Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/10/08

“October 8, 1834” by Rick Sanders

English: Tenting on the Old Camp Ground

English: Tenting on the Old Camp Ground (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cover of sheet music for "Tenting on the ...

Cover of sheet music for “Tenting on the Old Camp Ground” words and music by Walter Kittredge, Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co., 1864 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Walter Kittredge is born on this date in 1834. He was an American composer who died in 1905.

He is best known as a song writer during the American Civil War. Wikipedia says:

Born in Merrimack, New Hampshire, the tenth of eleven children, Kittredge was a talented self-taught musician who played the seraphine, the melodeon (types of reed-like organs), and the violin. Kittredge toured solo and with the Hutchinson Family, a musical troupe. Over his career he wrote over 500 songs, many of them dealing with themes of the American Civil War. His most famous song, Tenting on the Old Camp Ground, was sung by both sides of the war and is known throughout the world.

Kittredge was also a noted supporter of abolitionism and the Temperance movement.

He married Annie E. Fairfield in 1861, and was drafted into the American Civil War in 1862 (at which time, shortly before a battle, he wrote Tenting on the Old Camp Ground.) In 1905, he died in his birthplace.

Tenting on the Old Camp Ground” was Kittredge”s most famous song.

“Tenting on the Old Camp Ground” was a popular song during the American Civil War. A particular favorite of enlisted men in the Union army, it was written in 1863 by Walter Kittredge and first performed in that year at Old High Rock, Lynn, Massachusetts.

Charles Ives later quoted the song in his own political song, “They Are There,” changing the lyrics to “Tenting on a new campground”—referring to a worldwide social democracy.

Kittredge’s reputation is part of the pantheon of American popular song.

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