks like the rim on any ordinary trumpet. My measurements may not be exact, since there are dents and dings, altering the shape a bit, but I measure about 4½" for the bell diameter, and about 15" for the full length of the trumpet.

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Ralph Heinz

Corporal
Joined
Feb 14, 2016
Messages
257
Location
Pacific Northwest
The "garland" is actually a thin piece of donut shape brass that is about 3/4" WIDE --- not thick. The photos of your trumpet show it does not have a garland around the bell but that is not unusual. Many were made without them. The mouth piece is correct for the time period through the later Indian Wars.

While the Quartermaster Manual, May 1865, Camp and Garrison Equipage stated regulation trumpets being about 14 1/4" high (probably just the trumpet and not including the mouth piece) and with the "bowl" (bell) about 5 1/2" in diameter and made of brass, in 1879 new regulations came out for a two coil brass cavalry trumpet 16" overall (including the mouth piece) and with a bell diameter of 4 1/2."

The Nebraska State Historical Society has an "Austrian-made brass bugle, used by James W. Thomas, Co. H, 2nd Nebraska Cavalry that looks similar to yours but not exactly alike. Nebraska became a state in 1867 so this isn't much help. Trumpets and bugles can be confusing as Civil War style instruments continued to be made decades after the end of the Civil War. These were mostly made of brass however instead of copper which was prevalent during the ACW.

To complicate matters even more is the fact that state regiments provided their units with trumpets and bugles that were anything but "regulation." Instrument makers were located in a number of northern states. Some were imported from Europe. All this makes it difficult to date a bugle or trumpet though copper single coil bugles (some with a brass garland) are typical of the Mexican War and the ACW.

Then too, old veterans and members of the GAR who had been buglers during the war later provided themselves with post war instruments to play at reunions. Your trumpet however shows the kind of hard use that certainly speaks volumes about cavalry during the Civil War -- cavalry trumpets probably show the most dents and damage. Being dropped from horseback would be unforgiving on a soft copper or brass instrument.

I'll post a page showing the 1879 regulation trumpet that adds the confusion when it comes to dating a trumpet. What it does show is a similarity to the regulations that came out in 1865.

Do you have any other items like a discharge paper or photo of your ancestor in uniform?
M1879  Trumpet.jpeg
 
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This was actually the only thing handed down to me by my Father, who is now passed, and I did not have a good relationship with. It was displayed in our house since before I was born. I had actually measured it first not including the mouth piece and it was 14½" and i measured the bell at the smallest diameter because there is damage to the bell and I wasn't quite sure which measurement would be correct. The story I was told growing up was that the piece was struck by a piece of artillary, but I can't say for certain that was the case. I don't have any discharge papers and I am in the process of talking to relatives to get more info.
 

Ralph Heinz

Corporal
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Messages
257
Location
Pacific Northwest
Go to the govt. web site Search for Soldiers - The Civil War and enter your ancestor's name, state, 4th Pa. Cavalry and you should learn which company he served in. Then go to 64th Regiment, 4th Cavalry, of the Pennsylvania Civil War Volunteers and click on Rosters and then go to the company he served in. This should show his rank and when he first mustered into the unit and when he mustered out and possibly other things of interest. I noticed two names identified as regimental buglers so your ancestor may be noted in the records as a bugler. Pennsylvania kept good records of men who served in its volunteer regiments.

I hope this will be of help for you.

If the trumpet was damaged due to artillery it would be torn apart rather than dented but it may be that a nearby exploding shell caused your ancestor to be thrown from his horse to the ground at which point the trumpet was damaged in the fall. As a combat veteran I've had experience with artillery and shrapnel.
 
Joined
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Go to the govt. web site Search for Soldiers - The Civil War and enter your ancestor's name, state, 4th Pa. Cavalry and you should learn which company he served in. Then go to 64th Regiment, 4th Cavalry, of the Pennsylvania Civil War Volunteers and click on Rosters and then go to the company he served in. This should show his rank and when he first mustered into the unit and when he mustered out and possibly other things of interest. I noticed two names identified as regimental buglers so your ancestor may be noted in the records as a bugler. Pennsylvania kept good records of men who served in its volunteer regiments.

I hope this will be of help for you.

If the trumpet was damaged due to artillery it would be torn apart rather than dented but it may be that a nearby exploding shell caused your ancestor to be thrown from his horse to the ground at which point the trumpet was damaged in the fall. As a combat veteran I've had experience with artillery and shrapnel.
Thanks! I will look into that right now. I wasn't sure where to start!
 

Package4

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I have an all brass regulation trumpet for mounted troops passed down to me from my Father. It belonged to my Great, Great Grandfather. He was in the Fourth Pennsylvania Calvary. The trumpet is said to have been hit by some type of artillery during the war. I also have a booklet titled "Fourth Pennsylvania Calvary", that was passed down along with the trumpet. It is in very good condition, and I am trying to find out what it may be worth. I may be interested in selling it. Does anyone know where I should start?View attachment 319165
What is your ancestors name, we can help a bit and see if he had subsequent service in the Indian Wars
 

Seduzal

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Welcome to CWT from the Smoky Mountain side of North Carolina. Just jump right in and enjoy.
Thanks for sharing this awesome article and photos.
 
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