Bugles, Fifes, Drums and Sounds of the Civil War!

Union Army drummer

The internet really brings History to life!

We are covering the Civil War.   I mentioned recently that I try to find new ways for my children to learn, discover and enjoy history.  Well, today we listened to bugle and drum calls, watched videos of musical instruments and discovered how to signal with flags of the Civil War! 

Here are some great Civil War links ~


  1. Bugle calls ~ Short, clear description of the different calls with MP3 sound clips.  We loved this!  I asked my youngest child to march and respond to the calls.They recognised several calls from movies!
  2. “WANTED – Young men who like to get up early, make noise all day, love exercise and excitement. If interested, please see the nearest Union Army Recruiter. If that sounds like you, then you may have what it took to be a Civil War drummer. But first, let’s make sure you qualify.”   Read here for the rest of this lovely child’s view of becoming a drummer and a Civil War hero.
  3. ethemes  Civil War: Drummer Boys has a list of other links.
  4. Photos of Civil War instruments at National Music Museum
  5. Very detailed and interesting information and moving historical photos of Civil War Buglers
  6. Bugles, fife and drums soundtrack on video with historical military images and a video of the famous “When Jonny Comes Marching Home” with images of Southern States.
  7. The Taps Project  ~ tribute to moving sounds of the Last Call.


  1. Wonderful description of drummers, their duties and lifestyle.
  2. YouTube video of Troopers playing Civil War drums.
  3. Craft Activity ~ Make your own Civil War drums.

Signal flags

  1. Wonderful lesson plan pdf with fun hands-on activities ~sew and make flags, make your own cypher discs and send messages just like the Signal Corps!
  2. Lovely clear explanations of the Wig Wag signal system using 2 flags.  Codes and pictures excellent for children.
  3. Flag training lesson with Flash images ~ fantastic page – let the kids see how to wave the flags for letters and words they select!
  4. Images of Signal kits
  5. Step-by-step description of how to assemble your signal flags kits
  6. Index to signal flags manual
  7. Wikipedia image of Signal Corps Kits
  8. Info on the Signal Corps 
  9. A peek at how signalman waved his flags on this short video at Gettysburg National Military Park

I created a 7 page Civil War notebook page package including ~

  • basic half-lined and blank notebook page
  • minibooks on the North and South war issues and Slavery
  • map of states separated on slavery issue
  • The Emancipation Declaration and minibook to cover this
  • Selection of some of Abraham Lincoln’s famous speeches for recitation and copywork
  • Graphic organizers of the Civil War timelines
  • Signal flag images and alphabet codes for messages

Download your free copy here ~ War Between the States

I downloaded some free lapbook elements from Homeschoolshare and Dynamic 2 Moms to supplement our studies not covered on the notebook pages and for the internet studies above.

Bookmark these links for your Civil War studies!  Trust you enjoy your History as it come to life!


24 thoughts on “Bugles, Fifes, Drums and Sounds of the Civil War!

  1. Pingback: Hello | My Country homeschool life

  2. HI.Iposted earlier but I just wanted to say that as a fellow blogger,you should check out my website called,Kayla Wrens Nest.I really your posts because you can learn something from them.I really need to learn about this stuff because vi am only in 5th grade and homeschooled.So keep it up THANKS.GOD BLESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Nadene,
    I just want to say how amazing you are and what a blessing to so many. . . taking the time to share your ideas, your finds and your creations with us freely and inspirin us all in our homeschool journey.
    God Bless you

    Liked by 1 person

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