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The best Civil War CD of them all?


Lightning in a Jar is the fifth CD released by the 2nd South Carolina String Band.

Among my Christmas gifts I received this year was the latest CD from my favorite Civil War band, the 2nd South Carolina String Band, a Gettysburg-area group that met originally as reenactors who formed an impromptu campfire band. They have since expanded into a more formal group, with five albums and scores of personal appearances at Civil War reenactments, folk music festivals, special events, and other social gatherings.


This latest work is their first live concert CD, a collection of 28 songs on 2 CDs recorded during a pair of sold-out concert appearances in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. As such, Lightning in a Jar has a much difference feel than the string band’s previous studio albums, although nearly all the songs have been previously recorded. This is toe-tappin’, knee-slappin’ good old-fashioned entertainment of the highest order if you enjoy the period folk music that marked the mid-19th century and the Civil War era.
The majority, if not all, of these songs would have been well known to most of the common soldiers of the Rebellion / War Between the States / Civil War, including those men of Jubal Early’s division who occupied York. One energetic and highly entertaining song, “Jine the Cavalry,” was a particular favorite of Confederate Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and includes a stanza that perhaps is a direct result of his troopers’ foray through western York County in the summer of 1863 when they encountered numerous Pennsylvania girls.
Songs are as follows:
1. Intro
2. Stonewall Jackson’s Way / Garryowen
3. The Bonnie Blue Flag
4. Kingdom Coming
5. Ring, Ring de Banjo
6. We’re Tenting Tonight On the Old Campground
7. Rickett’s & Fisher’s Hornpipes
8. Jine the Cavalry
9. Down in Alabama
10. Company I, 2nd South Caroline
11. The Boatman’s Song
12. O Lemuel
13. Keemo Kimo
14. The Camptown Ladies
15. The Vacant Chair
16. Hawks & Eagles
17. De Lady and De Frog
18. Band Intro
19. McLeod’s Reel / Zip Coon
20. Angelina Baker / Angeline the Baker
21. O Lud Gals!
22. Cumberland Gap
23. When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again / For Bales
24. The Rose of Alabama
25. The Arkansas Traveler
26. Old Rosin the Beau
27. Buffalo Gals
28. Southern Soldier / Dixie
What is your favorite Civil War song or album, and why? Any particular favorites stand out to you? Leave your replies in the comments section below.