No. 2 May 21, 2013
Two Weekend Events Begin Yankee Drummer Pittsburgh-Gettysburg Trek
PITTSBURGH – A graveside memorial ceremony for Civil War drummer Peter Guibert on Friday and Sunday ‘s 9 a.m. step-off at West Park will open Yankee Drummer Jim Smith’s reprise of Guibert’s trek from Pittsburgh to Gettysburg for the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1913.
The memorial ceremony will be held at Guibert’s grave in Highwood Cemetery, 2800 Brighton Rd. Friday at 2:30 p.m. The program will be a full military protocol ceremony with presentation of colors and a firing salute by Grand Army of the Republic Post 88, Pittsburgh, Civil War Re-enactors and the Armbrust Veterans signaled by Jim Smith on Guibert’s Civil War drum. Descendents of Peter Guibert will place a wreath on the grave and offer remarks. Also on the program will be music featuring Jim Smith on the Guibert drum and Peter Emerick from Uxbridge, Mass, on the fife.
Prof. Guibert’s 1913 Blue & Gray Reunion Band will play music from the period. Smith formed the band just weeks ago as a tribute to Guibert who was shown in a National Archives photo playing in a similar band at the 1913 Gettysburg Reunion.
Guibert, at age 70, stepped off from the then Allegheny City Hall on the Northside on May 26, 1913. Accompanied by a friend and fellow Northsider John Conroy, Guibert arrived in Gettysburg 19 days later on Friday, June 13. Guibert performed for audiences, especially youngsters, who formed along the route.
A hundred years later, Smith, also 70, accompanied by Ray Zimmerman of Acme in the role of John Conroy, step off from West Park on the Northside Sunday, at 9 a.m. The West Park event is coordinated by the Northside Leadership Conference.
Smith, who currently owns Guibert’s drum, plans to perform the “educational entertainments” as well. They will appear at Memorial Day activities at Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Oakland on Monday, May 27.
“Lots of historical artifacts have interesting stories to tell but they never get the opportunity. We are committed to Peter’s drum and its’ story about the heroic 74th PA Volunteers at Gettysburg. Peter’s drum will tell its story on the field and on parade with its own voice,” said Smith.
After defraying the costs of the trip, funds raised will be used to erect a memorial to military musicians. Until modern communications replaced them, drums, fifes and bugles played an essential role in directing troops in battle and camp duties. A location for the monument has not yet been decided. Donations may be made to the Northside Leadership Conference/Peter Guibert Trek fund.