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Commending the Stonewall Brigade Band.


Agreed to by the House of Delegates, January 14, 2005
Agreed to by the Senate, January 20, 2005


WHEREAS, the Stonewall Brigade Band originated as the Mountain Saxhorn Band in 1855 in Staunton, Virginia; and

WHEREAS, the first formal public concert of the newly organized band took place on July 17, 1857, at Union Hall on Beverley Street in Staunton; and

WHEREAS, during the 1850s, the band began a tradition of playing for civic occasions, including political rallies held for Presidents Fillmore and Pierce and candidates Stephen A. Douglas and John C. Breckinridge; and

WHEREAS, with the outbreak of the Civil War, the band mustered into General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's First Brigade, Army of the Shenandoah, and served for the duration of the conflict, entertaining troops and performing combat-related tasks as guards and couriers, stretcher-bearers, and surgeon's assistants; and

WHEREAS, the Stonewall Brigade Band played in late 1862 shortly before the Battle of Fredericksburg, and played again during the Wilderness Campaign in 1864, and legend has it that General Grant was so taken with the band's performances that he allowed members to keep their instruments after the surrender at Appomattox; and

WHEREAS, regardless of the legend's historical accuracy, the Stonewall Brigade Band played for President Grant when he stopped in Staunton in 1874 and again at his funeral service in New York in 1885; and

WHEREAS, known officially as the Stonewall Brigade Band since 1875, the band gained national acclaim during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, playing during the Washington centennial in New York City and in six presidential inaugural parades; and

WHEREAS, the Stonewall Brigade Band has compiled a 150-year record of continuous musical performance and organization; and

WHEREAS, since 1976, the Stonewall Brigade Band has performed in summer concert series at the Stonewall Brigade Bandstand in Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton, donated by civic organizations and dedicated during the nation's bicentennial celebration; and

WHEREAS, in recent years, the Stonewall Brigade Band has performed at the dedication of numerous facilities, including the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace, the Augusta County Library, the Museum of Frontier Culture, and the Woodrow Wilson Museum; and

WHEREAS, the Stonewall Brigade Band has embraced 825 volunteer citizens as its members from its inception and has provided thousands of free musical performances for hundreds of thousands of our citizens throughout the United States; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend the Stonewall Brigade Band on the occasion of its sesquicentennial celebration; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the Stonewall Brigade Band in honor of 150 years of continuous service to Staunton, the Commonwealth, and the nation.